502 Belmont Ave East, a squatter house that had become so filled with filth that Seattle Police refused to enter it to investigate a crime, is scheduled to be torn down next week, according to city officials.
We reported this summer on the process by the City of Seattle to have the property condemned so that the demolition could be ordered. Neighbor sparklingallison, who brought the situation to CHS’s — and the city’s — attention, happily informed us in late July that the legal proceedings had been successful and that the house would be torn down.
Now we’re told that the property’s owner Kyle Clark is in the process of having asbestos found in the home removed to prepare the structure for next week’s demolition. We also notice in the permit list for the property that he’s filed to get some sewer work done.
The house suffered significant damage in a November 2008 blaze. Seattle Fire Department later said that fire appeared to be started by squatters burning candles inside the house. SFD put the cost of damage in the fire at $100,000.
The structure was the subject of complaints as it fell into further disrepair following the fire but it wasn’t until the latest round of activity by neighbors that the city pursued demolition. Though the most recent complaint was filed in January 2009 and was moved to the “law department” that February, according to city records, the city’s decision to have the home demolished came only days after a CHS post about 502 Belmont Ave E in which CHS community members documented years of complaints filed against the property with the DPD for issues with garbage in the yard to leaving the building unsecure.
The house has long been notable on Belmont but it wasn’t always because of biohazard, crime and trash. Commenter subbacultcha provides some perspective from inside the house from back in its quirkier days:
Heh. I lived in that there house for a few years — the Hidden Mangrove it was dubbed. We liked living there an awful lot. We did get an official warning once for having too much “art” in our yard. But it was a fun and happy home. And a lot of neighbors seemed to enjoy our colorfulness. People would always stop by when we were on the porch and tell us that they liked the house and our awesome cats. Before I lived there, I lived down the street and I would always walk by that house in awe. It was awesome to answer an ad on Craigslist and have it turn out to be _that_ house (!)
My housemates and I moved out because we had to make room for more condos. It was very sad and we tried to fight it but we didn’t win. And then the condo market fell flat. And now it’s scary and crawling with weirdos, but in a bad way. So sorry to see it go down like that.
No word from Clark, yet, on what’s next for the property but we’ll continue to reach out to talk with him and will keep our eyes on the paperwork for the land.