Boarding up houses for drug activity

Submitted by ward14resident on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 19:11.

Does anyone know what the rules are for boarding up houses due to drug activity?  I just learned that a home that was busted for drug activity twice was not boarded up because the home was one of the nicer homes on the street and boarding it up would decrease the value of the other homes on the street.  This decision seems wrong to me as allowing drug activity to go unpunished just encourages drug activity to continue in our community.  I am opposed to this decision and wonder how many other homes that are well  kept are being used as drug houses.

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ward14 u.s. supreme court decision - unconsitional to board take

ward14 u.s. supreme court decision - unconsitional to board take

yogi and guy

No rules

Ward 14--one of the totally CDC renovated, tax-abated Cleveland Housing Network houses in my part of the neighborhood has operated as a drug house in broad daylight for the past three years. 

Now, if I was the suspicious type, I would think that it was part of a plan.  I do know that the Drug Safety Task Force that we did see in operation under Mayor White and Campbell--is non-existent under Mayor Jackson.

CDC Housing network houses

I have several on my street that are just fine, except one. The first one that I was so excited about and helped with the open house, welcoming the first family. It is a three family home, and one of the kids is now an adult that deals openly. The CHN did not want to deal with it. When the lease purchase was up the the building offered for sale to the tenants, CHN would not sale to the problem family. So while they did not respond to our concerns over the years, they did take a stand when selling it to a problem family. They sold it instead to a guy from the Detriot-Shoreway neighborhood. It is now an investment property. We will see how it goes this summer.

Where's Councilman Cummins???

 Suddenly, we never hear from the guy.  There's a beautifully renovated home on Willowdale, Brian--and conveniently, the house next door has been demolished with no record at all in the Cuyahoga County Auditor's record. 

Now, if there's a plan here for demolitions that is meant to benefit all of us.  Pray, do tell.  And, please post the promised list of Neighborhood Development Activity funds awarded for 2009-2010.

I think you know that there is a house on my street that should be torn down to protect the public health, welfare and safety and one on Chestnutdale, too.  The one on Chestnutdale has a condemned sign on it.  I never saw a sign on the Willowdale house.  In fact, it was lived in quite recently as the Google map image shows:

View Larger Map


Councilman Cummins

I was going to tell you, Laura, that maybe you should start a blog of "where is Brian Cummins" something like I did with Joe Santiago. However, I never heard from the guy, and you do want to hear from Cummins. Keep trying! Good luck!

My husband just said that

My husband just said that Cummins has to stay low because he voted for the garbage fee.  I guess he (Cummins) doesn't want the residents of Ward 14 to throw garbage at him if they see him walking down any of the streets in this area.

Cummins style of green

Cummins style of Green Party is more of political ideology and  not green as in environment. I was floored during a discussion with him about recycling that he does not have a clue as to what can be recycled and how the city program works. After 4 years as a City Councilman, and running as a Green Party member, I expected him to know more than me on this subject. 

Maybe he is in seclusion learning Spanish as he was not as fluent as he claimed to be.

Maybe he is in shock from finding out the area that he really represents, and I still have to get him the map of the ward. Maybe that would help get him out in the neighborhoods, and I can include some stats and demographics, sort of help him get a jump start.

Recycling trash in Ward 14

Recycling trash in Ward 14 requires that we take our recyclable trash to a place that has a recycle bin.  I take my paper to St. Rocco Church.  I take my glass and plastic to Drug Mart, and I give my alluminum cans to my son and he gets a few cents for them.  Whatever happened to the recyle program the City of Cleveland was promising? 

walking down the streets

I don't think Cummins would walk down the streets, maybe just drive them in his SUV. 

Sounds a lot safer for

Sounds a lot safer for him.  Just wait until the summer when the tomatos are ripe....splat.  (just kidding, if someone hits him with garbage it wasn't me)  I am a peaceful protester. 

never ending

the demo dudes are still at it,,,,,,,,

Cummins /demolitions

I say that we contact Cleveland Building and Housing, Demolition Department, (216) 664-2857, and request a list of all houses that are scheduled for demolition.  They have a listing of all upcoming demos. Then we can ride by and see the houses proposed for demolition ourselves.  I have noticed recently demolished homes that I thought were recently occupied.  It is very strange that all of the info from some recently demolished homes seems to just disappear from the Cuyahoga County Auditor's website.  It as if the home never existed.  It makes it hard to track prior ownership, housing code violations, foreclosures, etc.  What is up with that??

And then I see numerous vacant homes that should have been demolished years ago still standing.  What is up with that?  Are these houses not in prime development areas?

