Posts tagged ‘City of Lorain’

Tale of two – The cost – Part one




Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
Part Five- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/the-tale-of-two-the-how-supporting-cast/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/a-tale-of-two-the-why-land-of-iz-not-woz/
Part Seven- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/a-tale-of-two-do-nowt-get-nowt-lorain/

If nothing else the previous 7 posts in the series has confirmed there has been an ongoing problem for 12 years ( or more) the houses and their ONGOING problems may have gone through 3 administrations heaven knows how many different councils and council members but with ONE Building Dept and the way of non accountability. The only people cited who follow through seem to be the already law abiding property owners, the rest seem to “play the property / enforcement game – IN MY OPINION- based on the research over the years.

There is a cost to all this diseased, decrepit, dilapidated housing and in 2005 – 3 years before the sub-prime mortgage debacle The National Vacant Properties Campaign with the support of the Environmental Protection Agency came up with a 24 page report – 12 years ago just about the time our city was starting to go belly up…
https://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/true-costs.pdf
the above report is really worth the read and government with Community Development and Building and Planning surely should have accessed the report


If you ask any Lorainite in the year 2017 they will say this photo from the 2005 report is a familiar site , especially in the 44052 44055 where our poster child houses are located

2005

Cities must address the increasing number of vacant properties, not only because of the negative impact they have on the surrounding community, but because of the numerous costs they impose. They strain the resources of local police, fire, building, and health departments, depreciate property values, reduce property tax revenue, attract crime, and degrade the quality of life of remaining residents. In summary, vacant and abandoned properties “act as a significant fiscal drain on already strapped municipalities, requiring disproportionate municipal resources, while providing little or no tax revenue to municipal coffers.”

As the years passed and we continued our downward slide and lack of enforcement there were other reports written.
http://www.cleveland.com/cleveland-heights/index.ssf/2015/08/abandoned_homes_affect_communi.html
http://www.cleveland.com/rocky-river/index.ssf/2015/08/rocky_river_westlake_hide_vaca.html
Then we get to the 2017 White paper on Blight another must read

For a single home, one can attempt to calculate these costs.
Using the following conservative assumptions the foreclosure of a home will cause a loss of value of at least $130,000 as a result of the following:
1. The home if owner-occupied would be worth $200,000, which is just under the national mediansales price of $235,000. The loss of value to the
home itself is 38 percent, the amount expected by buyers and in the midpoint of the range ofestimates. This is a loss of value of $76,000.

2. Assuming 21 houses within 500 feet. This is
a conservative assumption based on houses that are roughly one-fourth of an acre that have100x100 foot square plots. Thus, there are five
houses on both sides of the affected property as well as another 11 across the street. This number could be substantially higher in urban settings
(condominiums or row houses) and also lower for rural settings or areas where there are not uniform plots or housing on both sides of the street. Each
of these houses experiences a 1 percent decline in home value. For the $200,000 home, that is $2,000. That is a loss of value of $42,000.

3. There are another 12 houses beyond 500 feetbut that are still affected. Recall some studies used the one-eighth of a mile (660 feet) while others showed effects all the way out to 1,000 feet and even further in some to half a mile. For this estimate we are assuming an impact of another 300 feet in all directions, which is conservative given other findings. These impacted houses have a 0.5 percent decline in value, or $1,000. That is a
loss of value of an additional $12,000.

For those who find the methodology of studies that find losses of
2 percent in value of neighboring properties closer and 1 percent
of those farther away more compelling, then the total losses
jump to $184,000. In this scenario the property loss suffered by
neighbors is actually greater than that suffered by the foreclosed
home itself!

http://www.communityblightsolutions.com/files/CBS_White_Paper_2017.pdf
And the latest complaint in Lorain is 330 W 9th Street.
This too was a Fannie Mae dump selling in 2010 for $44,000.00 and dumped by Fannie Mae to a Bayvillage resident just 7 months later for $13,500. and there you have it proof once again they system sucks!!!!

