Happy ending for West Central nuisance home

Happy ending for West Central nuisance home

Members of a West Central neighborhood say a nuisance house brought unwanted criminal activity into their usually quiet backyards.

After a year of effort from the City of Spokane, the Spokane Police Department and neighbors, the problem house is a problem no more.

Neighbors watched gratefully on Thursday as crews began to clear away massive amounts of debris.

“[They’re] taking all the junk, demolishing everything. I’ll be so pretty after this is all done,” said neighbor Trina Cook.

It was an nuisance home in the middle of what is usually a quiet West Central neighborhood.

“It [was] a drug house. People going in and out of the house, even, especially, if the camper was there. People going in and out and everything,” Cook said.

Spokane Police started working with the homeowner in January 2016, to avoid coming to this end.

“Our officers work hard to solve the problem without going to this extent,” said Spokane Police Officer Shane Phillips.

“We don’t want to kick people out of a house, w don’t want to take a house – that’s not what we do,” he said.

But the problems continued. After a drive by shooting in the area last summer, action was necessary.

In December, the home was vacated.

But not for long.

“We constantly had people breaking in… we had people that were coming back to live in the trailers.. we made multiple arrests.. and so it was just continuing to be a problem,” said Spokane Police Officer Traci Ponto.

One of those breaking in was the evicted homeowner himself, coming back to a home and yard more cluttered with junk than Ponto said she’s ever seen.

“Unfortunately in this case there was so much debris, that we actually had to hire a private contractor to come in and do it and we’re estimating 14,000 plus dollars,” Phillips said.

The City and SPD finally got the go ahead, and the proper equipment, to clear the lot, but ran into another roadblock.

“The weather! The snow, the cold- that postponed us. Everyone has been so incredibly patient, it’s amazing,” Ponto said.

After a long year, neighbors are thrilled to finally say goodbye to all that stuff.

“I just heard that there was somebody out on a porch clapping a few minutes ago so, yes, when they get rid of a house like this people literally celebrate,” Phillips said.

And grateful to the officers who helped make it possible.

“At the end of the day, it’s protect and serve and this is the service portion -responding to what the community needs and what our community wants is to live without nuisance homes,” Phillips said.