Police believe problem homeowner ‘playing’ them
EVERETT - At a small blue house on E. Marine View Drive, a big list of problems persist.
Code enforcement condemned the house at 1101 E. Marine View Dr. last year, but just last week someone was lounging on a couch inside before they closed the drapes.
Neighbors call it a drug house, and city code enforcement calls it one of the five worst properties it’s dealing with.
It appears there is little the Everett Police Department can legally do beyond code enforcement.
Homeowner Andy Armitage found a loophole to stay there, code enforcement supervisor Kevin Fagerstrom said last week.
Homeowners Armitage and Karen Loth were cited last year by code enforcement for garbage and out-of-registration trucks on the property.
Armitage didn’t clean it up, and Loth doesn’t live there. She’s been dragged into the mess from co-owning the house, Fagerstrom said.
Code enforcement ended up cleaning up the property this summer and billed the homeowners $8,359.
The bill went unpaid and last week the Everett City Council approved putting a tax lien on the property.
Neighbors in the Delta Neighborhood know the place.
When asked if he recognized the address, one neighbor replied, “that’s the drug house, right?”
Since May, there’s been one drug incident where a female was reportedly selling drugs to minors, Police Department records show.
Neighbors suspect drugs regularly are being sold at the house.
“It’s really frustrating — especially when we see other people (going to this house that) we see at other drug locations we know of,” Delta Neighborhood crime watch leader Terri Amburgy said last week.
Police believe Armitage is using a loophole to stay in the house.
The 1901 house was condemned for faulty electrical work, but Armitage applied for a construction permit to fix the electrical system. The permit lets people be inside until 10 p.m. as long as they’re working on the house.
“I’m certain we’re being played,” Fagerstrom said.
After 10 p.m., it seems someone has things figured out by putting a tent in the backyard. It’s not against city code to camp in your backyard, but this is a stretch, Fagerstrom said.
Police can’t kick the tenants out because the department doesn’t have a warrant to do so, Fagerstrom said.
He’s spotted people on the property after 10 p.m., though. He said anecdotally, that many people come in and out of the house.
The limits of the law are frustrating, Amburgy said.
The neighborhood has stepped up calling the police calling the house a nuisance, Amburgy said.
A bank foreclosed on the house, but Fagerstrom said the house has bounced from bank to bank.
The house was put on the real estate market late last month.
Compared to other houses in the neighborhood, “they don’t hold a candle” to the issues at 1101 E. Marine View Dr., Fagerstrom said.
Code enforcement has conducted at least four similar abatements in the city this year, Fagerstrom said. The office is on par with last year’s code enforcement activity numbers.
The office handles more than 800 cases a year.
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