The typical foreclosed home imposes costs of more than $170,000. Approximately $85,000 of this total is directly attributable to a property being vacant and the condition in which that vacant house is kept.
 Over half the total cost of a foreclosure’s impact on neighboring properties comes from the fact that the property is abandoned.
 Foreclosures that involve vacant properties lead to increases in violent crime.  The impact of vacancy on crime increases as the property stays vacant for longer periods, likely plateauing at between 12 and 18 months.
 Vacant buildings are major fire hazards; vacant residential buildings account for one of every 14 residential building fires in America.

Yes there is a municipal cost, a cost to property worth for the surrounding houses BUT there is also a cost I will explore in the next post to the taxpayer of Lorain for the system that enables this system- salaries, vehicles, law courts………. coming up in part two of the broken system. We can’t say we weren’t warned of course we also paid in our taxes for the costs of the reports, whitepapers and studies………..

To be continued …………….

June 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

A tale of two- the WHO, the How- Why?????


Original Image Scott Bakalar

Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/

We know these houses had to be enabled to end up in this deplorable condition – so just who enabled 3620- Clifton

The information requested on 3620 Clifton turned out to be very enlightening:

This property , according to then Councilman Edwards( January 2013) had been vacant for five years prior to the properties purchase by Nathaniel Johnson and Joseph Barbee for $200 ED NOTEno that is not a mistake two hundred dollars January 13/2011-

it was noted by Demolition Board member, 5th ward Councilman, and neighborhood resident Eddie Edwards that “Before the sale, the house sat empty for about five years, with its doors and windows open and generally falling apart…” and “The new owners also waited a year before taking action to repair it…”

Before this property ended up in “demolition mode “ a number of inspections were done and on September 4th 2012 a sworn affidavit before the bench of Judge Mark Mihok ( remember him)

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/you-be-the-judge-welcome-to-lorain-judge-mihok-and-george-schneider/

Ralph Cantu of the Lorain Building Dept signed the affidavit stating :

“The aforementioned premises presents conditions from the exterior that have become so dilapidated , decayed, unsafe, in-sanitary


(ED NOTE- ‘It is a disease of overcrowding, insanitary conditions and poor personal hygiene, and affects mostly children of developing countries.’ …”

or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation…. etc etc.

The search warrant was granted and inspections took place : Three departments inspected this property ( inside and out) on (9/4/12) All three , building, health and fire, declared this property a public nuisance at that January 4th meeting and Chief Brown the President of the Board and all members voted unanimously to declare the property 3620 a public nuisance.

In fact Chief Brown stated on that January 4th meeting over 4 years ago

“Unfortunately , there are some really good neighbors in that neighborhood and they have asked for help in this endeavor. They have lived with this for quite a bit of time . These properties( 3618, 3620, 3628) are deplorable…..

Poor Councilman Edwards would soon have to swallow more than his words as he stated to the Demolition Board of Appeals
” Thank you for your diligence . This has been a problem and a nuisance out there for the last few years . I am glad to see you taking action ….. It has been a real nuisance”

Well the nuisance continued as will this tracking the “talk talk happy talk”

Remember this property had tied up Building, Health Fire Depts. with inspections, court hearings, back taxes , manpower for at least 7 years before this Demolition Board finding 1.4.13 – I wonder if anyone accounts for those costs? And YET May 2017 – it STILL STANDS “WHY???????

To be continued……….

May 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm 2 comments

A tale of two- continued Lorain’s cast offs


Original artwork Scott Bakalar

Part ONE – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/

The tale of woe that has become Lorain’s deplorable housing , especially in the 44052 and 55 didn’t get where we are today by accident. So many years citizens, council people , newspapers and yes ‘Bloggers” pointed out there were situations needing to be followed through.

Multi- property owners going in 4 years from 34 properties to over 300 and the majority in poor condition, proofs those same people were trading properties back and forth to dump them ( so as not to be the registered owner when the Lorain Building Dept. came to call – the process had to start all over again. ). Then the “bank” dumps , unreachable predatory property LLC -majority being out of town- and so many reasons compounded to make the system broken BUT we also have ourselves to blame!

But first let me introduce you to Lorain 365 – Lisa Miller https://lorain365.com/ who wrote about one of the properties back in 2013 – in fact this property is the one we will be focusing upon — Let us start at the beginning: I was introduced to 3620 Clifton by Lisa on a winter’s day in January…..


