Putting the Brakes on Passive Bulldozing

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As the NBNA continues to work cooperatively with those responsible developers doing important infill on legitimately vacant lots, other less responsible, absentee landlords who purchase historic houses and allow them to crumble to the ground in order to create new vacant lots for development represent an increasing problem in our area.

We recently supported an NBNA member’s ongoing efforts to get city action on one such absentee landlord, whose property at 1811 26th Street was vacant, hazardous and garbage-filled. The City’s efforts to enforce property code violations extended over two years and seemed mostly to have involved failed efforts to communicate with the property’s owner, who is ambiguously–and one might suggest contemptably–listed as “Joe Jones Properties.”

The clock was ticking, the fines were adding up, and the property was continuing to decay in what can only be described as “passive bulldozing.”

After taking some digital photos of the property, the NBNA went online and filed a complaint with Sacramento Code Enforcement in support of the NBNA member, including the photos which spoke volumes. For good measure we sent a duplicate email to Sacramento 911.  A few weeks later, we went and checked out the property again.  The house was still abandoned,  but the yard was cleared of garbage, and that felt good.

It’s no secret that these days the City of Sacramento has limited resources to address many of the problems it faces–and that includes code enforcement. Which is why it’s important to help the process by utilizing the City’s online infrastructure. Registering a concern about a delinquent property, illegal dumping, overgrown weeds or graffiti is easy thanks to Sacramento Code Enforcement’s online complaint forms. If you’ve got a digital camera, you can even attach a photo of what concerns you, like we did, and help the City do its job.

Passive bulldozing is still a problem.  But we can’t put the brakes on it if we don’t push the pedal.  The more people who participate in government, the more effectively government works.  It’s that simple.

Before & after. The garbage-filled backyard of an abandoned house gets cleaned up with a little help from the NBNA.

Here’s the City’s URL for filing code enforcement complaints:

http://www.cityofsacramento.org/dsd/code-compliance/complaint-forms/code/index.cfm

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