Rian White's cottage in Maidstone Park looks like someone threw a bucket of paint at it — and that's because they did.
A hand-painted plywood sign out front of the Fanning Avenue house reads: "Help paint a starving artists [sic] home. Throw a pint."
White, who was the subject of a property-maintenance case between 2002 and 2009, was given a court summons this spring, once again, for allegedly failing to maintain his property. Town code enforcement is investigating further, thanks to the new paint job.
Splotches of orange and yellow paint appeared all over the exterior of the small cottage, including the windows and a door, this week.
Betsy Bambrick, the director of the code enforcement division, said her department received a complaint about property maintenance issues at the Fanning Avenue property and the adjoining parcel on Feb. 21.
"A Notice of Violation was sent for the homeowner to correct violations on March 28, 2012. When the inspector received no response - charges were drafted," Bambrick said in an email on Thursday.
Charges were filed against White on April 25 for one violation of the State Property Maintenance Code, which states all exterior surfaces shall be maintained in good condition. "Exterior wood surfaces (other than decay-resistant wood) shall be protected by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted," Bambrick said.
"To the best of my knowledge, R. White did not respond to court invitations on July 9, 2012," she added. He is due in court on Aug. 6.
In 2009, White was found guilty of five code violations, including failure to maintain his premises free of litter, after years of complaints. He was fined $5,000 on the misdemeanor charges.
A few months later, the town sent in a crew to clean up his yard of old boats and cars, tires, and other debris. He had someone digitally record the clean-up and the video was posted on YouTube. He was billed for the clean-up.
Tim Lee, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose parents still live down the block, said White is at it again. "It degrades the whole neighborhood. Everybody's property value goes down. Would you buy a house next to him?"
As an artist, Lee said he takes exception that White threw paint at his house, as if it were a Jackson Pollock canvas, in an attempt to call it art. "It gives a bad name to anyone who calls themselves an artist," he said.
Attempts to reach White were unsuccessful.
What do you think of the new paint job?