Each week, when new zoning is announced, we’ll highlight a sampling of deadbeats who invariably are appealing their permits or attempting use variances to improve their tax delinquent property.
Obviously it makes more sense to improve your property by taking care of a basic responsibility (like paying your taxes perhaps?), but I digress. It’s more entertaining to just point out the stupidity.
FWIW, as reported in CityPaper (although not prominently worded to make it more obvious), the Zoning Board of Adjustment and L&I Review Board actually do stop tax scofflaws from getting want they want. It happens after the hearing. The decision of the board at stake is not disclosed until a tax certificate is produced.
The problem is: this tax certificate only applies to the subject property. If you’re a slumlord with 50 properties and you’re trying to get a multi-family variance for a house you got, and 49 of your houses have liens but you’ve paid off the one that’s coming up for zoning, then you get your tax certificate.
Obviously that’s not cool. Of course if the City does do vigorous enforcement of related properties, that will probably cause corporate registrations to balloon to new heights so that administrative clerks will have a harder time identifying related property. C’est la vie.
STUPID PROPERTY OWNERS OF THE WEEK
6215 Market Street (Owner: June Speaks & Darrell Ezell), what we’ll presume is their tenant (Harold Murray) is trying to get a take-out restaurant established. On StreetView it looks like at one point they tried to rent out the upstairs. There’s not gonna be any taking-out until the building owner takes-out those tax liens.
2244 S. 9th (Owner: Allen Windrim, III), I especially hate these types of zoning. He wants to shove 4 units in a 3 story house in South Phila, in an area where there hasn’t been any parking spots available since the last coming of Christ. I guess he’s trying for zoning so as to generate some income to pay off that tax lien? Nah.
Not stupid, but probably unfortunate: 1910 S. 7th Street, owned by Buddhists, has been trying to get through zoning for the last 6 months. While registered non-profits are mostly exempt from the Real Estate Tax, it’s less clear on what happens the liens by the previous holder of the property if ownership passes to an exempt entity. [Probably some Law Department trivia I'd like to know the answer to]