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Garage is eyesore no more

Posted by: Jane Friedmann under Complaint sagas, Neighborhood nuisances, Property problems, Whistleblower Updated: December 4, 2012 - 4:26 PM

Whistleblower recently wrote about a garage in north Minneapolis that has been a thorn in the side of neighbors for years. Over time the structure went from barely passable to almost pass-throughable - thanks to a hole in the side.

Neighbors tried to talk with those living at 2901 Dupont Av. N. about the problem and made repeated calls to the city. The city, for its part, sent out inspectors and issued citations and fines. Most citations went unaddressed and fines went unpaid, though the homeowner did correct some violations by cutting tall grass and picking up trash.

But the garage was never repaired, even after a car smashed into it a couple years ago and a thief earlier this year used a truck to yank a motorcycle through a hole in a side wall, sending studs and siding flying. Short of imminent hazards, the city said it can't repair or tear down privately-owned structures without owners' permission.

Officials recently obtained permission to tear down the parts of the garage that hadn't yet succumbed to gravity or vandalism, and by 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, a contractor had wiped all record of the structure off the face of the block. It's unclear whether hazmat suits were required for removal of the knee-high debris festering inside.

"We’re very excited," neighbor Mary Rice said about the end results. "The first thing I did was I went across the street and told Pastor Dale [at St. Olaf Lutheran Church] and he thought that was great. ... Then I just sent a little blurb to [council member] Diane Hofstede saying 'Garage is down, hallelujah.'"

Mary quickly transitioned from elation to reality. "Here’s the thing though," she said. "You see it took four years. Every time we do something around here it takes three and four years. But we persist. And we finally get it done, but it takes so long. This time I know it was calling the mayor and calling you. That’s what did it. Because it wouldn’t have happened otherwise."
Garage BEFORE, with neighbor Mary Rice

Garage BEFORE, with neighbor Mary Rice

 

Garage AFTER

Garage AFTER

 

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