The owner of a run-down property in Talmadge has been ordered to make changes to his property within the next two weeks or he could face jail time.
On Friday a judge ordered Richard Utt to make changes to his Talmadge property on a very strict timeline. The judge also asked neighbors near the property to keep tabs on Utt to make sure he complies.
Utt has pleaded guilty to four counts of violating city building code and must now act quickly or face 30 days in jail.
“There are now timelines put in place to require him to remove all the debris and rubbish and trash on the property within 15 days of yesterday,” Kelly Waggoner of the Talmadge Community Council told NBC 7 San Diego.
Court documents say Utt – who is a licensed architect – must now choose to sell the property or submit plans to create a small apartment building.
With the threat of jail time, members of the local community council who demonstrated near Utt’s property months ago are glad that things are going to change after years of effort.
“It's been a long process, but this is definitely progress,” added Waggoner.
Besides being an eyesore, Talmadge residents said Utt’s property has invited graffiti, homeless encampments and littered the neighborhood.
“The blue tarp is what I get to clean up every week because it happens to just drift into my driveway. We've been working with this for over a decade and nothing's really happened,” said neighbor Tom Buettner.
NBC 7 tried to reach Utt for comment, but he didn’t respond.