A house that has received numerous noise complaints in recent years stood almost silent Monday, with the exception of occasional hum of an electric drill.
The house at 401 Harris Street was vacated this weekend after a judge ordered its residents (including co-owner James Barrett) to leave due to code and safety violations, and it was being boarded up Monday. The order came after Barrett’s mother Kathleen (the other co-owner of the house) began pursuing a partition, which would give her control of the house.
Dave d’Amato, Kathleen’s power-of-attorney who makes legal decisions for her, was at the property Monday putting up boards over the windows. The house will be boarded up for the foreseeable future, d’Amato said, and he hopes to have it fixed up in the coming months. The goal of Kathleen taking full ownership of the house, d’Amato has said over the past few months, is to eventually sell the house.
Neighbors stopped by throughout the day, as d’Amato had invited them via email to come talk with him. Neighbors have complained of traffic and visitors coming by the house at all times of the day and night, and there have been more than 400 calls to police about the area in the past two years, according to the Juneau Police Department.
The City and Borough of Juneau issued a letter Sept. 5 stating that there were “numerous and severe health and safety violations” at the property. Sitka Superior Court Judge Jude Pate ordered Sept. 24 that the house be vacated by Oct. 1. The Barrett family found James another place to live, as discussed at the Sept. 24 hearing, and he will be living in a hotel until the new home becomes available at the end of October.
The Uptown Neighborhood Association held its usual neighborhood meeting at the Bergmann Hotel on Monday night, as d’Amato wanted to give the neighbors an update on the condition of the building. Prior to the meeting, d’Amato said there isn’t anything new happening with the Bergmann. The hotel has been for sale since January of this year, and d’Amato and others have been renovating the building since it was condemned in March 2017.
The Bergmann, the Harris Street house and two nearby properties on Fourth Street have now been shuttered in the past year and a half. The Fourth Street properties were both raided by law enforcement in August 2017 and two people were arrested at one of them in August 2017 on federal drug charges.
d’Amato said that for six weeks or so after both the Bergmann and Fourth Street houses were vacated, people were returning to break into the properties. He said he expects people to be coming to the Harris Street house for a while as well, and encouraged neighbors to keep an eye on the house and call police if they see people trying to break in.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.