Friday, September 4, 2015

CONDEMNED! CONDEMNED? Was the building safe or not?


Today's fire at at 421 Walnut Street rear / 423 Avenue G raises some interesting questions. As can be seen on the above photograph of a condemnation notice, the codes department had previously condemned the property, listing it as an "Unsafe Structure." (Columbia Spy reported on this HERE.) The notice prohibited occupancy beyond June 29, 2015, but the date was subsequently changed to August 2, 2015. At Columbia Borough Council's July 27, 2015 meeting of the whole, a tenant of the building told council that Robert Osborne, whose employment with the codes department was recently terminated, changed the date again, revising it to "Habitable to live in until further notice." Columbia Spy is unaware of any further revisions to the notice. At the time of today's fire, four of the five apartments in the building reportedly were occupied. With the recent series of seemingly arbitrary revisions to the occupancy date, one wonders if the structure was truly safe for habitation.

The building is owned by Sam Bigler, who also owns several other properties in the borough, including the controversial structure at 208-210 Locust Street.

16 comments:

  1. The code department and borough treat condemned properties like an eviction, in that they seem to "give notice" that occupants must leave by a certain date. One would think that condemned means occupants leave immediately. If that's not the case why bother condemning the property. If the landlord loses income by losing tenants, maybe things would get fixed faster.

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    1. I am guessing the codes department feels they are helping the renters out by not making them find other housing in an emergency situation. I can appreciate that compassion but I think in the long run it harms the

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  2. Yeah, that codes department keeps on getting things "all J-effed up."

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  3. Condemned means you have 20 days to "appeal" the code person's arbitrary ruling.

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    1. Thanks Eric. I wonder if the tenants knew that. Unfortunately, they've now been displaced by the fire.

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  4. Is Bigler being billed for all the water used to put the fire out?

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  5. Bigler is nothing but a slum lord time he leaves this town and finds other town but then maybe. Another town would not let him get away with what. we do just like he does anything that he. Wants to and we seem to think it is OK and we just turn. are. backs.and look the other way.

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    1. Indirectly, he does seen to be causing a lot of problems for us lately.

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    2. Bigler is a slum lord as a previous tenant I know. I moved in to an apartment they made me pay for bed bug extermination saying I brought them into the apartment. I'm severely allergic to the bites from all bugs and would know if I had them before hand. They never fixed anything even when I gave them a written list of problems including the bath tub Leaking from the third floor through my second floor and into a shop beneath my apartment. They had space out back but I was not allowed to park there so I received many parking tickets since it was on locust street. Bigger only cares about getting money. They even kept my security deposit and I painted rooms and left it in better shape then when I moved in. not to mention they now no longer had bed bugs.

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    3. He's getting a bad name around town.

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    4. Bad name!! Where are you at!! Its who you know, you know that!!

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  6. It's a freak merry go round in Columbia...
    1. Thank God they finally fired the nut...
    2. Pick and Choose
    3. The slum lords are out of control.
    4. Not all tenants are bad
    5. Come on down to the First Block of Historic 2nd St
    6. Then try the 100 block of Historic South 2nd,,, but look close,,, here you find a mixture, homeowners
    7. Yo don't go no further
    Poof

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  7. My my my,,, where is the supporters for slum lords?
    I'm now out and about.
    Ave J between South 2nd and Bank Avenue is not to be forgoten.
    Doctors orders.....
    Lawyer advise???
    Mmmmm

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