Uptown is a small neighborhood with many active residents intent upon making sure city building codes are enforced. Friday they even announced a news conference about the quest.
About 20 gathered across the street from a house where a man charged with murder spent time. The residents say the house is being used as a rooming house when it should be lived in only as a single-family dwelling.
"We want to make the city aware that we're not tolerating" what some see as lax code enforcement, said Uptown president Ingrid Comberg, who wants the city to be more aggressive.
She said that if the building were being used as it should be, then perhaps it would not have been used by a man who wound up as a murder suspect.
James Daniel Gilmer was arrested on a first-degree murder charge last week, after Donna Marie Bolinder's body was found in an alley between Joyce Terrace and 10th Avenue N. Police said Gilmer had been staying at 710 Fifth St. N.
The building's owner, Pat Bisciotti, said no room was rented to Gilmer and that he spent the night at the address because he was visiting someone there.
"It's my legal residence," Bisciotti said. "I'm allowed to have tenants and a couple of guests.
"I rent a couple of rooms, which is legal.
"As far as a (suspect) living in the house, he was a drifter. It's very unfortunate. I'm very upset about this. It takes a toll on you."
Julie Weston, the city codes enforcement manager, said her office has received two recent complaints about the property, one on March 6 regarding illegal units. The inspector "met with the owner and he was not able to verify that there were any illegal units," Weston said.
Another complaint made Tuesday about the property is still being investigated, she said.
Uptown is bordered by Fifth Avenue N and parts of 12th and 14th avenues N, and Fourth and 16th streets N.
One code inspector is assigned to the area. "That's a high degree of attention in a small geographic area," Weston said.