Once upon a time in the Lorain

3620 Clifton Avenue – Part One
3620 Clifton Avenue – Part One
As Seen In Lorain: 3620 Clifton Avenue and the second chance
Posted on January 13, 2013 by Lisa

“Even though it was noted by Demolition Board member, 5th ward Councilman, and neighborhood resident Eddie Edwards that “Before the sale, the house sat empty for about five years, with its doors and windows open and generally falling apart…” and “The new owners also waited a year before taking action to repair it…” AND the Board went out to see this house for themselves AND took the Fire Chief with them AND talked to the unhappy neighbors – the owners have $17,000 and a plan and that was enough for the Board to grant them a second chance”

ED Note you will see

in the Lorain 365 post this was the original state of the home and was sold to the owners for 200.00 and it just gets better from there – this and the following post is a MUST READ, even if you just look at the photos included.

And then Part Two – a week after the first post as Lisa revisited the property that needed a roof and a few other things to stop it from being demolished .
3620 Clifton Avenue – Part Two

ED NOTE: However the one thing that always worried me ‘WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND ALLOWED THIS CARBUNCLE OF A TWO STORY ADDITION ON THIS LITTLE SLAB HOUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! I am not an engineer or architect but to put this “weighty” two story addition on a one story slab home, “a cabuncle on the bum of pre blight” was not a well thought out “plan” – even I know this was so wrong and not just from an atheistic viewpoint.


3620 Clifton Avenue – Part Two

3620 Clifton Avenue – Part Two
As Seen In Lorain: 3620 Clifton Avenue and the second second chance
Posted on January 19, 2013 by Lisa

As Lisa questioned at the time 4 years ago :

I am amazed that this house, which has been inspected and re-inspected by TPTB (and then some), was deemed worthy of a second chance. Sitting exposed to the elements for at least five years, sold for $200 to two guys who let it sit untouched for two more years (sale date January 2011) – it meant nothing to anybody until the city came knocking with the wrecking ball

To be continued………..

Photos Lisa Miller – Lorain 365

May 13, 2017 at 1:36 pm 3 comments

A tale of two “city” houses – downing of quality

Durand Map 1834

Many, years ago in a place called Lorain the settlers, pioneers of their day, in those early 1800’s built a foundation for this city of hard work, diligence and pride.

Families followed to work in the ship yards and steel industry. How wonderful for the immigrants to this country , state and city to have a living wage and able to “own” a home , dreams coming true. Neighborhoods grew , log houses became wood sided houses with porches and designed not for shelter only but for home and hearth, curtains hung , window shades drawn to be even with the next window, grass planted , sidewalks made an appearance , and bricked roads replaced wooden planks. The homes loved and admired.

Captain Wilford Home -426 Washington ( take a drive by today )

Ladies proud of their part in the growth of the community , starched white blouses , the very ladies who kept the those homes shining with pride, the daughters of the founding fathers .
2nd row no 7 – Mrs. Fannie Wilford – wife of Captain Wilford – Gillmore Civil War letters

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/

There has been a plethora of history of those same homes on this blog and others . However, as you drive around these same streets today , you will notice missing windows instead of lace curtains or even window shades, you will see homes not kept with pride but hanging on to their last gasping breaths of “being”.

Did people and values change , that is up for debate, did the plethora of social service agencies located in a cluster in this area cause problems , again up for debate, administrations , city councils that came and went , did we suffer from party politics or lack of forward thinking and the consequences of one’s administrative actions?

One thing is not debatable is that in the 44052- and the old neighborhoods in what is called South Lorain something happened or ,in my opinion, didn’t and hasn’t happened – property accountability. So where does that leave us , those who are now stranded by economics and age who are still trying for a quality of life, homes built with love for “home” now home to heroin dealers and fences not surrounding gardens but “fencing the stolen goods”.

In this series I am going to look at what is, in my opinion, an issue that is one of the major concerns as to how we got this way. The tale of two homes – their paper trail – and conclusions………

As one official stated at a meeting ( paraphrasing) – There are people in the west side of Lorain complaining their neighbor’s fence is leaning on their property but in ( what is called old Lorain neighborhoods) we have people complaining the next door house is falling onto their property…

To be continued

May 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm 3 comments

What is their story and the story tellers- Lorain

I have lived in this old neighborhood of Lorain since we purchased our “starter home”- it will hopefully be the home where we “finish up”.
I know a few facts about the people who lived here through the 1/2 century before we became its caretaker. I certainly hope that someone will enjoy this home after we are gone BUT I don’t hold out much hope the way things go in Lorain.

too many examples to show…. this is the latest poster child 3620 Clinton and YES! it too has a story.

