Intrepid River Oaks Examiner reporter Michael Reed tries to get answers to that nagging question on the mind of every person who’s walked or driven by the vacant site of the former Wilshire Village Apartments on Dunlavy near West Alabama in the last month: What’s the deal with that little square of land in the back of the site that’s been taped off with a handwritten address sign?
Since the yellow tape was not in the shape of a fallen body, our first guess was the little cordoned-off area had something to do with some â€œtruly oddâ€ city code. . . . Perhaps it involved an obscure extremely minimum lot size ordinance, an idea we soon discarded because it almost made sense.
Carefully attuned to Wilshire Village’s well-documented vortex of absurdity, and being careful — professional journalist that he is — not to trespass on the site, Reed takes a photo of the city green tag on the sign while standing on the public sidewalk. Then, all David Hemmings-like, takes it home to enlarge it and read what it says:
As it turned out, the sticker was for a demolition, or so it said. But, there was nothing within the taped area to demolish. Just some weeds. Unless, of course, the city was now permitting the demolition of squatters. Now, that would be news.
We called around and spoke to several folks who work for the city. The â€œdemolitionâ€ sticker was dated March 5, 2010, we explained. The buildings were long gone, we also explained. They were all nice. Most directed us to some other departments, where the people who answered the phones were also nice.
That was probably difficult for them, as we had likely started to sound a little deranged by the sixth time we read our eight-digit number from the sticker and said â€œPlanning and Development Services Division Public Works and Engineering Departmentâ€ more times than that. No wonder they were confused â€” it sounded like we were referring to about 12 different city departments.
Finally, we were told the whole thing had to do with a complaint about weeds. Weeds? We knew that couldnâ€™t be right. Or could it? Why, in the Bizzaro World that is Wilshire Village it made perfectly good sense.
Photos: Michael Reed, River Oaks Examiner