Rat-Infested Remodel Owners Draw Jail Sentence

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    Two people could spend more than a year in jail for violating the city's code enforcement regulations for a property in San Diego.

    The property at 6295 Scimitar Drive in the North Encanto neighborhood of San Diego is owned by Ronald and Antonia Ramirez, according to the city attorney's office. Last Thursday, a superior court commissioner sentenced the pair to 375 days in custody and ordered them to pay court fines of $14,750. They could avoid jailing and most of their fines, however, if they "comply with all terms and conditions of their probation in a timely manner as determined by the court," accoriding to the city attorney's office.

    "It is not acceptable to maintain a residential property in a condition that threatens the health, safety and welfare of the community," Deputy City Attorney Markecia Simmons said. "Property owners bear the responsibility to keep their properties in good repair and in compliance with the city's land use regulations."

    The Ramirez's pleaded no contest to 15 counts stemming from their ownership of the rat-infested, partially built structure. Officials said the home was a "severe, longstanding nuisance," and that since abandoned remodeling project had an abundance of debris and unpermitted construction, as well as encroachments on the public right-of-way.

    The Ramirezes now must either demolish the building and remove all debris or complete construction "in accordance with city permits and timelines," authorities said.

    Prosecutors got invovled in the case fter community members complained that problems at the property had been ongoing for about four years.