Local bloggers, council people such as Dennis Flores,
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=dennis%20flores%20city%20of%20lorain%202nd%20ward%20councilman
have been trying to fight the blight of non enforcement of building codes for years. They have tried the name it and shame it until there were just too many to name. The outing of mega landlords with 300 such properties and those that followed him in his “business” plan. I went to housing court and another story. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

However recently Lisa Miller of Lorain 365 Blog – (a blog https://lorain365.com/ that photographs the good and sometimes quirky in Lorain every day) posted a picture of a little building on Colorado Ave. Lisa , had her curiosity tweaked by the name on the top of the little building . “Giuseppino”.

I remember another “version” of that building from when I first came here. The building was right next to the Royal Canadian Legion ( no longer there) It was getting a little jaded even then but still someone still cared . This is how (with the help of picmonkey https://www.picmonkey.com/ ) I remembered this little building – original photo Lisa Miller.

The building changed hands through the years and at one point looked like a facsimile of what I remembered – this photo from the Lorain County Auditors site
and now of course Lisa’s photo of this week – SIGH

Lisa followed through researching the story behind the name on the building

http://wp.me/p1Rd8f-4Pt

A tornado memory – revisiting the Giuseppino 1924 building

This name and date stone turns out to be a memorial
to a 9-year-old boy who was killed in the 1924 tornado.

A family member reached out:
“That building was built by my Grandfather, Sam Garbo.
It was constructed with salvaged bricks after the tornado.
That stone, in fact, does say Giuseppino and is the child you reference.
His parents were Sam and Josephine Garbo, My Grandparents.
-Susan Garbo”

My genealogy search had ended with one Lorain connection,
a deceased 9-year-old child named Giuseppino Garbo. No relatives were listed.

Update 4/29/17:
Reader and contributor Rick Kurish picked up the search:
“You are on the right track in the research of this building. The nine-year-old child, Giuseppino Garbo, who is buried in Calvary Cemetery, is associated with the building. Giuseppino (English version Joseph) Garbo lived at 311 Colorado Avenue and was killed in the Lorain Tornado of June 28, 1924. He was buried in the children’s section of Cavalry Cemetery on July 1, 1924. While the grave marker lists the Italian version of his name, the cemetery records list him as Joseph Garbo. The marker also indicates that he was killed in the tornado. He is also listed in the Official Souvenir and Memorial Book of the Lorain Tornado, under the heading “Killed in Lorain Tornado”, as Joseph Garbo, 9, 311 Colorado Avenue.”

Much thanks to Rick and Susan for helping to fill in the blanks of Giuseppino’s story.

April 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm 1 comment

Memory Lane – The Ladies who lunched and accomplished


I received a phone call yesterday from Barbara MacGregor and memories of good times in Lorain surfaced. I wrote about some of them in this post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/ladies-of-lorain/

I was in my very early twenties when I first arrived, a Mrs. Osmundson of the “Lorain Chapter of the Welcome Wagon” knocked on our apartment door and there followed the introduction to the Ladies of Lorain.

These ladies , some of whom have passed away , then introduced me to the “volunteer aspect” that was and is Lorain. The ladies that saved the Palace Theatre, built Lorain Community Hospital, literally ran the entertainment for Lorain International , planned the ” Hospital Follies” and fundraisers, celebrated the “anniversaries” and gently bullied administrations, newspapers and public servants to join in and refused to take No for an answer . They organized their projects and committees with a battle plan and strategy that would have made any General proud.

Ruth Calta, Jean Schaeffer, Marylou Connone, Lori Hoke, Barbara MacGregor, Corky Bruck, Charlotte Zakowski, Jane Baran, Jane Norton, Lou Kepler, Alice Weston, Phyllis Pfaff, Sally Bobel , Lilly Yuzon, Sally DeLuca , Mirium Schneider , Jean Anne King , Lee Mattei, Darlene Brown , Mrs. Robert Bostwick, Mrs. Dave Herzer , Carol Kramer, Frances Cellozzi, Marie Bonaminio,

and so many others whose names have faded with my memory . Some of these ladies are still volunteering and making a difference in Lorain everyday.

