In Seattle, upkeep of public sidewalks is homeowner responsibility

I recently had the misfortune of tripping over a “lift” on a public sidewalk in my West Seattle neighborhood. Although I wasn’t seriously injured, I fell hard and even scraped my cheek on the sidewalk. My right shoulder and hip absorbed most of the impact, leaving my quite sore for the next couple of days and contributing (I suspect) to an attack of bursitis in my right hip.

When I was telling a friend about the incident, she informed me that (in Seattle, at least) homeowners are responsible for the upkeep of the portion of public sidewalk connected to their property. Sure enough, when I went on the City of Seattle website, I discovered that not only are homeowners responsible to maintain the sidewalk, they are also charged with care of planting strips, RainWise rain gardens and cisterns, unimproved roadway shoulders (i.e. where there are no sidewalks), and unpaved alleys.

This could come as a nasty surprise if someone injures themselves on an area you are responsible to maintain. The words “potential lawsuit” come to mind.

You can bet that I went right out to check the condition of my own sidewalk. Especially when I read the part that says, “a fault or other discontinuity greater than 1/2 inch in the sidewalk” must be remedied.

In the case of my fall, the obstruction was caused by tree roots that forced the sidewalk to lift; a common occurrence we’ve all seen all too often. As you can see from the photo, the roots had created a bulge that was substantially more than 1/2″.

photo of bulge in sidewalk

Tripping hazard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sent the homeowners a letter informing them of the incident and the city requirements, but so far, they haven’t taken any action to mitigate the situation.

What does the sidewalk in front of your home look like?

Posted 1/1/2017

Food drive to benefit White Center Food Bank May 18, 2013

White Center Food Bank

The White Center Food Bank needs our help, so I am joining with some of my Prudential Northwest Realty colleagues to sponsor a food drive benefitting White Center Food Bank on Saturday, May 18th.  While it is common for most of us to think of helping the hungry during the holidays, the food banks typically experience a slow down in donations during the summer months. Not surprisingly, demand for assistance is still high. Hunger doesn’t know from holidays.

Volunteers from Prudential Northwest Realty will be on hand from 11A-3P on the 18th, at the QFC in Westwood Village and the Albertson’s at 12725 1st Ave S in Burien. Your favorite Realtors will be there in person to collect your food and/or monetary donations, so please come say hi and introduce yourself!

Bonus opportunity! Mention that you read about the food drive here (on my blog) and I will give you a coupon good for a free ice cream cone from West Seattle’s own Husky Deli!

Canned food, other non-perishables and cash are all welcome donations. High protein items such as peanut butter and tuna fish are especially appreciated.

The White Center Food Bank is located at 10829 8th Ave SW Seattle WA 98146 ~ 206.762.2848. Their website address is: http://www.whitecenterfoodbank.org

And don’t forget the West Seattle Food Bank at 3419 SW Morgan St.! Both these worthy facilities depend upon the generosity of folks like you and me.

Hope to see you on May 18th.

New homes rising in West Seattle’s Westwood neighborhood

Reprinted from my December newsletter:

Another sign that we are easing out of the housing crisis is the spate of new homes being offered by Seattle-area builders. As lenders make more money available to builders, builders are more willing to speculate.  • You may have noticed that many older homes in Westwood are being purchased by developers who “scrape” the dilapidated structures and replace them with new construction. Most of the new homes are much larger than the older homes. As a result, we are seeing sale prices in the $400K-$500k range in our neighborhood. The average existing-home sale price in Westwood (homes built before 1950) is closer to $320K. Over time, this is likely to change the demographics of our neighborhood. It is also an indication that West Seattle’s  “east of 35th” vs. “west of 35th” mindset may be diminishing. Whether or not that has a positive impact on Westwood, remains to be seen. • Do you have an opinion about this? If so, please comment below.

I recently created a new Pinterest Board dedicated to home sales in the Westwood Neighborhood. Each month I will post info about the latest sales. You can access the board here: http://pinterest.com/aakuder/  The board is titled (not surprisingly) Westwood Home Sales.

This home at 7541 31st Ave SW sold for $535K on 10/30/12

This home at 7541 31st Ave SW sold for $535K on 10/30/12

 

Westwood Bungalow for Sale

Just listed this week! Cute, cute, cute 2 bedroom/1 bath 1928 home in the under-appreciated Westwood neighborhood of West Seattle! 8139 30th Ave SW, 98126. $259,500  MLS# 368850

This small and adorable home has been lovingly cared for and is in great condition. Crown molding, muted, designer colors, hardwood floors, granite countertops, low-maintenance landscaping… it’s all here. 720 sq. ft of living space, plus another 220 unfinished space in the basement for storage and doing laundry. Huge 7,860 sq. ft. lot with a poured foundation for a 2+ car garage or MIL unit. Plenty of room for an RV or boat or both, with easy alley access.

AND it’s in Westwood! If you don’t know about the Westwood neighborhood, you should. One of the best-kept-secrets in West Seattle, Westwood has nearly every amenity you could want. AND you will likely pay at least $20K LESS than you would for a comparable home on “the other side” of 35th! Ignoring outdated perceptions of the east side of 35th Ave can save you big bucks and provide you a great quality of life.

Here’s some of what you will find within a 2 mile radius of this great home.

Westwood Village Shopping Center; US Post Office; 4 public parks (including Lincoln Park on Lowman Beach and one brand new park one block south of the home); 1 indoor and 1 outdoor public pool; numerous restaurants; 2 community centers; brand new public tennis courts; health club; bus lines to downtown; public and private schools; South Seattle Community College; Longfellow Creek Trail; and more!

Questions? Call me at 206-708-9800.

Tree trimming mystery in Westwood

I live in the Westwood neighborhood of West Seattle and absolutely love it! The people are friendly without being nosey, they walk a lot, they maintain their homes, and they are very pet-friendly, among other attributes. But Westwood apparently has a mystery tree trimmer in its midst.

On a recent walk with my dog, I was puzzled to see some small tree branches had been clipped off and left lying on the sidewalk. A few houses down, I saw the same thing. It seemed very strange that two homeowners would have done this same thing. I kept walking and soon discovered the same phenomenon repeated over and over again all the way from SW Thistle Street to SW Myrtle Street (approximately one mile)!

As I continued my walk around Westwood neighborhood, I saw that this mystery hacker had continued his self-appointed mission on several other streets in the neighborhood.

I can only assume that someone has taken it upon himself (yes, I’m choosing to brand this person as a male) to trim any branches that he perceives to be invading the public sidewalk! That’s a pretty gutsy move, if you ask me. I might feel differently if he picked up the clippings and hauled them away but, no, he just left them along the sidewalk for others to deal with.

A couple of days later, I saw a notice on a telephone poll, apparently written and posted by an irritated Westwood neighborhood resident, declaring this tree trimming to be a cowardly and despicable act. I tend to agree.

What do you think?

Can anyone identify this mystery hacker?