Residents fed up with trashed, tagged buildings in La Mesa neighborhood

Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 20:36:16-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) - Business owners and residents in a La Mesa neighborhood say they are sick of seeing an eyesore they believe is drawing negative attention to the corner of University and Yale avenues.

A cluster of buildings has been trashed, tagged and abandoned for months now. A fence surrounds the lot, but that doesn't keep the vandals and squatters out.

Neighbors are concerned because there are several homes directly behind the property, and Helix High School is nearby, so there are teenagers walking by all the time.

Talia Gore, the manager of K & L Barber and Beauty Shop across the street, said the eyesore is driving customers and potential employees away from the area.

Gore said she believes the rundown buildings are the reason she is having trouble recruiting barbers and stylists to work at the shop.

"People don't want to come to the area because of the way that it looks," she said. "It's an eyesore, and it's extremely frustrating because it could be done for something else and bring more business to the area."

La Mesa Community Development officials told 10News they have been trying to get the owner to clean up the lot since last June. They say they have cited the owner and fined him, but the buildings still stand.

The city of La Mesa does have an active code compliance case against the building and owner.

Demolition of the buildings was slated for Thursday, but that never happened.

City officials showed up to the vacant buildings and expected to see crews tearing them down, but the owner of the building told 10News he had to wait on one more permit from Helix before starting the demolition.

He said it should happen in the next couple of days. City officials say they now have to plan another meeting with the property owner to make sure the buildings are torn down.

There are entitlements to build a Starbucks on the property once that happens.

Gore said she is ready for the eyesore to go away and new shops to pop up.

"Just anything to bring the neighborhood back up to where it's a good family based area; we just want it to be a good community area," she said.