Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another Lesson In 'The Government is Here to Help'

 Eric Pfeiffer reports:

A business developer in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Point Breeze is facing legal action after voluntarily cleaning up more than 40 tons of trash from a vacant lot neighboring his local business.
As the old adage goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Ori Feibush says he visited the local offices of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority four times, sent in seven written requests and made 24 phone calls to the agency asking them to take care of a major eyesore: an empty lot next to his coffee shop was home to more than 40 tons of debris.

Not only did the agency fail to act but it also denied Feibush's offer to clean up the mess himself.
But the Daily News reports that Feibush went ahead with his plans anyway, reportedly spending more than $20,000 of his own money not only to remove the trash but also to level the soil; add cherry trees, fencing and park benches; and repave the sidewalk.

"This was a lot of garbage," local resident Elaine McGrath told the paper. "Now it's gorgeous. I'm excited."

However, the city agency was less excited, demanding that Feibush return the vacant lot to its previous condition and saying it is considering legal action against him.

"Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property," Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development told the paper. "This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability."

And the situation is not without irony. Feibush says he received a citation in August 2011 from the city for litter on the same lot that the city now points out is not his property.

(ht Casey Breslin)


  1. I don't even know what to say.

  2. It's a sad day in America when a pile of garbage has a right to be left alone but an American doesn't.

  3. The mayor probably has his enemies buried there...

  4. Actually, the irony to me is that the state, i.e., City of Philadelphia via Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, is claiming a violation of property rights. Stunning. In any other case, I'd have to side with the PRA; but, it's not and the hypocracy is just so awful here.

  5. Another story you can't make up. It's a shame this gentleman contacted the city government at all. These bastards should give him a deed to the property, tax-free forever.

  6. But who would maintain the streets and clean up the trash if the government doesn't do it?

  7. It's professional courtesy between the local government and its closest kin: the pile of useless garbage.

  8. Update!!! Robert, please watch this! So awesome. For five and a half minutes some flack from the government lies about the Point Breeze vacant lot imbroglio. He is actually stupid enough to GO TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD, PUT UP A PODIUM, and hold a press conference! Dumb move. This is Philly, not DC, and once in a while it gets real here. I nominate the man from the neighborhood who speaks up in the last sixteen seconds for the Nobel effing prize.

    Note also as soon as someone from the neighborhood, someone paying this tapeworm's salary, speaks up - the press conference is over and the thugs move in. The government of the city of Philadelphia: you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy - outside DC, of course... and Cleveland... and Detroit.. ok, so actually this is just another perfect exemplar of the gang of robbers writ large caught on tape.

  9. This link may actually work better on that Philadelphia Redevlopment Authority press conference - again - last 16 seconds, so awesome