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December 31, 2008 > The cost of hazard abatement

The cost of hazard abatement

By Dustin Findley
Photos By Courtesy of Eliren Pasion

Bronwen Lacey, Assistant City Attorney, reported to the December 16 City Council about the progress that staff had made until that point about the emergency, summary abatement, and recuperating the cost of said abatement of the property at 874 Berryessa Street.

On October 16, the city received several complaints from the public and inquiries from the media regarding trash and graffiti at 874 Berryessa Street. The city manager, the fire chief and the fire marshal responded and investigated.

They found the front door was wide open and graffiti on the front door. The garage door was open, and the garage was full of trash.

The city manager declared an immediate hazard, based on the trash, the high weeds in the backyard, the accumulation of mattresses in the side and front yards, the battery in front yard and dog feces in the front yard.

The department of public works responded, removed the graffiti, and covered the broken windows. They removed all of the trash on the front yard and secured the front and garage doors.

Prior to the City's response, staff attempted to locate the owners. It was determined that the Deutsche Bank was the current owner, and they were notified of the immediate hazard. However, they refused to respond until the next day, after the City had already abated the hazard.

At the November 4 council meeting, the council issued an order for the owner to show cause, at the public hearing of the December 16 meeting, why the cost of the abatement, should not be assessed to the owner, in the amount of $2,518.78.

Notice of this public hearing was mailed and faxed to the property owner. Notice was also mailed to the residence, however it was returned by post office and marked as a vacant property.

As of December 16 staff had not heard anything from the property owner.

City council confirmed the assessment of $2,518.78 against the Deutsche Bank, the current owner of 874 Berryessa Street, for the cost to abate that hazard.

Councilmember Giordano asked if the City would lien the property so the cost would collected when escrow transfers when they sell the property. City Attorney Ogaz confirmed this to be true.

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