I went for a walk through Carroll Park today, and as I usually do, I ended up walking along the rail tracks behind the mansion. It’s an interesting view of the park and the surrounding neighborhoods. You can see 611-661 S Monroe from the rail tracks, too.
Some would have you believe that nobody uses Carroll Park, and it needs “saving”. As someone who lives a block away, I can assure you — this is anything but true. Most days the park is filled with people using the ball fields, the soccer fields, and the basketball courts. The skatepark and playground are used often, too. The adjacent charter school, Southwest Baltimore Charter School, uses the playground for the kids at recess — which is a great idea. Carroll Park is also home to a large music festival in September, bringing hundreds of people to the neighborhood. My neighbors use it, too. It’s a great place to walk, and I usually see moms and seniors as I’m walking through. It’s also home to the Mt. Clare Museum — a beautiful piece of Baltimore’s history. It’s certainly not a dying park, or in need of any “saving”. It’s a treasure to my neighborhood, and is well-used by people across the city.
However — with all that said, it’s also being used by trash dumpers, and this certainly is something that needs to be addressed. The Baltimore Brew did an article and a follow-up on a recent dump site that was found closer to the golf course (yes, Pigtown has a golf course!) Today on my walk, I came across this dump site:
My guess this was a rehabber who didn’t want to pay to dispose of waste properly, or pay to get a Dumpster (or permit for a Dumpster. Much easier to dump it somewhere and make it someone else’s problem. Walk a few yards further, and under the Monroe Street bridge, you’ll find yet more garbage that someone foisted off on our community:
As you can see, this area has become a haven for illegal dumping — something I believe the City will work to correct, particularly if residents keep on top of it and make it a priority. One suggestion would be to cut off access from the side street that leads into the rail yard — possibly by a fence that has a gate just wide enough for pedestrian or bike traffic.
People who engage in illegal dumping should know that our neighborhood knows you’re doing this, and we’re staying on top of this — so think twice before dumping your garbage in Carroll Park, or any city park. If you can’t bear the cost of doing business the legal way, please take your business (and your garbage) elsewhere.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently issued a report on investor activity in Atlanta. Not surprisingly, the study found that investors were buying up property in neighborhoods where poverty and vacancy rates were high, and median home values were low.
A group of Montgomery County legislators have introduced a bill that has the slumlord lobby up in arms — the bill proposes Maryland property owners who own four or more rental units should be subject to rent control. It also mandates that landlords cannot force tenants to make them the beneficiary of renters’ insurance policies. These two things are definitely worth supporting. Unfortunately, the bill is a bit of a mishmash, with other landlord-tenant issues thrown in — not sure where it will end up.
Some New York City landlords have found a way to make money off the homeless, by operating for-profit SROs/rooming houses — and needless to say, the living conditions are less than acceptable.
I’ve always been fascinated with Centralia, PA — a mostly-abandoned town situated on top of a coal fire that’s been burning for decades. WGAL has a “then and now” slideshow that’s worth a look.
How to be successful in Maryland politics: Give your campaign contributors lucrative development contracts. Just don’t get caught…
CBS Baltimore reports that a recent house fire, in which one woman was found dead in the basement, was more than just a simple house fire.
So now the Mayor wants you to pay for trash pickup? I thought property taxes paid for that, but…perhaps I was wrong. Oh, and the City is dicking around with the Fire Department again. It’s all about solving the budget crisis, I guess so we’ll have more money to give to local developers.
Speaking of the budget, how would you balance our completely out of whack budget? There’s a website for that.
Property Address: 1326 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21223
Property Owner: Darmay Tolliver, same address (home is not listed as owner-occupied).
City Council District and Contact: District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch
State Senator: Verna Jones Rodwell
Thanks to Reader SS for sending the pics and information — the woman who owns this home apparently owns several in the neighborhood, catering to clients of BBH, the controversial drug treatment facility that’s been a problem to the neighbors of Pigtown, Hollins Market, and Union Square for years. Reader SS accurately describes 1326 Hollins Street as “The House of Trash”.
Property Address: 1800 Worcester Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Property Owner: Carlyn J. Johnson, 1400 Patapsco Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
This business and its proprietor was the subject of a 2005 City Paper article, after police raided the illegal gambling club and seized cash, guns, and other property — including the club’s membership roster. Unfortunately, it’s been a blighted mess ever since — given its location at the end of an industrial street next to the CSX tracks, it’s become a haven for trash dumping and poorly-done gang tags.
Thanks to Reader M for the submission!
Property Address: 1200 Cooskie Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 – Locust Point
Property Owner: Locust Point Rocket, LLC, 117 W. Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701
Registered Agent for Locust Point Rocket, LLC: Edward D. Scott, same address.
City Council District and Contact: District 10, Ed Reisinger
The Adkins-Burns construction sign on the side of the building is familiar though. They seem to have a habit of tearing apart buildings in the area and then not finishing the job or taking FOREVER.
This property has been sitting like this since the snow. At some point I think someone complained about the scaffolding and they were forced to post a permit for it. The sidewalk is basically useless from all of their trash. It is littered with broken glass and weeds forcing people to have to walk their dogs in the street to go around it. The last time I saw someone do any work on this property (I walk by it every day) was probably April or May. It is a complete eyesore on an otherwise good stretch of blocks right off Hull Street.
I should point out that my other submission of a property on hull street was being worked on by the same [people].
Update: There is one active permit, which expires in October of this year — yet no work has been done on the property.
Update 3/25/2013: This home is now in the receivership process. Baltimore Housing filed on 3/13, and the court date is in May. Hopefully this property will be sold to a responsible property owner who will take care of it. Many thanks to Reader Rusty for catching this one!
Property Address: 2037 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD 21231
Property Owner: Melvin T. Russell, 3405 Periwinkle Way, Edgewood, MD 21040
City Council District and Contact: District 13, Warren Branch
This home is owned by Melvin Russell, commanding officer of the Baltimore City Police, Eastern District Station. Perhaps that explains why Major Russell has never been hauled into housing court for the numerous violations involving this property. Please note the trash, and open/missing windows.
Property Address: 101 N. East Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224
Property Owner: Rudy & Bibiana Encomienda, 200 W Lorraine Ave, Baltimore, MD 21211
City Council District and Contact: District 1, James Kraft
The Comiendas have housing code cases dating back to 1992, including lead paint. The house has been vacant for three years, but they have never been brought into housing court for this property. Perhaps Councilman Kraft can make sure they have to explain why this home has been allowed to deteriorate and become a public eyesore.