Community Post

Something to Complain About

It’s certainly not a problem unique to the Central District and one to which we can all relate. What can you do about piles of garbage, junk cars, etc. in your neighbor’s yard or driveway? The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development is the agency whose jurisdiction covers this type of code violation. As with abandoned vehicles on city property, the DPD will respond in a timely manner to complaints and concerns. The DPD website contains a list of common code violations as well as an online complaint form.

0 thoughts on “Something to Complain About

  1. …you’re not talking about me, fellow 27th Ave resident ;)

    Just a bit of lumber that’s a work in progress :)

    (I kid of course… I’ll probably never get around to finishing it! :p)

  2. I use the online complaint form for overgrown yards and planting strips, the city responds immediately. I have not found the time to call on the idiots who park across the sidewalk, redirecting foot traffic and wheelchairs into the street, but it is so very inconsiderate, does anyone know who to call?

  3. Call the non-emergency police number: (206) 625-5011

    There’s a horrible phone tree to go through, so budget a good 5-10 minutes for your call

  4. Please try talking with your neighbors first. They are, after all, your neighbors.

  5. i think reporting someone to the city rather than simply speaking with them or leaving a note is an incredibly awful thing to do. it’s also a huge waste of taxpayers’ money.

  6. I’ve got some nice neighbors whom you should just skip right over and talk to. I’m sure they would be very accommodating to your opinion that their yard is a blight on the neighborhood and would be very welcoming of the suggestion to clean it up. Of course, just make sure the wife isn’t holding the baseball bat I’ve seen her chase her husband with. Then why don’t you invite them over for a nice cup of tea!

  7. I’m sorry guys, we can’t all afford a landscaper in this neighborhood. If I want to hang on to some stuff that you may think is useless or ugly, it’s really not any of your business. This has traditionally been a funky neighborhood, it is not Laurelhurst. My neighbor, a very nice senior lady on a fixed income, had someone complain about the junk in her yard, and the city came and right off the bat before she even had a chance to do something about it, they fined her $500. Then she had to hire a dumpster and someone to load it as she can barely walk. It ended up costing her tons of money, and made her miserable and worried too. I suggest you look within yourself for a sense of perspective before you jump on your high horse, because we have real problems in this neighborhood, and the Police and the City really need to focus their resources on these problems, and not waste their time chasing every flapping tarp in the city.

  8. Agreed! My neighbor’s house is in a shambles, overgrown, and definitely has excess stuff. I look at it and shake my head, but I pretty much leave it at that. Now if the stuff is spilling into your yard or there are leaky vats with a skull and crossbones, that’s a different story…

  9. that’s what I’m doing this weekend. I know her well enough, and I know she’s been sick, and hasn’t even been living at the house, and can’t afford the landscapers that came by a couple of times last year.
    when her elderly parents lived there, we tried mowing their parking strip when the husband was in the hospital. the wife yelled at us. but after they died and their daughter moved in, it was a different story.
    for me, it’s a neighborhood security issue. i’ve seen groups of mischievous teen boys eyeing this abandoned house.
    our house is a little shaggy and junky too, but at least it looks lived in. again — to me, it’s a security issue.

  10. Amen, Nataly. Not everyone has the means to spend their lives worrying about what their neighbor thinks of their house or lawn. Find those people in Madison Park (no offense to Madison Park, but they have the means!)

  11. This issue has been a constant one here on 20th Avenue…the online form is easy to use and the response time has really picked up. Many, many times the vehicle has been stolen, so help out a possible theft victim and report a vehicle you don’t recognize that’s been parked on the street for more than 3 days!

  12. Re: abandoned vehicles. I watched someone park a disabled truck across from my house (that is, they shoved it in to place with another car). After four weeks I filed the online complaint and lickety-split, the owner was contacted and vehicle removed.

    Re: nasty yards. Someone on my block hasn’t cut their grass in many years. It’s on par with that lot at 23rd and Union. Cinder blocks and broken glass can be spied through the weeds. If not for the TV flicker through closed blinds I wouldn’t know the house is occupied.

    Since their bushes are starting to obstruct our shared mailbox, I think I’ll probably trim them back myself. Asking a shut-in to take action is utterly futile.

  13. If a yard is overgrown and full of junk, don’t forget it impacts the value of your property, too. If the person living there legitimately can’t take care of it (ill, elderly), then the neighborly thing to do is offer to help clean it up a bit. If they like plastic flowers and tacky yard decorations, there’s not much you can do. BUT – overgrown yards, junk, garbage, abandoned cars, etc. degrade the entire neighborhood. If the people living there aren’t willing to take care of it, you have every right to call the city and force it to happen. No one has the right to turn an entire block into their personal trash dump. It’s not about affording a landscaper. It’s about respect for those that live around you.

  14. It either Lauralhurst or a crime containment zone. Poor does not mean living in a stinking pig sty and forcing your neighbors to live with it. Yes, call it in to the city and forget the passive agressive uptight Seattleite written notes. If you do not phone it in and demand a response we will continue to be treated like a “funky neighborhood” where crime is contained, away from other parts of the city.

  15. Multiple businesses are seemingly run out of a house on our street (23rd). There are landscaping trucks and vans (the yard is immaculate) and vehicles are often repaired near the garage, on the street or in the driveway. Orange cones are placed on the street to “reserve” parking for their vehicles or trucks. Is that legal?

  16. No – On-street parking is free for grabs for anyone. You can call the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011 and they’ll send out a parking enforcement officer to check it out.