Barb had called to tell me of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Palace Theatre and of burning the mortgage
http://lorainpalace.org/theater/

“December 10, 1977 was a landmark date. On the stage of the theater that night following a Christmas musical program, the mortgage was burned ceremoniously, thanks to the generosity of many groups and individuals.”

Oh those were the days before the mortgage could be burned though fundraising took place at 319 Broadway ( the annex)

” Forty civic groups participated in this week long street fair, Stores soon to be torn down were converted as if by magic into an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a “Second-Hand Rose” shop, a casino, a book and plant store, an open air barbecue, international shops, etc. The Saturday night “Great Gatsby Party” at the Palace climaxed the week’s activities.

Civic Center Madness – Oh and it was, the ladies served lunches , painted poppies on pianos, sold artifacts-


I still have a little chair -was left after one auction in a terrible state – it was headed for the dumpster when Ruth Calta decided I should buy it for a dollar – and you didn’t say no! – rehabbed and upholstered is still with us – a memory of can do!

I was just a young newly married transplant when Jean Schaeffer decided I needed to be introduced.

There was so much joy- energy – a pushing ahead through problems- these were the “can do ladies” and they did and they pulled each volunteer along with them in their net of enthusiasm. These ladies who saved a theatre and built a hospital. The Great Gatsby Party – what great fun – The Palace Players and Henry 8th night- not to be forgotten-

Cover Arcade MJ

As Barb and I talked, I remembered a time of energy and of loss of those ladies no longer with us- 40 years of life tends to do that. Still the Palace is there a testament to perseverance and pride- still needed in this old town.

April 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm 3 comments

Lorain Dudes- Maintenance-The Watch- The Walk -The Site

February– who knew there would be a window of weather where those who volunteer for the areas known as “Settlers’ Watch”,

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller


Admiral King Tribute Site
AK 2 without tower
PHOTO Lisa Miller
Photo - Lisa Miller

Photo – Lisa Miller

Eric Barnes Heroes Walk

could get out in the sunshine and do some maintenance.

This is a very large area- Three completely different “honorings” of Lorain’s heroes – military, pioneers and her history. It takes a great deal of work to maintain and if I am honest more than I thought it would take.

It is something the powers that be should remember when the come up with grandiose ideas of – this and that locally- all well and good to have the grand openings etc BUT maintenance is the key to all things – from streetscapes, potted palms, to housing and buildings.

If you haven’t walked the walk ( in more ways than one) you will see over the past few years there have been, so many rose beds, perennial flowers, shrubs, trees, and secret gardens added
allyssas-rose
May and June literally burst forth with fragrance and color. However, it takes a huge amount of love and effort to keep this area in the “oldest neighborhood” ticking over. shed collage
The additions , the repurposed the plants and trees donated
beckers

ALL take maintenance, talk and more talk and meeting just doesn’t cut it. The little lighthouse shed lost some shingles over the winds in January. The flags put out to honor were looking forlorn . Seeing a break in the weather the littlest volunteers ( who take this job very seriously) and old ( er) granddads took on a task .
2ladres

chanflagresThe morning’s work went well , although I did mention to Gavin he didn’t have to say the pledge of allegiance for every flag he took out and replaced. (PHOTOS Lisa Miller)

Braedyn took his “military policing” of trash pick just as seriously
braelit
And after all was done a sit down to reflect the job ahead this spring and summer-

whose truck is that anyway????

btruck
Meanwhile Gavin decided to check the work of the “big boys” – seems it passed muster.

gavroofPHOTO- Lisa Miller
At the end of a couple of hours the policing of the areas, the flags changed out and a seagull back on its perch.

seagullres

There is a great deal to do everyday when the weather gets warm- Will you consider spending a day “honoring” – weeding , raking ? CVSI is always looking to add to our volunteers to walk the walk not just talk the talk………

Call 440-246-6046 or Email cvsilor@yahoo.com http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

To be continued……….

February 26, 2017 at 4:05 pm 1 comment

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