BY DONNA WESTFALL
My neighbor has lived in the same house for 40+ years. Her neighbor on the other side has owned the house but never lived in it. It’s been on the market over the years, but not currently. The lawn is rarely if ever mowed. The hedges are about 8 or 9 or 10 feet tall. The homeless use the outside as a toilet and bedroom, and some use it to deal or take their drugs.
The basement floods and the pump doesn’t work. There is mold throughout the house. The tenants that just moved out said the place is overrun with cockroaches. In addition, the wiring is so bad that one electrician threw up his hands and said he couldn’t fix it.
It was with great surprise to find out that the owner is Jason Taylor. Jason is the brother of….. get this…. Eric Taylor. Eric works for City Hall. He wears a few hats at City Hall. One of them is Blight Officer.
While clipping hedges with my neighbor, my neighbor mentioned that Jason supposedly lives in San Diego in a gated community in a multi-million dollar home. Isn’t that special?
Even if that’s not the case, what is the problem in getting him to clean up his property? It’s not like the tenants are causing all these problem although some in the past may have caused some problems.
I recall as a kid our neighborhood in Los Angeles had a terrible cockroach problem. If our neighbors fumigated and cleared their place of the critters, they seemed to migrate to our home. . If you turned on the kitchen light at night to get a snack, they would scatter or you would hear the crunch, crunch, crunch under your feet. When we would fumigate, they seemed to run back next door.
I know for a fact that the City has cleaned up properties of negligent long distance owners and charged them for it. I know that someone was hired to clean-up the property at J Street and was fired. That was months ago. I know there is an ordinance on the books to allow goats to do weed abatement because I sponsored that ordinance.
Despite knowing all these things, nothing is being done and it looks and sounds to me like the place needs to be condemned.
The question is, who do you go to to get a place condemned?
The Blight Officer, Eric Taylor?
Eric Taylor, the brother of the owner?
Do you think that will work?