Gary's post and the ensuing comments provoke a couple of thoughts. First, i'm fascinated by the revelation that the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association has contested elections for its Board of Directors. In my neighborhood, we're lucky if we can get a quorum on election night so that our unopposed slate is considered duly elected.
Second, though, is the revelation that the problem with Neighborhood Improvement Services in East Durham is that they're too active. My experience in trying to get NIS to deal with absentee and negligent landlords has been exactly the opposite. Pit bull breeders, auto repair shops, committers of domestic violence, have all been my neighbors over the past couple of years. And i can say in all honesty that the landlords of these properties, despite numerous attempts at dialog, don't give a shit about what happens on them, so long as the rent is paid.
Fortunately, this class of tenant tends to move out fairly quickly. Unfortunately, there seems to be a nearly endless supply of them. And one of the results of allowing this kind of behavior is that good neighbors disappear, and more houses become vacant. And this can happen anywhere, not just East Durham. Take a walk through the 1600 and 1700 block of Avondale Drive and you'll see what i mean.
I'd be happy to see a little bit of proactive enforcement from NIS, as well as the Planning Department which also has some responsibilities in this area, before we reach the point of deciding what to do with a host of condemned buildings.