Land Use

Sometimes you win; sometimes the game is delayed by rain

Despite a city citation, no plans have been filed to finish work on the house moved to Dumaine Street. photo: Karen Gadbois

Checking back in on a couple of stories we’ve been monitoring, it seems that, while some things change, some stay the same.

Bienville Street, before: a parking pad for four cars

The story about the front yard at 4136 Bienville that – without benefit of city permits –  was paved over to make a four-car parking pad brought in a lot of reader comments, a letter from the City Hall, and, it seems, a jackhammer. The pad, reduced to space for a single car, now looks pleasingly more like the kind of driveway permitted in the area, except, perhaps for that concrete block in the middle of it. A “Jersey barrier” in industry lingo, it effectively requires a car to be parked on city land. (A normal driveway is permitted to pass over city property, but not to encumber it like that.)

Bienville today: The pad becomes a driveway.

City officials did not respond to a request asking if the plan had been approved.

Problems with the roofless, Tyvek-wrapped house that was relocated to 1601 Dumaine Street seem not to have been brought to resolution, happy or otherwise.

Back in June we reported on the sad state of affairs for this home, orphaned like others that once stood within the footprint of the massive hospital complex.

At that time the house was being cited for demolition by neglect. Providence Community Housing, the non-profit which has taken custody of the orphaned home, said they didn’t have the resources to renovate and wanted to demolish it instead. They applied for permission to do just that.

Just before our story about the demolition request was posted, Providence says they lined up a community partner to help save the house, and on July 13, Terri North, the president of Providence Community Housing, appeared before the Historic District Landmarks Commission to withdraw the demolition application Providence had tendered at the previous meeting. She said they had a solution, or thought they did – provided the house was still salvageable after 16 roofless months.

Not so fast said the commissioners. They wanted some reassurance that the new partnership would, in fact, get a roof up on the house. They also wanted to be sure that someone – anyone? – was going to come out and clean up the debris.

Several commissioners expressed concern for both the property and the surrounding community, citing safety factors.

After much discussion and a citation for demolition by neglect, Providence was given 30 days to obtain a permit and begin work.

The clock is ticking. Friday will be 21 days since the commission  ruled. To date, no application has been filed for review.

Officials from Providence Community Housing said they had cleaned the site but did not have details on any additional plans for the property.

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  • Jenel

    Love the followup. Perhaps the Oak tree will now live to see more years.

  • Mark

    Perhaps the Oak tree will now live to see more years.

    I have another opinion…