And although I sincerely hate to give Councilman Joe Cimperman credit for anything, at least he did get back to REALNEO readers with the requested information.  A lot of Brian Cummins' campaign stuff was posted here, so we know he is aware of this site.  Where are you Brian Cummins?  Please make your grand appearance...

Too bad Rick Nagin did not win the council race..  From my understanding, Nagin is organizing several block club meetings in an effort to get citizens involved.  Nagin is very knowledgable, sincere and hard working.  He knows whom to contact, how to get things done, and is always willing to help.  I will post his upcoming meetings here.


We don't hear from Rick

We don't hear from Rick Nagin here either anymore.  Wouldn't it be nice if he would post here so those of us that don't get out to meetings can be aware of what is being discussed and what is being planned for the area?  I think it would be helpful to keep everyone informed and help create a more informed citizenry.  Knowledge is power.

I hope Rick Nagin tries again next election...

Rick Nagin

I will make sure that his meetings are posted here.

Nagin on realneo

I agree that keeping everyone informed is good but it is not Rick Nagin's responsibility to do so. Rick has worked in ward 14 for many years, and continues to do so. However, Brian Cummins is the new councilman of the new ward and needs to step up. I also think that we each have a responsibility to help keep each other informed and not leave it up to an elected politician to do it for us. I really do appreciate Joe Cimperman  responding here in a very timely manner, and hope Cummins will do so in the future in response to a request for specific information. I don't think that it is realistic to expect or hope that an elected official will blog on realneo on a long term basis as the questions, comments, and so on just don't end. It can be a real time consuming effort.

I would not encourage Rick to do anything on realneo other than perhaps post events or notices. We had a lot a red baiting going on in the campaign by Brian Cummins and then the "pseudonyms" that red baited here on realeno that was pretty disgusting.  I think that the time and effort is better spent in action on getting stuff done. Rick is always available by telephone and or e-mail.



I understand that both Nagin

I understand that both Nagin and Cummins would not want to post here if they fear adverse comments.  I read the Plain Press today, the January issue, and there will be a meeting on January 14 at 6:30 PM at the Church of God on West 58th street just South of Clark Avenue. 

A second meeting will be held at the same place on February 25th. 

The focus of the meetings is to create a plan for the future of the Stockyard and Clark Fulton neighborhoods.  From the article in the Plain Press it appears that the idea is to combine services for the areas that include W 25th to W. 85, and from I-90 to I-71. 

Here is the website for the Plain Press if anyone wants to read the article.


Plain Press

The current issue isn't on-line yet. I am not sure of the timeline before the current issue is up. Without reading the article, I see that the boundary puts Stockyards & Clark Fulton into the Detriot-Shoreway CDC service area. 

thank you Ward 14R for the stockyards reminder

Thank you for posting about this meeting. I plan to go. I am impressed with Stockyards redevelopment. They do stuff that works on improving the quality of life for residents. I saw a few staff  in action and was a little awed by them as I had not seen that  type of work in a while (I hope that they are not all laid off by now). They need the support of Matt Zone, my new councilperson, as well as Brian Cummins. It would be a shame to let their years of work and expertise go by the wayside. We need a separate organization for Clark Fulton with staff that have the kind of experience that they have. From what I have seen, they could handle the area without a blip on the radar.


Did you ever have your original question answered (i.e. what are the rules for boarding up drug houses) that started this blog? 

Thank you dwebb.  I almost

Thank you dwebb.  I almost forgot about it.  It does sound like it would be a worthwhile meeting.   It sounds like the idea is to combine Clark Fulton with Stockyards and just have one community development organization for the entire area.  I question if this will really work; but if the people are as experienced as you say they are maybe they can make it work.  It would be nice to see something positive happen to improve the area.  And why not?  This area has a lot of potential.  I just question if there is enough money to improve such a large area.  I hope yes. 


 It is the kind of area that they already know. for me the question is bringing back laid off staff so that the job gets done. We will see you Thursday?

I will try to make it to the

I will try to make it to the meeting.  My husband has a sleep study at Metro that day, we have to be there at 8:20 PM.  But, if I plan ahead and have everything ready to go I will be able to attend the meeting prior to the appointment.  I would like to hear what the plans are for the area. 

The answer was "no rules"

The answer was "no rules" according to lmcshane.  I believe she is absolutely correct...

According to my sister-in-law - she does not live in Cuyagoga County, she lives in Geauga, but she works as a real estate agent - the rule is that if a house is found to be a drug house the inspectors can go in to inspect the home and board it up if it is found to have code violations. 

