IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - Imperial Beach residents are being told by city officials to clean up - or pay up.
Some 20 homeowners received a code enforcement letter last month indicating they needed to remove debris from their backyards.
The letter read in part:
The City of Imperial Beach, as its mission statement reads, is "Classic Southern California". In the City's efforts to continually get better and provide a wonderful experience to both our residents and visitors, the elimination of blight and unsightly areas commonly found on properties is critical to maintain and enhance our community. As a property owner, you have the opportunity to help achieve this mission by properly maintaining your property. Please note that property owners are responsible for maintaining their property in a clean, safe and sanitary condition so that no blighted conditions adversely affecting the public health or safety exist."
Possible violations included:
- Improper fencing
- Parking and storage of vehicles on properties
- Trash, debris and construction material accumulation
- Overgrown or dead vegetation
- Conditions that are unsightly, deteriorated or detrimental to nearby property values
The homes in question are in the 300-500 blocks of 7th St. between Cypress and Boulevard, and located near a new bike trail that borders the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
"An important factor in health is keeping things clean, keeping debris down, and overgrown weeds down to a minimum,” said Imperial Beach City Manager Andy Hall.
The residents have until May 20 to clean their properties or face fines no less than $100.
Gomand is 70 years old, living off Social Security. She says there is no way she can manicure her lawn by the City’s deadline.
"I'm not putting anything else in it. If the city wants more in it, they can come put more in. I don't have that kind of money to pay people,” she said.
Hall said the City wants to help.
"Perhaps we took a wrong approach. Maybe what we should have done is have a neighborhood meeting first."
After our interview, Hall went into the neighborhood and spoke to residents.
He set up a community meeting for May 19 and suggested working with the Sierra Club to help.
"We hope that this summer, we hope that we can bring them in,” he said.
Hall said as long as the residents proactively work towards cleaning, the city will be flexible with the deadline.
The City of Imperial Beach is also holding a yard waste event on Saturday, May 5.