Virtual Zoom Call
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Fatimah Muhammad, Chair of HPNA welcomed everyone to the meeting. Attendees include Adrian Stillman, Latasha Barnes, Shimia Reese, Brittany Hubbard, Marva-X, Ronald Jones, Brendan Fahey, Captain Brent Fieg, Regina Dennis-Nana, Donna Lindsay, Mary Wheeler, Michael Reid, Kavanaugh, Alecia Deal, Charli Cooksey, Sarah Rubenstein, S. Gail Guelker, Veronica Cross
Topics of Discussion – Problem & Nuisance Properties and Increased Crime in Hyde Park
Captain Brent Feig
St. Louis Police Department
Fatimah introduced the new captain, Brent Feig. Captain Feig has been with the police department for 21 years and started in District 4, eight weeks ago. He described what constitutes a “problem property” and “nuisance Property” from the Police Departments perspective.
PROBLEM PROPERTIES—These are behavior related incidents—domestic, disturbance, drug and etc. The police department evaluates the behavior to alleviate the problem. Those who review the complaint would include the property owner, Officer Edwards and Captain Fieg.
NUISANCE PROPERTIES—After three (3) complaints to the police department, a problem property changes to a nuisance property. These are referred to the City Counselor office and can lead to penalties and foreclosure of property.
Drug issues—The police are looking to have additional patrols and use investigation zones. Investigation zones are on a three-week rotating basis. Capt. Fieg stated that he was not aware if there have been any zones in Hyde Park.
Staffing concerns – Alicia asked about shortage of police officers. Captain responded that the residential policy regarding police living in the city may help in recruitment. Currently they are 140 officers short in the City.
Unhoused occupants in vacant buildings – Fatimah asked about problem properties that are occupied, meaning these are vacant LRA or privately-owned properties that squatters are living in. Captain Feig stated that there are lots of calls related to this issue. When the police department is contacted, if there is a person inside the property, the person is removed and the property is boarded up by the City.
Neighborhood Stabilization Officer (NSO) – Hyde Park is currently without a NSO officer. Captain Feig stated that he was not aware of that. He stated that he would check into the status of a NSO being assigned to Hyde Park. He also said that one NSO is assigned to three neighborhoods and acts as the conduit between residents and City Hall. If there are problems related to vacant properties, criminal activity, report them to Officer Edwards
City Park Police – There use to be City Park Police officer assigned to the Hyde Park. There have not been any officers in the park in the last 5-6 months. Captain Feig stated that there is only one officer for all the city parks.
Carjacking and shooting – A resident that lives on North Park Place, called the HPNA to report a serious crime that stemmed from a carjacking on Broadway. The person in the stolen vehicle was pursued by police and while driving down North Park Place, hit 4 park vehicles and ran over three or more motorcycles that belonged to members of the Motorcycle Club located on the corner of North Park Place and that there was a shooting involved with the crime and the car thief had been shot. The Captain Feig stated this incident is still being investigated and that there have been complaints involving the Motorcycle Club consistently in the past, but that they had not received any calls about them.
Crime Stoppers – Crime Stoppers is a REGIONAL effort and has a Board appointed by communities.
NUISANCE PROPERTIES—Latasha Barnes
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM)
Latasha talked about the types services that LSEM provides.
- Organizational Assistance
- Vacancy Prevention & Property Title Clearance
- Problem Property Litigation—there are different types of problem property litigation:
a) nuisance b) receivership c) abandonment
LSEM is currently working with the HPNA to assist with eradicating vacant problem properties in Hyde Park. Latasha explained the difference between vacant condemnation (condemned for condition) and vacant abandonment (owner walked away). The goal is to keep the property out of the LRA land bank.
Latasha reported that currently there are five properties that the HPNA has received through the court process. Four are of those properties are located on Mallinckrodt and have been turned over to Dream Builders 4 Equity to develop. One property on Blair is being developed by Keys Realty. They all are still in the development state. Latasha further stated that there are 5 additional cases opened, that they are advocating for acquisition for at this moment. Two on Salisbury are in litigation and there are 3 additional identified properties around the park.
There are regular community listening sessions hosted by the HPNA so that a redevelopment plan can be developed for these properties. The HPNA and LESM encourages both private owners and small developers to contact the HPNA or LESM to learn more about how they can acquire these properties for development.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES—Sarah Rubenstein
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center—Midwest Region
Sarah Rubenstein from Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is the attorney replacing Kathleen Henry. Sarah stated that Great Rivers is concerned about clean water, clean air, and environmental issues that more often impact low income communities of color.
Sarah has been representing the HPNA and residents with issues that related to those specific issues. Shreves Automotive has been a longtime concern for the residents as Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. Sarah has been corresponding with Shreves attorney in regards to recent complaints filed by her office. Sarah also reported that Shreves continues to violate the occupancy permits. The City has assessed the violations and the next steps may be litigation.
Regina stated that residents in the neighborhood have been dealing with this issue for quite a long time and that legal action should be taken up a notch and take more legal action. Other residents on the Zoom call agreed with Regina and ask the attorney to follow up with next steps.
Important e-mail addresses from the above speakers:
Captain Brent Feig ST. Louis Police Department email@example.com
Latasha Barnes Legal Services of Eastern Missouri LKbarnes@lsem.org
Sarah Rubenstein Great Rivers Law Center firstname.lastname@example.org
Fatimah thanked everyone for attending the meeting and announced that this will be the last meeting for 2020 but that the HPNA will continue to work on vacant problem properties and environmental issues and will report to the community at the next scheduled meeting on January 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm.