The KNS has an investigative series this week on blighted properties around the city. They single out property owners for various violations. They also created a database of complaints as part of the series. Here's an interesting one:

Address: 5115 WOODGLEN DR
Complaint Date: 3/24/2010 12:55
Inspection: MajorVio Reinspect
Last Inspection: 9/30/2010

Activity: Floor is collapsing, back door leaks, wall is deteriorating, Kitchen sink doesn't work. Hole in wall outside of kitchen. Tub coming loose from wall ADDL INFO: Is the property owner-occupied, renter-occupied, vacant, or unknown? [Unknown].

Inspector Comments: Contractor called building inspection dept. after exploratory work found additional, severe deficiancies [sic] not noted on first inspection. Additonal [sic] violations include severe termite damage, water damage to load bearing walls, improper roof framing...


Is that the same Joseph D. Bailey who's on City Council and "keeping his options" open as to whether he'll run for mayor? (According to KGIS records it is.)

Maybe the KNS should check their own database and do a follow-up report on whether these "major violations" have been addressed.

OhWell1942's picture

Right problem/Easy Solution

Knoxville does have a very real problem with blighted properties but David Brace is right----they don't need more inspectors. The existing inspectors are doing a great job.

The solution is very simple:

1. Better Building Board (BBB) declares property blighted and gives owner 90 days to correct or make substantial progress.
2. If after 90 days, progress has not been made, the property is "certified" as blighted & the owner given another 90 days.
3. If after the aforementioned 180 days, the problem hasn't been resolved, the City demolished the blighted property and puts a lien against the resulting vacant lot.
4. If the property is in a historic overlay, the property goes to Council for acquisition and is placed in the HomeMaker Program.

Problem Solved.

Pam Strickland's picture

Joseph D. Bailey would seem

Joseph D. Bailey would seem to me to be an extremely common name, so it could easily be someone else. However, I would also think that a name that matches a public figure would automatically be something that they would want to check. You don't want the possibility of something like that happening to trip you up in your reporting that's for sure.

Rachel's picture



R. Neal's picture

so it could easily be someone

so it could easily be someone else

If they live at the same address as the councilman, I guess.

Up Goose Creek's picture


It may be something he inherited. From the description it doesn't sound like something that would be easy to sell. So he sent a contractor over to work on it? Interesting that the contractor reported more problems. My guess is he was trying to get money to tear it down???

bizgrrl's picture

It may be something he

It may be something he inherited.

Anything is possible. According to KGIS, he acquired the property in 2004 and the sale price was $23,800. He could have inherited it and immediately taken out a loan.

Pam Strickland's picture

I just went back and read

I just went back and read Bubba's initial post more closely. Yes, it does sound like it is the same Joe Bailey. I was skimming earlier. And it does sound like Rebecca F. needs to have a little conversation with the councilman.

SpiritOfLippencott's picture

A shame the local paper

A shame the local paper didn't give proper credit to this web site for breaking the news.

Mello's picture

now we have a story about the blog about the story, or something

like that


Pam Strickland's picture

McElroy has a point, right

McElroy has a point, right down to the fact that it wasn't as complicated at the Trib. The other part of that was when there were two daily newspapers in a town, you didn't wait to on stories, you went ahead and checked the data base. I know. I worked in a two newspaper town. I worked every angle of the story all the time everyday.

With all media, all the time that's really the way it should be now. KNS shouldn't have had a part-time blogger (no offense Bubba, but although you do a great job here, you do have a full-time job that really pays the bills) pointing out a story that they missed in their own data base.

R. Neal's picture

I will comment on this here

I will comment on this here since McElroy hasn't approved/posted my comment there.

I didn't really care about this (getting credit and all) and frankly I don't know why it's an issue.

I just wish he'd use a more current photo.

Rachel's picture

I thought you looked cute.

I thought you looked cute.

R. Neal's picture


Apparently it's the tenant's fault.

Pam Strickland's picture

That's what Stacey said too.

That's what Stacey said too.

bizgrrl's picture

As someone who has had rental

As someone who has had rental property in the past, yes, tenants can damage property, but we always worked to keep the property in good condition on a current basis by having the property inspected/reviewed regularly.

You can always try to make the tenants pay, but it doesn't usually work, except for maybe keeping the deposit, which doesn't always cover the damage. Regular upkeep must be budgeted or what's the point of owning property?

R. Neal's picture

Maybe he had some tenants who

Maybe he had some tenants who quit paying rent and then trashed the place. Even so, it's hard to imagine how they caused "severe termite damage, water damage to load-bearing walls and improper roof framing" in the six months between March and September.

Pam Strickland's picture

Exactly what I was thinking.

Exactly what I was thinking.

OhWell1942's picture

Why does the City simply not

Why does the City simply not raze non-historic structures which are certified blighted? The system works up until that point. David Brace is right on the money----no new inspectors are needed----just raze the properties which have been certified as blighted. Again----problem solved.

Nelle's picture

I'm with Goose

Empty lots can be a blight on a neighborhood. Houses that can be saved should be saved, especially those with decent architecture.

It needs to be easier for the City to take houses away from people who refuse to keep them up or pay their taxes and get them into the hands of the many people who fix up houses in our fair city.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Gap toothed smile

Because a street with a lot of missing houses is like a gap-tooth smile.

People are still moving to Knoxville so there could be a demand for these houses in the future. Do you remember what 4th & Gill looked like 30 years ago? It wasn't a historic district then.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Tax sales

There seems to be a move afoot to clear the titles of houses that have gone through the tax sales. These are homes that are truly abandoned (well I know of one example where the responsible brother abandoned the house to his irresponsible brother but that is an oddity). This would help a lot to make investment available for this housing stock.

R. Neal's picture

I was wondering about that.

I was wondering about that. If you buy at a tax sale, doesn't the delinquent owner get 12 months to make good? If so, it seems like there's no incentive for the buyer to fix anything for at least 12 months.

Hamburg's picture

Oh Well is right

Actually Oh Well is absolutely correct. If a house has significance (i.e. historic district), it should be saved. His/Her point is that the solutions are there, they are just not used: certify it as blighted then either tear it down or acquire via the HomeMaker Program. The powers that be simply don't utilize these options often enough. It took Fourth & Giller Brian Pittman 7 years to get the Luttrell St. house (featured in Monday's KNS) through these channels. Our government simply needs to move more quickly. If the City & KCDC would work faster, and tear a few down---the owners would have reason to repair/restore faster.

Gus's picture

FYI. You meant my friend &

FYI. You meant my friend & extraordinary neighbor BILL Pittman who lives in Fourth & Gill.

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