Sounds to me like you can get away with allowing drug dealers/users to live in your home as long as you keep your home free of code violations. 

different rules

different rules for different areas! The nuisance ordinance does apply throughout the city: if you see drug activity, call the police, and ask them to make a report and not just drive by. Call the 2d district commander and let him know what you are trying to do in terms of getting the landlord fined. He will understand what you are trying to do and can help. I can't remember the number of police responses over  60 days, but the property owner does get fined for allowing his/her property to be a nuisance. The fines add up. 


I think it would depend if

I think it would depend if the police that respond to the call are sympathetic to drug use or not...some don't think drug use should be a criminal offense and don't take it seriously. 


That is why

That is why their commander can help them learn to take it seriously. I have had the experiences of some really great officers and some real a-hole officers. The a-holes sometimes need retraining as to why they are police officers and the commander can do this. If you want, we can go together to talk to him in person.

dwebb, the house I mentioned

dwebb, the house I mentioned is not on my was a house my niece rented out...she lives in North Royalton.  She wrote about the drug use and the decision not to board up the home on a family website, so I decided to ask about the rules for boarding up homes for drug use.  I am sure she is sorry she ever mentioned it.  She tells me that the home is now being rented by good people. 

I think it does help to know the rules though and be vigilant that they are being applied equitably to all. 

Now, I am suspicious of drug activity at a home a few doors from me...but I have no proof...just the frequent stopping of a variety of cars and people coming out of the house to exchange something with the driver.  The sad thing is that kids live in the house. 

Oh, just to clarify.  The

Oh, just to clarify.  The house my niece rents out is located in Cleveland, but my niece lives in North Royalton.  She used to live in Cleveland and owns a few homes on the West side of Cleveland. 

Suburban drug houses

Thanks for the reminder W14 that some of the biggest drug operations are taking place in the suburbs and exurbs.  BOOM!

Met Cat labs can operate nicely out in the burbs, where no one knows each other and comings and goings are not as obvious. Of course, when ATF does find these homes, they would never acknowledge the bust with a board-up.*  Too obvious to acknowledge that drug sales, drug use, and drug manufacturing operates everywhere...

So, tell me again, why do people feel safer in the suburbs???

*also--see Guy's comments...the house can not be immediately boarded up, because that would be an unconstitutional taking...which leaves me to wonder how it works in Cleveland...I presume municipalities have a right to board where there is evidence of a public safety concerns...meanwhile, it's been weeks since I have called in a house with broken windows and evidence of illegal entry and no board-up--yet--by the City of Cleveland...also no enforcement of code violations when owners board their own properties (there have been several in Ward 15/14 now boarded up since 2006)....oh the mysteries and wonders of incompetence and miscommunication.  Is this why folks feel safer in the suburbs???


The house I wrote about was

The house I wrote about was not located in the suburbs, it is in Cleveland.  My niece owns it and she lives in the suburbs. 

But, you are so right that drug activity is alive and well in the suburbs as well as in Cleveland.  It is a scourge for society.  It has ruined many lives and broken up many families.  I hate illegal drugs with a passion.  Nothing good comes from it. 

Board ups decrease value

  Ah...Ward14 answered her own question...

Decreasing property values is the plan... in the CITY...

couple of comments

It's my understanding from people who know Rick Nagin (longtime acquaintances and neighbors of his in Old Brooklyn) that his MO is to be out and about at every community meeting when he's running for office and then disappear for four years until he runs again. According to them, he acts very concerned about our neighborhood and our city but his interest wanes when he loses an election. If he shows up any time soon on these pages, he's probably running for a seat on the new county board. I hope that's not the case - Ward 14 needs all the help it can get – but time will tell.

Also, Ward 14 resident, are you saying that your niece, who lives in the suburbs, rented to drug dealers? Frankly, folks like her are one of the many reasons our neighborhoods are suffering. Please tell your neice to do her Cleveland neighbors a favor and charge an small application fee for her rentals and ask for and check references and employment records for her prospective tenants. If she feels that she won't be able to find tenants by doing this, then she needs to reevaluate her properties to see if they're attractive to "good" tenants. She also might want to give her telephone number to the neighbors of her homes in Cleveland, so that they can call her if problems arise.

Sandy, my niece does live in

Sandy, my niece does live in the suburbs and rents out homes she owns on the West Side of Cleveland.  She says she does screen her renters but twice she was stung by getting bad people into one of her homes.  Good idea about giving her neighbors her phone number so they can contact her if they notice any illegal activity going on in any of her rental properties. 

