Brickbat: That's Alarming


When the city of Seattle put former fire station 38 up for sale, it advertised it as a "unique residential dwelling." Thom Kroon agreed. He paid $712,000 for the building and spent thousands of dollars more remodeling it. For three years he used it as a residential building and office. Then he got a letter from the building inspector saying a complaint had been filed against him and ordering him to stop using the building as a residence because its only legal use was as a fire station. The city also sued Kroon, seeking $500 a day for each day he used the building as a residence. Kroon hired his own attorney and countersued. The city dropped its suit and issued a certificate of occupancy for the building, but Kroon is still seeking to recover his legal costs.

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  1. Good article. I was looking for the benefits of backlinks and comes to your site.
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  2. It sounds like city officials tried to burn this poor guy. What a bunch of hosers.

    1. You’re fired!

    2. I cannot believe they tried to water down his whole business renovation.

    3. They got him on the hook, and ladder tried to cook this fish by extinguishing his rights.

  3. If any seller sold a property as a residence and it couldn’t be used as a residence, the buyer could seek recourse for damages…

    It’s not the city’s job to know the law!

  4. KIRO 7 requested interviews with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, and the Seattle City Attorney’s Office to discuss the allegations in the Kroon complaint.

    Those requests were denied. Instead, Dan Nolte of Pete Holmes’ office emailed “we’re currently investigating the claims brought in this lawsuit and will then prepare a response to the allegations.”

    Well, since you dropped the case and issued him his certificate of occupancy it appears that you’ve already investigated the claims and responded to the allegations. I suspect they’re just working out their legal case for claiming they totally could have kicked his ass in court but in their infinite kindness and mercy they’re going to forego doing, using this as a justification for denying him the legal fees.

    1. “”we’re currently investigating the claims brought in this lawsuit and will then prepare a response to the allegations.”””

      Classic political move. delay, delay, delay, then the response will be no comment since it’s old news.

  5. “…a complaint had been filed against him…”

    By his vengeful ex-wife? Or some random asshole who thought that Kroon’s hairdo was ugly?

    Random assholes like this deserve to burn in Hell! Or at least, suffer the same shit that they so casually dish out!

    1. Goddamnit, I wanted it to be a fire station!

      1. That would be surprising considering that fire stations are inanimate objects.

        However, an FD official upset about the station being decommissioned and sold off would seem likely.

  6. It would only be news if Seattle government officials weren’t assholes.

  7. This almost happened to my wife and I when we were house shopping. We were about to make an offer on a newly remodeled home when we found it was actually zoned for local business.

    Due to a grandfather clause it could still be used as a residence, but you would pay the business property tax rate, and the city wouldn’t approve any building permits unless the modification was directly related to a business operation (we would have wanted to replace the old fence and add a larger garage, so neither would have been approved)

    Its still for sale, 8 months in a market where a house like that often doesn’t last 8 hours. Sucks for the seller, they spent a lot of money remodeling it into a home, there’s no room for a business in it

    1. YOU NEED A PERMIT FOR A FENCE? Holy Burrito, why would anyone want to live in a place where fences require permits?

      You know that you can make an offer contingent on getting the property rezoned? Use the savings to grease the local politicians and then contact the FBI to do a sting. Get the local politicians removed and hauled off to jail.

      Then get people elected to city council who are fine with new zoning.

      …or just find another place to live.

    2. Can the buyer become a “free-lance writer” or “consultant” so as to be a “business”? Amazon Kindle books can be written and posted up for FREE!!! Also maybe a “minister”… Or “artist” of some kind! SURELY there must be a loop-hole!

  8. If he hadn’t lawyered up, is there a judge in Seattle who would’ve determined the owner could use the building only as a fire station?

    1. They wouldn’t just determine that, but order him to purchase the requisite equipment and provide fire protection to that area.

      1. Right?

        In Seattle… find a judge that would side with the government. Unthinkable!

  9. If he had gotten a permit in the first place which I’m sure Seattle requires this wouldn’t of happened. Or did he? need more info. that said i don’t believe in the permit process even though I’m a home designer

    1. Good question. Where I live, there would be dozens of permits required for such a remodel.

  10. So the city sells it to him specifically calling it a unique residential dwelling. Then sues when he uses it as such.

    This is an example of our betters taking over the Rev is so proud of.

  11. Next thing you know the city will show up with a warrant wanting to shut down the high voltage ectoplasmic laser containment system in the basement.

    1. “Yes sir, it’s true. This man has no dick.”

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