We took the photos on Thursday after a tip about a cleanup under way in a yard off an alley in the 9200 block of 25th SW, just south of Westwood Village. Though police and city personnel were involved, it was on private property, so it took a while to research.
The property’s online history shows eight complaints in the past three and a half years, filed with the city Department of Construction and Inspections, which verified that this was an “abatement” action. The complaints included camping in the backyard and trash around the house. SDCI spokesperson Wendy Shark explains that the property owner had been cited repeatedly and, “When we are not successful in resolving the issues per the citations we send the case to Law to get an Order of Abatement so that the City can remove the violations stated within the citations. In this case SDCI issued and posted an ‘Abatement Cleanup Schedule’ on the property which was scheduled for yesterday.” (Law is a reference to the City Attorney’s Office.)
Shark added, “A Housing Zoning Inspector was on site the entire time to manage the cleanup with the Conservation Corps. The inspector planned for a one-day cleanup and accomplished what was needed yesterday.” The officers on site told us they didn’t know how many people had been camping there.
P.S. We asked her if property owners are billed when the city has to step in like this: “After the abatement is completed, the Conservation Corps will send us an invoice and we will pay them for the services rendered. We will then get an SDCI invoice that we will mail to the property owner on record for payment. The property owner is aware of this because it’s listed in the ‘abatement order’ issued by the judge.”