One of the quirks of the Baltimore City Building Code is that boarded up windows and doors on a vacant building are simultaneously prohibited and required. In effect, owning any vacant building in Baltimore City is illegal.
Violators are subject to misdemeanor criminal charges. I know, because I was found guilty of such an offense in 2002.
It was clear to me then that the law was only selectively applied.
Your news story about Police Department Major Melvin T. Russell's ownership of a vacant house in the city ("Police major owns long-vacant house in East Baltimore," Dec. 6) only confirms my suspicion that nothing has changed since then.