Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Crane at 11:00 PM, Second-Story Work Appears Illegal on Multiple Levels

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

I happened to be out on an evening stroll tonight, when I heard what sounded like a car engine starting and stopping repeatedly.  That's to be expected on a busy corridor like Penn.  But as I crossed 27th, I snapped the photos above.  These are from 2701 Oliver Avenue North, a property owned by Brandon C Fischer and Kevin Owen.  Sadly, this is not the first time I have blogged about this heap that appears to be held together by chicken wire and code violations.

This was, however, the first time I have seen and heard a crane and other power equipment running this late in the evening.  Odd work like this should always prompt a 311 report, but tonight it rose to the level of 911 because...

...I could hear their machinery almost a block away.  I'm deaf in one ear, so if someone like me can pick up on sounds at that distance then we are clearly dealing with a noise violation.

Furthermore, at the time of this posting, no permits are listed online.  While the lack of available permits on the City's website isn't definitive proof of a lack of permits, it certainly isn't encouraging.  Still, it sure looks like someone is operating a crane at a property and doing major repairs without a permit.

But it's not like there's no rental license at this duplex, right?  Surely they've at least got THAT part--what's that?  There hasn't been a rental license since 1998? (live link to this info not working)  And after a fire, the upper unit was vacated by inspections, at which time there was ALSO no rental license.  Well, I stand corrected.

Which leads me to wonder:  Is there anything going on at 2701 Oliver that DOESN'T involve a code violation of some sort?

19 comments:

  1. So what happened? Did the police come? What did they do?

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    1. Yes the police did come. But lets get the record strait. We Brandon and myself Kevin purchased the home Nov of 2009. there never has ben a fire. There was a problem with Brandon was not on title, The home is NOT a rental. It is owner occupied. I am a retired painter of 40 years on a fixed income. There was no permit for the work being done because you do not need a permit to paint your house. we were working late because the lift cost $200.00 a day. the lift is electric and is very quite. I do not know what cars were starting up or what ever the hawk heard but it was not coming from us. We had no insurance after the tornado and have ben working to fix our home. There was slate siding removed which we had a dumpster just for the siding. I apologize that repairs have taken so long. We have had many people stop by and told us they are glad we are restoring this home. Still maybe if you see someone working on there home you mite ask them about what they are doing before calling the police.

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    2. Sorry for your trouble. Unfortunately this happens often. The folks who write these blogs call 311 and 911 for everything that isn't happening on their own properties. I think it is an envy thing, they assume everyone is a slumlord and don't hesitate to inflict city services on their neighbors. Thanks for coming here to explain. I hope that you were able to continue your painting work. I'm hoping to see an apology from the housing director as he seems to be very interested people fixing their properties. Just don't use any replacement windows on the property or you may find another visit from the police. Jeff prefers restored wood so if you keep to that you may avoid future trouble.

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    3. Your $200 a day lift would have been better spent on home insurance.

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    4. Oh yes, 10:17, don't we all wish for glass block windows secured with chicken wire for our homes? Deep down I know I gotta work hard to complete the total structural annihilation of my house but because I don't have the mental fortitude or physical stamina to amass great piles of scrap materials and garbage outside my house, I instead resign myself to feelings of all-consuming envy each time I call 311 on my over-acheiver neighbor.
      But I can still dream about my mansion of fantastic blight, can't I? Some day, some day I'll have my beautiful disaster....le sigh.

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  2. This really should have gone to 311 and not 911. I recently heard that people call 911 with a real emergency and they are not picking up. I suspect that if people only called with life threatening emergencies 911 would be able to answer live more often. I appreciate the civic mindedness but would ask that you stop using 911 to report housing code violations.

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    1. 311 is a joke. It takes 3-4 weeks to get an investigator there, then they give the violator "adequate time" to correct the problem. By this standard there is no public nuisance remedy.

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  3. The noise stopped, so I assume the police came. I'm still waiting to hear back if there were actual permits pulled that haven't posted online yet.

    To the point about whether this was a 911 or 311 call, I called 911 for the NOISE violation. I've been around long enough to know when to call 911 or 311. Furthermore, I have never had either a 911 dispatcher or police officer tell me to not call. Their take, and therefore mine as well, seems to be that one should call 911 whenever it seems reasonably appropriate, and the folks on the other end of the call will coordinate responses accordingly.

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  4. Besides the noise, how do you know what they were doing was unlawful or needed a permit? No permit is necessary to replace or repair windows, or siding, nor is a permit needed to use a lift as is in the photo.
    Maybe they were just working too late.

