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Check out this article from the online version of the Everett Herald:
It discusses two fires that occurred in properties owned by Peter Sikov within a short period of time.
Background: If you’ll recall, Peter Sikov is the same guy who owns the property that Nickelsville moved onto illegally (but with Sikov’s permission) and holed up at for three months this fall. In addition to the Skway property, Sikov has several other properties in the area. Collectively, these properties are worth millions of dollars.
Sikov is a notorious scofflaw. On his King County properties alone, he owes around $70,000 in back taxes. I looked into his tax strategy, and what the guy does is wait until the County is ready to foreclose on a property, and then he pays the minimum amount required to avoid foreclosure. Then he’s good for another year, even though he’s still three years behind. In addition to being a scofflaw, also been described to me as a “slumlord,” and the article in the Herald, certainly supports that interpretation.
Two of Sikov’s apartment buildings in downtown Everett have burned within a little over a year of each other. Apparently, both properties had been tagged with safety violations:
Pete Sikov is the landlord for both the Hodges Building and McCrossen property. The ownership is under two different limited liability companies in his name.
Reached by phone, Sikov said he learned about the latest fire around 11 a.m. Sunday. He said was unable to discuss the situation further because he was busy talking to affected tenants.
Sikov’s tenants said they had received recent notices about the city ordering the installation of fire doors and other safety features, but were told they would be able to continue living there. Everett spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke confirmed that city building officials had ordered improvements. She expected to have more details this week.
Now here’s a refresher on the Skyway property for you. It’s what the place looked like more or less continuously while Nickelsville had one of their squats there. They didn’t pick up their mess until the last day they were there. Just look at this:
Can you say “fire hazard”?
John Starbard and Jim Chan, from King County’s Department of Permitting repeatedly denied requests from the local Fire Chief to require Nickelsville to pick up this trash, even though there were several able-bodied men living in the camp, and even though the Health Department had already given Nickelsville free vouchers for dump runs.
This is all a matter of public record. If you don’t believe me, just call or e-mail DPER right now and ask them: Did you get requests to compel Nickelsville to pick up this trash because it was a fire hazard? Ask them!
Assistant Director for Permitting
King County Dept. of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER)
(He granted Nickelsville permission to dump trash)
Director of DPER
(Jim Chan’s boss)
Members of the King County Council were notified of this situation as well. Which is also a part of the public record.
I’m curious. Does the King County Department of Permitting think loose trash at a residence is somehow less flammable in King County than it is in Snohomish? Do they think campfires burn at lower temperatures? Or that they don’t have embers that blow in the wind?
Photo: Kevin R. McClintic
Jeezus! How disconnected from reality can a government official be?
Oh, but wait! No. What the hell was I thinking? These are just homeless people after all. Pete Sikov and Scott Morrow will take care of them for us. So just relax and leave the worrying to them. No need to get the government involved.
Riiiiiiiightttttttt . . . .
12/21/13: More from the Everett Herald Online
The Hodges property [that burned] was under a city condemnation order to make fire-safety upgrades including fire-resistant doors. The problems were flagged in 2010, and the landlord had until Dec. 20 to make improvements or vacate the building. Progress was being made, a city spokeswoman said.
These are not budget-busting upgrades. But Hodges residents are as politically invisible as they are voiceless.
As Haglund reports, Pete Sikov is the landlord for the Hodges Building and the McCrossen property. Each is held by a different limited liability company under Sikov’s name. If there is evidence of criminal negligence, Sikov must be held accountable.
The pattern is striking: Often a 21st century slumlord, low or fixed-income tenants, and a fatal fire.
–See? even the newspapers are calling this guy a slumlord. But King County DPER thinks he’s a great guy. They let him host homeless encampments on his property – even though that was illegal, since he owed back taxes – and then, when the tenants proceed to pile up trash and residents complain, and the local Fire Chief complains, DPER does . . . nothing. The trash was there, loose on the Skyway property, right up until the very last day Nickelsville was there.
At least the Everett Herald gets it: Nickelsville is NOT the way!