OCEANSIDE — Photos of a house with trash piled in all parts of the yard, a utility box partially ripped off an outside wall, and clutter so dense inside the house that the front door could not be opened, painted a graphic picture of the code enforcement violations the homeowner faced. Michelle Lyons’ house that overlooks the EL Camino County Club golf course was considered a neighborhood eyesore.
On Dec. 2, City Council unanimously denied Lyons’ appeal to code violations. Lyons was told to clean up the debris and restore utilities to the home on 2368 Back Nine Street in a timely manner or have the city step in and haul away the trash and debris, at a city cost of $4,000 to $5,000, which Lyons may be called on to reimburse.
The unsightly and potentially hazardous garbage has been a neighborhood
problem for several years.
In October, the
Fire Department, Code Enforcement and SDG&E gained access to inspect the property with a note from the superior court. All three agencies confirmed the code enforcement violations.
Neighbors described property conditions that were unsightly and dangerous. “There are combustible materials, trash strewn on my slope, glass, lamps and trash cans embedded into the dirt,” Katherine Nelson, a neighbor of Lyons, said. “A toilet seat was there for over a year. I’m very, very frustrated.”
Another neighbor said Lyons’ front yard looks like a “perpetual yard sale” with so much clutter piled up that a sign had to be posted to let people know it was not a garage sale. Neighbors said they felt like victims living next to the debris.
Lyons blamed the mess on tenants who rented the property, but neighbors said they observed Lyons continually living in the cluttered home.
Councilman Jack Feller said he had driven by the house several times and observed the debris firsthand. “It’s more about the public health and safety,” Feller said. “I can’t even fathom how anybody could be living there.”
Photos submitted by Lyons at the Dec. 2 council meeting showed a tidy front yard. She said she had begun cleanup following the inspection. “It’s difficult for me to take on this endeavor,” Lyons said. She also protested being required to restore utilities and said she could not afford them.
Mayor Jim Wood sympathized with neighbors who endured living next to the blight for years. “There are personal reasons this happens,” Wood said. “I think the court can address this issue.”