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(The New York Times)   The hottest jobs in Detroit are $10 per hour blight surveyors, tasked with cataloging the estimated 90,000 structures that are abandoned. "If you know how to work a cellphone, you could do this,"   ( divider line
    More: Sad, Detroit, cell phones, Mayor Dave Bing, level of detail, structures  
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4124 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Feb 2014 at 1:17 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-02-18 04:07:15 PM  

Silly_Sot: Ownership is tangled? Have these morons not heard of "quiet title"? The city can initiate John Doe suits against each property.

One of the problems in Detroit, IIRC, is that delinquent back taxes transfer to a new owner because of leins on the property, which is why you see so many houses for sale for a dollar - the tax liability is too high.  I don't see how the city can move property unless they either start forgiving that debt or at least tying it to a person and not the property.  No one in their right mind is going to buy a house for a dollar if the back taxes owed are in the quarter-million range.
2014-02-18 04:17:11 PM  
Since it does seem only natural that Detroit needs to shrink, I wonder if there's actually any precedent for a city shrinking on that level.

The whole concept of just considering part of a city, to just no longer be a part of it, doesn't seem as though it'd be all that normal since it essentially means politicians deciding they need to have less power and authority.
2014-02-18 04:19:57 PM  
Seems like a more interesting job than most low wage kind of positions.

Although these folks are just being monkeys gathering data, a position like that could be a segue to a career in Geographical Information Systems . If I worked on this project, I would do whatever I could to learn about developing and conducting analysis with GIS.
2014-02-18 04:47:44 PM  

markie_farkie: [ image 616x821]

Applauds her efforts to save historically significant Detroit, one house at a time.  The city needs 50,000 Nicoles ASAP.

I'll take one.
2014-02-18 05:06:18 PM  
Rand WILL return!! Or will he just stay gone with his harem and the Trollocs and the Myrrdraal will regain the lands.
2014-02-18 05:16:09 PM  
True story:  Cow-worker who lived in Detroit, house burglarized.  Tried to get cops to come out, they simply told him that they would not investigate because they had the house listed as abandoned. How to correct this? The cops claimed the designation could not be changed, period.
2014-02-18 07:02:21 PM  

Silly_Sot: patrick767: How can a city of 139 square miles and once built for 1.8 million people comfortably hold its current 700,000 residents, and must it, in essence, shrink to survive?

Well duh. Of course it needs to shrink. Is that even in doubt? The question is how best to do it and how to pay for it.

Maybe they can find some threatened plants/animals hiding out in the city and get this organization and others take the land off their hands:
Michigan Nature Association

Gradually tear down the buildings over the years and map out a 300 year plan to let it return to nature. In the meantime blocks and blocks of abandoned buildings, some partially or entirely torn down, with the land slowly swallowing them up can be opened as a post-apocalyptic style theme park!

It's a NYT story. The idea that a city may need to shrink makes a New Yorker's head assplode. They can't handle the concept.

So the basic problem with Detroit is that white flight ran really hard into the lakes up in Oakland County, and just sprawled comfortably (It's the one city I've lived near where I'd be OK with trying to drive somewhere at 5:00.  It'd take longer and I'd stay off certain roads, but I'd get there within a factor of 1.5-2 at worst).

So any shrinking of Detroit is going to have to deal with it basically being a reverse donut.

There's downtown and immediate surrounds, which aren't bad.

And then there's the functional (almost insanely so) suburbs surrounding it and mostly stretching up into Oakland County with a couple of just-hanging-on neighborhoods at the edges.

And then there's just this great big donut of blight that no one wants to touch.  You really can't shrink it because you'd just be kicking more people out to the suburbs and abandoning an area a good 20 minute drive across.
2014-02-18 07:48:26 PM  
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
2014-02-18 08:41:36 PM  
Apparently Detroit government has never heard of Google Street View.
2014-02-18 11:18:36 PM  
Check the tax rolls.  If unpaid for (7?) years, check the structure for bodies, living or dead.  If none, apply torch directly to forehead.  Lather/rinse/repeat until you run out of torches or structures.

The scrappers will come in and remove anything of value, the rest will decay into the dirt.  In 100 years or so, it'll be decent enough soil to farm.
2014-02-19 01:44:35 AM  
City governent just needs to provide vouchers to the arsonists for their gasoline expenses. All abandoned wood structures would be gone within a year. Metal has already been scrapped. 95% of abandoned buildings have already been set on fire. Just need govt subsidy to cover fuel costs for total burn.

Wish they would put a casino in that old empty rail station building. Slows barbeque is just up the block from there.
2014-02-19 05:31:12 AM  
Why aren't HOAs keeping property values up by enforcing the neat gardens, smart paint and rigid conformity which people like.
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