No sooner does the upset over the Larry Glass rental ordinance begin to fade than Eureka city officials get their game on and swarm a Second Street property to forcibly remove four generations of crap from the yard of a squalid residence.
Our take? Big props to the city for cleaning up this eyesore, along with the bonus points that naturally accrue whenever anyone does anything that culminates in the arrest of protest whore Kim Starr.
But Glass, the city’s most famous anti-blight crusader, must have had mixed feelings about the enforcement action, the details of which contradict pretty much everything he’s been saying the last couple of years.
Because despite Glass’ insistence that rental properties are to blame for the city’s ills, this shit-hole, like so many others, is owner-occupied. And the city’s actions Thursday would seem to suggest that existing laws in fact are adequate to address nuisance properties.
But this is not to say those laws can’t be improved.
On Friday it was reported that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors devised an innovative approach to the same kinds of neighborhood problems Eureka is experiencing–garbage piles, health and safety violations, grow-houses–without undermining property rights or getting responsible property owners caught in the fray.
And it didn’t take 11 new pages of law to do it. Instead, Mendocino County redefined the cultivation of more than 25 pot plants on any parcel as a nuisance, subject to abatement the same as garbage heaps, broken fixtures or any other unsafe or unsanitary condition. The ordinance change additionally enables the county to recover three times the county’s enforcement for multiple abatement actions.
This simple approach could be applied evenly to homes and rental properties alike–as it should–and provide needed dollars from repeat offenders to ramp up enforcement activities.
And not to worry. Kim Starr will hate whatever solution is found and still end up with her dumb, crazy ass thrown in the slammy. Which of course is half the fun.Photo source here.