An empty lot in a quiet San Diego neighborhood has become a major eyesore, and neighbors say they’re fed up.
The lot at the corner of Violet Street and Pepper Drive is littered with bicycle parts, a U-Haul truck, and numerous other items, all surrounded by broken-down fencing and plastic tarps.
The home on the property burned down about a year ago, neighbors said. It took some time before the lot was cleared, and then it sat vacant until February.
As many as seven people, including the owner, are now squatting on the property, which has no running water, electricity or bathrooms, according to one resident.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said he has seen people defecating in the neighboring alley.
“I’ve just seen a lot of people come in and out of the lot,” said another neighbor Campbell Schengel.
“I just see them move stuff from one area to another. Just a lot of scraps and stuff,” Schengel said.
A woman who was spotted walking around the apparent encampment told NBC 7 she was there to help clean-up the property for the owner. She said no one lives there.
Neighbors said the apparent squatters have been telling police the same thing for months.
“When the cops come, they don’t really do anything. They’re just like, 'Hey, you guys have some time to clean this up and get out of here,'" said Julio Agustin Pulido, who lives across the street.
According to the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office, no taxes have been paid on the property since 2011.
There are also nuisance abatements from fiscal year 2016 for $5,932.96 and $41,116.00, as well as a “Notice and Order to Vacate and Abatement Notice to Demolish Sub-standard and Fire Damaged Building,” and a few other smaller liens.
The owner has until May 3 to pay off the taxes, otherwise, the county will place the property up for auction online.
The property is currently assessed at $259,000. The minimum bid is $129,900 – the amount owed in back taxes and fees.
The neighborhood is located east of Interstate 805 and north of State Route 94 in the Azalea-Hollywood Park community of San Diego.