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Posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Blight Beat: Ann Arbor officials target house 'on the verge of collapse' on city's southeast side

By Tom Perkins


3123 Cherry Tree Lane

Tom Perkins | For

The city of Ann Arbor is pursuing demolition for a vacant house on Cherry Tree Lane on the city’s southeast side.

The home, at 3123 Cherry Tree, is boarded up and in danger of partial collapse, according to officials.

The city’s Building Board of Appeals recently ordered the property demolished. Its owner, Byron Patrikakos, has not responded to notice of violations requiring the property to be repaired.

Issues with Patrikakos and the property date back to 2003 when he was granted a permit to remove a flat roof and replace it with trusses.

That permit was canceled after it was discovered in 2005 that Patrikakos was building a second-story addition onto the home.

In 2007, officials issued a stop work order after it was discovered more projects were continuing. In 2012, neighbors began complaining about the unsafe addition and too many people living at the address.

Ralph Welton, the city's planning and development department’s chief development official, said a family was living at the home but he wasn’t sure how many were there. was unable to reach Patrikakos, who Welton said travels frequently.

Welton saud building inspectors found a variety of issues in the addition, including holes in the wall that made it possible to see outdoors. A pipe from the bathroom sink drained into the shower and wires were running through the furnace.

Sections of siding are missing and debris remains scattered around the driveway and front lawn.

“Everything was a mess,” Welton said. “The section he built looks like it’s going to fall.”

The family living in the home was ordered to leave and the house has since been boarded and posted as unfit for occupancy.

Patrikakos has been ordered to demolish the property by the Building Board of Appeals and it was brought to the city’s attention by neighbors’ complaints.

“A house like this drops property values, it’s a dangerous building and it makes people feel unsafe about their kids being out and around it,” Welton said. “Different buildings have different effects on neighborhoods, but they’re always negative effects and always rile neighbors.”

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for



Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

I lived there. The place is a dump. But the city needs to realize that the SLUMLORD fled the US and is in Greece and is NOT coming back and has no intention on paying anything. Christ, our rent included electric and we were getting shut off notices and the DTE bill was over a grand. The house was full of mice, the front room flooded when it rained, the fuse box was way under voltage, less than 50% of the outlets worked and when I went to fix it and located the issue I am surprised that the house hadn't burned down....There was black mold everywhere and the a the sump pump was right UNDER the house....the back apartment didn't have heat in had all the ducts but no connection...IT WAS A MESS!!!!


Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 8:44 a.m.

Another example of a 'big bucks', city beau crate, who cannot make simple, timely decisions. Criminal and another example of tax payer waste – his salary & benefits!

Ann English

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

So it's been boarded up? Hopefully, the electricity has been turned off, too. I frequent one of the four business buildings right on the other side of that fence separating the back yards of houses on the east side of Cherry Tree Lane. We don't need any fires or explosions from propane, natural gas or exposed wires carrying electricity. Fifty homes in New Jersey caught fire because their owners fled forgetting to turn off their electricity.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 11:12 p.m.

Knockm it down and charge the dude for the work.


Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

Why can't it be this easy. Georgetown mall needs to go down as well.

Lisa Riese Perschke

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

The city officials should knock down the house that is located at Hill and Adams St? It is ready to crumble down on anyone that passes by? The above house doesn't look too bad in comparison!


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

Yes! I have passed the house you are referring to on many occasions and it is quite horrible. I can't imagine being a neighbor at that location. I'd say they both need to come down.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

There are plenty of blighted houses in A2. This is one of many. They city always has excuses for not demolishing them. I have lived here all my life and never seen a city so reluctant to tear down houses that have been rotting for years and years. The city always has some lame excuse, as in this case. It's obviously not a priority. IN this case, the city notified the owner and the owner has not responded. 1. What DATE was the notification issued? 2. Is this the FIRST notification? 3. The city needs a SPECIFIC list of timelines for the process: For example, if the owner does not respond after 3 attempts to contact them, then after a month after the 3rd notification, the house is demolished. End of story. Put this in writing, put it on the city website and make it a policy in A2 city. Period. These deteriorating buildings and houses that have sat around the city boarded up for 20 years or longer are a safety hazard, to say the least. There is simply NO excuse for this kind of total lack of follow-up. One more example to get rid of the current mayor and his henchmen.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

Well put, JRW. I couldn't agree more.

Jeff Renner

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

Your map link goes to a Cherry Tree Lane in suburban Baltimore.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

LOL Jeff.

Jeff Renner

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

Perhaps it's because I'm in DC right now.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

It seems like it would be hard to finish repairs and alterations when the city issues you a stop work notice. That house doesn't look so bad in the picture, certainly it doesn't have an uncovered burned hole in the roof, for example, like that N. Main property.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

From the picture it does not look like it is "on the verge of collapse''. The rooflines look straight as an arrow, not sagging. I too think there is more to this story than meets the eye. Someone wants the land.

David Paris

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Cherry Tree Ln is not exactly "prime real estate", and I wouldn't want this pos in my neighborhood, either!


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Mr. Weldon should spend more time out on on north Main at the houses they allowed to become derelict.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

As the folks at Nike tell us "JUST DO IT!"


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

love that little crib

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 11:40 a.m.

"Ralph Welton, the city's planning and development department's chief development official, said a family was living at the home but he wasn't sure how many were there. " Coincidentally I'm not sure how many people are living at Ralph's house either. -------------------- "Everything was a mess," Welton said. "The section he built looks like it's going to fall." I'm not saying the thing is structurally sound , but just because some guy with a vested interest says it "looks like" its going to fall doesn't mean anything to me.

Rod Johnson

Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 3:11 a.m.

What's his vested interest? He's a city official--how is he going to profit from the house being demolished?

Angry Moderate

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

Care to make an excuse for running electrical wires through the furnace?


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

You missed a couple.... "Welton saud building inspectors found a variety of issues in the addition, including holes in the wall that made it possible to see outdoors." You mean like a window?


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

A strong wind could push that dead tree pictured onto the house, thereby solving both problems.