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    1. There are plenty of laws surrounding egress, especially for rental properties. I doubt the veracity of your assertion that no permit would be necessary in this case. But assuming you're right, then the folks who respond to my 911 and 311 entreaties will sort that out.

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  5. Don't feed the trolls, Jeff.

    Everything you did was great, including this blog post. This is why you're the Hawthorne Hawkman. Keep up the great work.

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  6. "Minneapolis police say as many as six 911 calls went unanswered during that shooting, leaving many wondering if something similar could happen in Southeast Minnesota."

    Maybe they were busy with noise complaints.

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  7. There are any number of completely baseless insinuations to your comment, anon 9:11. I would normally not even publish something so pointless, as my general policy is that if something shouldn't be dignified with a response then it doesn't get published here.

    However, on the off chance that there are readers who wonder if they ought to call 911 over something, I am publishing and responding.

    In my years doing community activism, whether paid or unpaid, I have never, not once, heard a police officer, public official, or any public servant tell someone they ought to not call 911. If there is a suspected 911 violation, call. If it doesn't rise to the level of a response, the dispatcher and police can make that determination. If it does warrant a response, the police will prioritize that ahead or behind other calls based on their priorities at a given moment.

    But DO NOT HESITATE to call 911 if it seems necessary.

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  8. Jeff the issue is not the judgement of the 911 operator, but the opportunity cost of taking YOUR call at the expense of another call. Think I'm exaggerating? Well read the comment you published again. Because if 911 operators were not answering phones during a shooting at a workplace, they must have been answering phones for SOMEONE ELSE CALLING. Since the operator cannot know why the caller is calling (Noise vs Shooting) there is a case to be made that for every frivolous call to 911 there exists the possibility that a crime is going unreported. The day that we are flush with cash and 911 operators is the day that this opportunity cost no longer exists. It is based on that fact, backed up with a real world example that I'd ask you to consider using 311 instead of 911 to report activity that is more code or permit or nuscience related than an actual danger to the community.

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    1. No. The 911 operators were unable to answer additional calls on the day of the accent signage shooting b/c of the nature of the emergency. they were keeping callers on the line, keeping lines open with callers and advising callers and getting updates from callers to report to the responding squads. they were unable to ask the caller to hold and go answer additional calls like they do all the time. often times when i call 911 and i say i have a nonemergency (b/c i'm calling in a hooker or something else that is nto urgent) the operator will say hold please and go answer ringing lines. which they could do withe jeff when he called in the late night lift. but on accent signage day, they did not place callers on hold and that is why other calls went unanswered.

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  9. Anonymous 8:17, can it. If you've actually had a discussion with the police about what and what isn't appropriate to call into 911, you'd know prioritization takes place on their end, and if it's low, the response will reflect that. In fact, many legitimate calls are not placed because most people are afraid of abusing the system. If that crane was working next to my house at that hour, you bet I'm calling 911. Working in those light conditions is hazardous. No one needs it.

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  10. Do you even read the comments? The issue is that 911 IS NOT ANSWERING THE PHONES!!!!! This has nothing to do with priority this has to do with calls exceeding the resources to answer them. So during shootout's 911 IS NOT ANSWERING!!! Now you can argue maybe we should hire more 911 operators but another avenue is to ensure that calls to 911 are actual emergencies. The city created 311 to handle calls for service for non-emergencies to keep people from calling 911.

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  11. It is YOU, anonymous commenter, who is not getting the picture. Now for the sake of argument, I could envision a scenario in which I knew that there was a once-every-decade tragedy like a mass shooting or bridge collapse or what have you, that would cause reasonable people to decide not to overburden the 911 system.

    However, that presumes that the caller (me, in this case) even knows that such a situation is taking place. In this situation, construction work or any noise that can be heard over a block away is a noise violation that rises to the level of a 911 call. Barring a major event (and possibly even then) I'm calling 911 when there is a situation that requires it.

    Again, I have NEVER, not once, heard of ANYONE associated with the 911 system of service response who has said people should think twice about calling 911 when it seems appropriate from the caller's perspective to do so.

    Unless you have something of actual value to bring to this discussion, I strongly suggest you end your comments and go away. Thank you.

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  12. To the anonymous commenter who appears to be the property owner: I believe I know the difference between a car starting and construction machinery. I was walking along Queen and 27th and could hear the noise. I followed my ears until I came to your place, which was where the sounds were at their loudest. I then walked back to my place and could hear the same noise midway down the 2600 block of Penn. I find it more likely that whatever noise you were making had stopped by the time the police arrived; a frequent enough occurrence on noise violation calls to 911.

    To Anon 10:17, does ANYONE call 311 on their own property?

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