DETROIT — In and around the abandoned houses on Mount Vernon Street, brawls and shootings have erupted, a dogfighting ring has been established, stolen cars were traded and drug deals consummated. So when Michelle Van-Tardy, who has lived on the block for years, saw a disheveled woman in her 50s slip into the abandoned house at 569 Mount Vernon Street, she pounced.
“What are you doing in there?” Ms. Van-Tardy barked. “That’s not your home.”
“Mind your own business,” the woman fired back. “It’s not your house.”
“You know what,” Ms. Van-Tardy, 45, persisted, “you go on, keep going in there. I have some metal for you,” a reference to bullets.
“No, that’s all right,” the woman said and left in a hurry.
The land use improvement plan at issue is not directed at the wholesale eradication of slums, but rather at alleviating relatively mild conditions of urban blight principally attributable to a large and, of course, uninhabited subgrade rail cut.Needless to say, Prospect Heights ain't Detroit.