I was concerned about her statement that the councilman told her that he didn't want to board up her rental property even though it was used for drug activity because it was one of the nicer houses on the street.  I thought that the 'rules' should be upheld equitably, not based on condition of the housing.  And I asked if anyone knew what the rules were for boarding up homes based on drug activity in the home. 

comment on the comments

Only the one on Nagin as I don't know about the other topic: Rick has been on realneo only a couple of times. I have known Rick for many years and he has always been involved, though like anyone running for office, more so in the months leading up to the election. That is why it is called campaigning. So I don't know about the folks that you know who think that he drops off except to say that once a campaign is over, all candidates dial it down, though Rick has always been active to some degree (and still is). In this case though it is the winner of the election who appears to have gone off the radar.

Rick Nagin / Drug Houses

I have known Rick Nagin for numerous years and he has always been more than helpful to me and many others.  I have been to several neighborhood meetings with Rick Nagin that were not campaign related.  He is aways very helpful to people and it would be nice to see him in a newly created county position.   He has no obligation to assist any of us, however he does so probably on a daily basis for no compensation or credit.

Nearly nine years ago when I worked in Cleveland Housing Court, a lot of drug homes were boarded up for housing code violations in an attempt to shut them down.  The police officers would note the interior violations during the raids and building and housing would go in afterwards.   I haven't noticed any "Drug House" red signs on homes for a long time.  The police officers actually have, or at least nine years ago had, the authority to issue housing code violation citations.  Officer Jim Simone was  a frequent flier in Housing Court constantly writing tickets for debris in yards, expired plates on cars parked in driveways, fencing/driveway issues, etc. Maybe the police department stopped the practice of inspections and issuing tickets for Housing Court.   

  Or maybe the officers are so overwhelmed with criminals and drug houses that the officer figures shutting the house down for drugs will only lead to more vacant and vandalized homes. If all of the drug houses were boarded up in Cleveland, we would probably have a 1 in  7 vacancy rate instead of 1 in 13.

who will own these houses?

A nagging thought: the economy will get better at some point. When it does, who will buy/own all these foreclosed houses?  The local government and elected representatives are missing a golden opportunity to stabilize the City and provide houses for rehab.

I think that the drug bust board ups were ruled unconstitutional as the people arrested had not been tried. I am pretty sure that these have to have a court order now. Unless your name is Frank Giglio. Then anything can happen.

50 is the number

The position is listed as part-time with a salary of $45,000.00.  And, we thought we got rid of sinecures??  A neighbor and county employee told me that the requirement to get on the ballot is only 50 signatures??! 

Okay, I haven't fact checked it, so any one is free to dispute my information--but apparently to overturn the garbage tax, I would have to get a petition to referendum with 5,000 signatures...

Is something wrong with this picture?

quaifying for PERS

What's usually critical to the political types is whether this counts towards their PERS; I would recommend that the position not count towards a government pension. Some people run for public office or sit on public boards (Jane Campbell) just to accumulate retirement credits. Why aren't we in a condition of permanent financial outrage?

Little did we know that the student radicals of the '60s and '70s would take apart the system from the inside, and by first draining it dry.


Knows a thing or too about draining the system dry...let's start with him.  Sorry Tim... but he's the worst of the worst.

TimFerris, here is an example

 Here is a perfect example of double dipping brought to us by the lame duck commissioners of Cuyahoga County. Wonder how many more examples of this will happen before they are out the door. They gotta take care of their buddies.

You bet that there is something wrong

with that picture! And should not these candidates running for these seats, (be it director or council), already in an elected position, take a leave of absence for the campaign like the rest of us would have to do, and not campaign on our dime, and once elected, resign from the other elected position such as a City of Cleveland Council position? 

City to County Council

I would be surprised to see someone jump from a City Council position to a County Council position...?  But stranger things have happened.  We are in for one hellish ride.

no surprise

I would not be surprised at all.  Do you really think that Cleveland Councilmembers that have children really want their children to grow up in the "New Cleveland?"

No way! 

They can run for a county seat and then run for the suburbs. 

County elected seats will offer more opportunity to get the person's name out on a county wide level.  More name recognition.  More opportunities.   I think there is going to be more of a political push to be "appointed" to certain county seats that will no longer be "elected" positions that we need to be concerned about.

triple dipping

No, they won't have to resign since the positions are "part-time." I know several people that I work with that are full time city/county employees and also councilpersons, schoolboard members, etc......

Oh...Kevin Kelley

Oh part-time attorney, part-time councilman Kevin Kelley must also be in line for one of the county council positions...

The Plain Dealer is already touting him as the next great Wonder Bread candidate...'free wifi" for the hungry masses...

part-time positions

Part time positions with decent salary/benefits and they do not have to raise their children in Cleveland.  There are several councilmembers with young children, Cimperman, Kelley and Sweeney are three that quickly come to mind. 

Win a county seat and they are then known county wide instead of just city wide.  More of a political base......

My concern is how are the "appointed" people going to be chosen since we will not elect them.