Northwest NEWS

December 21, 1998

Local News

Cottage Lake 'drug house' to be leveled

'Merry Christmas,' says county to neighbors

by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--People living at a condemned mobile home with a fine view of Cottage Lake were given three days to move their gear out by King County officials who say the structure will be taken down sometime in January because of long-standing code violations.

   "It will be demolished. There's no way it can roll," said Brenda Wood, a King County code enforcement officer, last Friday morning.

   It was almost like an early Christmas present for residents on the west shore of Cottage Lake. One neighbor, who didn't want to be named, said those living in the double-wide trailer at 17201 185th Ave. NE treated it like a dump.

   According to Wood and the man, people there defecated and urinated in the yard, buried things around the house, and cut down large trees. The man said it was hard to know how many people even lived there because so many have been coming and going at all hours of the day and night over the past year.

   Wood described it as a "drop in any time, stay as long as you want, flop house." As King County Sheriff's deputies stood by last Friday, Wood gave a cheery, "Merry Christmas," to the man, to which he replied, "Thank you very much."

   A longstanding hazard, the home was actually condemned several years ago for being in substandard condition, but people kept moving back in, Wood said. The owner, C.W. Rudeen of Woodinville, was notified last August to vacate the mobile home, quit discharging septic waste into a travel trailer, remove junk cars, clean up the yard, and rope off a dock.

   After filing paperwork and waiting for appeals, the county finally got the okay from a judge to move in recently. Last Friday morning, it appeared as if little had been done to comply with the county's order. One woman apparently living there was asked to leave the premises after becoming "volatile and mouthy," Wood said. She and another man left with some items.

   Crews also began hauling off a half-dozen cars. Because the house had been condemned, authorities considered the vehicles abandoned. Inside, sagging bedroom and living room ceilings were found to be propped up with 2X4s and cherry-tone landscape timbers. Wood said floors were caving in, as well.

   At the back door, a flock of crows picked at garbage. A sheet of plywood was screwed into dock posts with this warning: "Hazardous Dock--Do Not Enter."

   This past summer, police swooped down on the property and arrested people doing drugs on a rickety dock out back. Children fishing next to it reeled in syringes, Wood said.