86 Second St. New Haven, Connecticut
Some New Haven anti-blight ordinance* definitions and quotes relevant to this building, with examples of “blighted” and “dilapidated” on this particular building, known as 86 Second St. [aka 369-371 Greenwich Ave.] and owned by Kirsten Hopes-McFadden of North Haven:
• “‘Blighted’ shall mean deteriorating, in a state of ill repair, filthy or decaying….”
• “’Dilapidated’ shall mean a building or structure or part thereof that would not receive a certificate of occupancy if it were applied for…"
• Examples of both at 86 Second Street include
• Rotted cornice molding at front-left and rear-left corners of roof, holes in said cornice covered with scraps of metal but allowing entrance of birds and squirrels;
• Rotted molding of overhang, between exterior 1st floor and 2nd floor. Over front exterior entrance to 2nd floor, ends of said molding merely were filled with expanding foam, still allowing entrance of birds, squirrels, insects and water—but not repaired;
• rotted, split eave boards under 2nd floor front windows (of said overhang between 1st and 2nd floor)
• Aforementioned split eave boards contain a massive wasp nest, such that tenants on 2nd floor cannot open front windows in summer;
• Rotted, split eave of this same overhang “repaired” with expanding foam: where it terminates on right side/Greenwich Ave. side of building
• Rotted top-trim [lintel boards] over BOTH small windows on left, 1st floor side of building
• new plywood eave that was added to left side of building [after original collapsed, along with much of the roof, into neighbor’s driveway] was NOT completed at front corner: it does not meet properly with the eave return
• this entire new eave—illegally installed by unlicensed contractor—was attached with drywall screws rather than exterior-grade fasteners—and therefore is likely to collapse again soon; it also has not been painted or covered with siding to protect this new eave from weather damage;
• this same new plywood eave and facia on left side of building already is water-stained at joints due to water infiltration: likely caused both by lack of gutter maintenance as well as incompetently installed new roof
• gutters not maintained: overflow when raining, because they never have been cleaned. As noted above, this also is damaging eave and facia
• Rotted eave returns on the front of building were “repaired” in slap-dash manner by unlicensed—i.e. illegal—contractor ; they were not “continued” properly where they meet the side eaves; and both “returns” are about to collapse due to contractor’s incompetence: they are barely secured to the building! This is an IMMEDIATE hazard to pedestrians and tenants
• “building contains unauthorized storage or accumulation of junk, trash, rubbish, litter or refuse”: behind and in front of the garages
• The rotted door at top of rear, exterior stairway is an INterior-grade lauan door—not rated for exterior use. This creates an immediate security problem for tenants—and is a fire hazard.
• many exterior clapboards are split, shedding paint [lead paint?] everywhere and allowing water infiltration; the most-heavily damaged clapboards are on left side of building; this is causing structural damage/rot to building’s sill and framing and is adding to persistent mold problem inside apartments; inspector needs to examine sill from inside basement. ***HOUSING COURT and LCI should NOT resolve tenant’s mold and dampness complaint [see below] until this is resolved. *** Otherwise mold remediation in apartment only will be very temporary.
• mold and algae are on window sills at building’s left side—due to malfunctioning gutters and general lack of maintenance
• birds are nesting inside furnace air-intake vents on left side of building, due to lack of guards here to keep out birds/rodents; this is a carbon monoxide hazard!
• Plywood siding is rotted under concrete roof edge at REAR of brick/cinderblock addition (between garage and wood frame part of building): i.e. along rear, exterior wood stairway
• huge pile of dry leaves under rear, exterior wood stairway—creating immediate fire hazard
• rotted trim where wood of building abuts concrete sidewalk, at the angled, corner doorway of 1st floor unit numbered “371” [Greenwich]
• “It is a fire hazard as determined by the fire marshal, or as documented in fire department reports.” About 10 days ago members of the New Haven Fire Dept. spent considerable time photographing the exterior of this building. I suspect they have a report which LCI can access.
Owner Kirsten Hopes-McFadden (and “agent”/spouse Tillman “Tim” McFadden) of North Haven were ordered by LCI to fix numerous problems with 2nd floor apartment of 86 Second ST. back in Oct, 2013; they were re-ordered in Feb, 2014—and finally had to be taken to Housing Court this month by the tenant to commence repairs.
***WHY DID LCI allow the problem to drag out so long that the tenant had no recourse but to bypass LCI—and go to Housing Court for repairs to commence??***
“blighted lots and buildings adversely affect the city's economic well-being, and are inimical to the health, safety and welfare of the city's residents…It is found and declared that by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain structures and properties have the further effect of creating blighted conditions and initiating slums, and that if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditures of large amounts of public funds [i.e. taxpayers money!] to correct and eliminate the same.” (from Anti-blight and property maintenance ordinance; . Declaration of Policy*)
It is part of LCI’s responsibilities to ENFORCE the Anti-blight ordinance. It is my hope that neighbors will not need to turn to the courts—as the tenant did—in order to get LCI to carry out its responsibilities as they relate to 86 Second Street.
ADDITIONALLY, due to owner’s persistent history of hiring incompetent, unlicensed, illegal contractors to perform hazardous, makeshift repairs, LCI needs to INSIST that above-mentioned problems be repaired by a state-licensed, insured contractor—as is required by CT state law. And LCI should insist on PROOF of said licensure and insurance by the contractor. It is ILLEGAL in the state of CT for contractors to be working without licensure: http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?q=274440
Note that Building officials are prohibited from issuing building permits unless they receive a copy of the contractor’s valid Certificate of Registration http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=4308&q=507962
(or Google “Connecticut department of consumer protection”)
* New Haven, Connecticut, Code of Ordinances >> TITLE III - CODE OF GENERAL ORDINANCES >> Chapter 9 - BUILDINGS AND PROPERTY >> ARTICLE II. BUILDING DIVISION OF THE LIVABLE CITY INITIATIVE, Sec. 9-51 Anti-blight and property maintenance ordinance. http://library.municode.com/HTML/14668/level3/TITIIICOGEOR_CH9BUPR_ARTIIBUDILIIN.html#TITIIICOGEOR_CH9BUPR_ARTIIBUDILIIN_S9-51ANIGPRMAOR
Duties of LCI [The Livable City Initiative] are more fully described here: http://library.municode.com/HTML/14668/level3/TITIIICOGEOR_CH21PLDE_ARTIVLIIN.html#TOPTITLE
(or Google “New Haven Connecticut Code of Ordinances”)
See beginning of this post; would this building receive a certificate of occupancy if it were applied for??...
faxed copy to Bld dept: Fax (203) 946-8049; LCI: fax (203) 946-4899
emailed copy to: Erik Johnson, LCI Executive Director, email@example.com
cc’d: Rafael Ramos, Deputy Director of Housing Code Enforcement, RRamos@newhavenct.net
Edward Rodriguez, LCI Housing Code Inspector, Erodrigu@newhavenct.net
Zephaniah Ben-Elohim, LCI Housing Code Inspector, Zbelohi@newhavenct.net
Christopher Soto, LCI Neighborhood Specialist - Hill North & Hill South, CSoto@newhavenct.net