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Thread: Crazed Citizens

  1. #1
         
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    Crazed Citizens

    Sorry if this has been done before...

    I am sure all of us have a story to share about a citizen that you (or the City or firm that you work for) have upset a citizen so much that they act (or in many case are) crazy. I have one that happened today that I thought I would share...

    There is this property owner (slum lord) here in the City that keeps telling me he cannot fix a particular property because he doesn't have the funds to do so, however he continues to aquire property all over the City week after week. He recently demolished two homes in the historic district without permit and has left a historic structure open to the elements for the past year. We have been diligently going after him to clean up these three properties (he owns about 20 more as well)...he has been to court, he has been to the BOCA Board of appeals, he has contacted the City Administrator, I have given him options (such as monies from our Facade Grant Program to cover 1/2 of his rehab cost), in short we have done as much as we can for this guy. The demolished structures are still on the lots, the debris and foundation is wide open, dangerous for playing children and all other sorts of creatures that may begin living in there, especially if it rains. So the City finally got approval to go out and clean the debris and fill the hole...as the contractor was out there the guy came to the site and went bizerk...threw the contractor off the high lift, beat up the bobcat ( ) , fought with the officers that had to come out to the site....currently, in jail. Everyone around here is a little nervous about the guy coming up here to City Hall...I don't think he will but I guess when you mess with a man and his money and property there is no telling what he (or she) may do...

    So share your stories....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I have an aluminum street hockey stick in my cubicle for a reason.

    At my last job, a non English speaking individual who was 'squatting' in a condemned house that we where going to tear down came out because he recognized me from a news paper photo and yelled at me for a while in Spanish. After a short while, he pulled out his gun, waving it around in a crazy rage, and yelled the only bit of English (kind of) in short saying that if his house comes down he is going to get me. I am sure the guy was wired off some bad crack or something. He got frustrated or spooked and ran back into his house.

    The scary part is I was in such shock that I did not realize what could have happened until I after I finished my list for the redevelopment project and got back to the office. Contacted the police department about it and told them where the guy lives, but he was long gone by the time they got there. I went out and got drunk that night.

    I made sure that the house got leveled right before I moved back to Michigan.

    Now, nothing phases me, other than the occasional hottie married to a multi millionaire flirting with me as I measure for the shed while she slashes around the pool commenting on how hot it is out side.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

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    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    First, that crap wouldn't fly in my town. We've started a no-tolerance policy on demolishing houses owned by slum lords or houses being used by squatters as a result of absentee landlords. The demolition cost is registered as a lein against the property.

    We get hysterical people but nothing to the extent you described. Mostly we just get people who are impatient and whine about the process, end up complaining to the Mayor's office, and then scolded for not going thru the precise steps we asked them to in the first place.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My favorite is not a crazed customer but a a spouse of a deadbeat receptionist, who called and threatened to come beat the crap out of her (he was on the run from 2 felony assault charges). We all kept baseball bats under our desks for 3 months until the wacko was caught.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I thought my old tales of guns and fist fights could not be beat, but here is one from my new employer. About 5-8 years ago, a guy was annoyed about his tax bill. Came in with a gas can, dumped it on the floor and tried to soak a receptionist, then lit it on fire. Did quite alot of damage to the building and people's paper files. The revenue collectors are now behind bullet proof glass(seriously).

    Recently, me an a coworker went to take some photos, and ran into a hostile member of the community, he started poking my coworker in the chest and cursing us out.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    How many teeth do your local ordinances have? My feeling is F*&k'em! Go after the guy with everything the code allows you to. He has clearly demonstrated that he does not have the will to follow the code. Does your code allow for injunctions or other remedies against chronic offenders? If so, go after him with everything possible. Is there a neighborhood association active, and better yet, powerful in the area? A man and his money is nothing against a city and a bunch of p!ssed off citizens.

  7. #7
         
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    First, that crap wouldn't fly in my town. We've started a no-tolerance policy on demolishing houses owned by slum lords or houses being used by squatters as a result of absentee landlords. The demolition cost is registered as a lein against the property.

    We get hysterical people but nothing to the extent you described. Mostly we just get people who are impatient and whine about the process, end up complaining to the Mayor's office, and then scolded for not going thru the precise steps we asked them to in the first place.
    I am not sure if you were referring to my post about the slum lord or M'Skis regarding the house being leveled. but let me elaborate on our policy because we do not permit structures to be torn down just because of a slum lord. The structures he removed were not historic, the Landmarks Board approved the removal of the houses, the guy judt didn't pull the correct permits or have the electric, gas and water shut off THEN he left the debris on the lot, THATS why we went out there, not because he removed two historic structures. We do not permit structures to be torn down, it takes months of review and research to determine the historical significance of a structure prior to approval of demolition.
    The historic structure that he has left open to the elements is still standing and we have order from the courts to go in and put in the appropriate windows and doors to ensure compliance with our design guidleines; at the expense of the property owner.
    Our ordinance has a lot of teeth and we often go in and put strucutres back together and put a lien on the building. My post was not about our ordinance or "crap" flying around this town, it was about what this guy did because of our "teeth".

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