City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/2/07

February 2, 2007
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Abatement Achievement: The City’s nuisance abatement program has scored another success in the Tillicum neighborhood.  Many months ago a fire at 14805 Portland Avenue SW caused extensive structural damage to the house located there.  The building had been boarded up, but over time it had become insect- infested and trespassers had begun entering the building. The building was posted with a notice and order to abate this dangerous building, but the owner had not taken action.  Renewed enforcement efforts were taken by the City’s Abatement Team, a unified work group consisting of representatives from the police, building, code enforcement, fire and legal departments.  The Team has pending enforcement actions filed again approximately two dozen commercial and residential properties throughout the City.  The Team’s fundamental mission is to preserve the public safety and health in business and residential districts by removal of dangerous and blighted conditions.  As soon as this building was demolished, the City received an inquiry from a developer as to whether this property was available for sale.  The property owner, however, has announced tentative plans to build a new residential structure at this location. While the team seeks to achieve voluntary compliance from property owners, it is also prepared to act when a property owner refuses or is unable to resolve such problems.  Currently the Team has three buildings scheduled for demolition and is in the process of obtaining contractor bids for the performance of such work.
  • January Building Permits: For January, 2007, the Community Development Department issued building permits for over $11.4 million dollars in new construction activity.
  • Utility Coordination: The city manager and senior staff met this week with the heads of Lakewood’s development-related utilities – Pierce County Sewers, Lakewood Water, Lakeview Power, TPU, Puget Sound Energy, and Lakewood Fire – in a first-time group effort as a means to provide overall coordination of development planning at the “big picture” level and to discuss the City’s long-range development plans. It was a productive meeting which helped to supplement the project-specific coordination meetings already taking place.
  • Crime Free Housing: The Police Department has recently completed a "re-engineering" of the crime free housing training seminar, which is the one-and-a-half day class provided at no cost to rental housing property owners and managers every two months.  We just recently completed a very successful class with thirteen in attendance, and attendee reviews were uniformly positive.  Additionally, CSO Chuck Matthews, the class coordinator, received a thank you card afterwards from one of the attendees with the following comment:  “Thanks for an outstanding crime-free multi-housing program seminar.... I got a lot out of it and am very grateful and appreciative of the program and its contents. The jokes really weren’t that bad either. Thanks for taking such great care of me/us and thanks for the program itself!!"  LPD cordially extend the invitation to any councilmember to attend a session or a graduation ceremony.
  • Serious Domestic Violence Incident: On January 30th at 1217 hours, officers responded to a DV with a knife.  Upon arrival the victim was able to step away from the suspect and the armed suspect retreated back into his apartment.  The suspect got angry with his father and pulled a box cutter type knife on him and thrust it at him in a threatening manner.  LPD negotiators attempted to talk the suspect into surrendering for over three hours with no luck, and eventually LPD deployed gas into the apartment. Within minutes the suspect surrendered without incident.  Mental Health Professionals were on scene and escorted the ambulance to a secure facility to have the suspect medically placed and held.  LPD has forwarded a report to prosecutors to charge Attempted DV Assault 2nd Degree.  It was a group effort, and all of traffic, all NPO’s and some SRO’s assisted patrol with this call and containment.