Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Building Board of Appeals preview for Thursday, 19 December 2013

We all know you want to go to more public meetings, but don't find the time because you don't know what's on the agenda.

Here's a rundown of the agenda items for the Building Board of Appeals, which is holding hearings on the demolition of seven separate dangerous and run-down properties around town. The meeting is at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 19 December 2013 in Council Chambers, second floor of Ann Arbor City Hall. This summary is pulled from the meeting agenda and from the 60 page BBA board packet, with reporting from the Ann Arbor News,, and the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Map follows, along with parcel descriptions.

D-1. 1620 Waltham, in the Vernon Downs subdivision. Chase Bank owns the property after a divorce led to foreclosure. A violation notice was sent June 20, 2012, but the bank never responded. Zillow estimates the property is worth about $320,000, but their listing doesn't note the building inspector's report of vermin in the attic, broken windows, and interior water damage.

D-2. 2434 Pinecrest. Damaged by fire in 2008, this building was demolished in 2012 leaving just a slab and utilities connected. The city wants the slab removed and all utilities disconnected, as the spot is an "attractive nuisance". Previous reporting by in 2012 ("Fire-damaged house on Pinecrest demolished") and 2011 ("Neighborhood eyesore: A tale of red tape, miscommunication and hopefully redemption").

D-3. 2365 Pinecrest. (Pictured above.) Vacant since at least February 2012, this foreclosed home is owned by LaSalle Bank - at least that's the best guess. A shredded blue tarp no longer covers the roof, and the report states that the leaks in the roof have allowed mold to grow inside. Previous reporting by the Ann Arbor News in 2013 ("Blight Beat: Ann Arbor again targeting east-side home abandoned seven years ago").

D-4. 836 Brookwood. Vacant for at least three years, this house is near Yost Arena. The building has a collapsing sunroom, broken windows, junk on the front porch, and belongings of previous tenants scattered throughout (including vinyl records, says the News). Previous reporting by the Ann Arbor News in 2013 ("Demolition hearing set for vacant home in dense Ann Arbor neighborhood").

D-5. 800 North Main. Vacant since 1980, this property is a tiny old gas station with underground storage tanks, a leaky roof, and a dangerous chimney. To top things off, it's in a floodplain and is on such a small lot that it's impossible to build on the lot given current zoning without a variance. The parcel was originally put on the demolition list in 2008 but the city did not act at that time, and thus it's back before the BBA. Some recent colorful paint from May 2013 (Ann Arbor Chronicle story) is not recorded in the city's board packet, leading me to suggest half in jest that the building be incorporated into the Heidelberg Project. Previous reporting from the Ann Arbor News in 2013: ("Long-abandoned, colorful gas station on Main Street could soon face demolition") .

Two parcels on Platt are part of this 2013 story in the Ann Arbor News: "Series of abandoned homes along Platt Road in Ann Arbor could soon be demolished".

D-6. 3680 Platt Road. Vacant since at least 2010, this property has a disintegrating roof and there has been dumping on the site.

D-7. 3802 Platt Road. Also vacant since at least 2010, this home has been vacant, has open doors and windows, and is leaking.

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