The fire-gutted remains of the former Guadalajara’s restaurant at Third Street and Emerson Avenue in Calexico are among the eyesores the city hopes to remove with a proposed update to its nuisance ordinance. | CORISSA IBARRA PHOTO
CALEXICO — Calexico is planning what appears to be an extensive overhaul of its nuisance-abatement ordinance, according to a report to the city council.
The move would hasten cleanup
of “hazardous and unsightly public-nuisance conditions” and cut city costs to
The information is in a
report to the city council for its Dec. 18 meeting. It was prepared by City
Attorney Carlos Campos and contract city planner Christopher Velasco. The
meeting was held after this newspaper’s deadline.
The council was expected
to consider holding a public hearing and preliminarily approve revising a
critical chapter of the city’s nuisance ordinance.
That area defines common nuisances, ensures
due process for those cited for violations and allows the city to recover costs
to initiate nuisance removals.
Calexico City Manager
David Dale said the changes to the ordinance “were not directed at any one
particular property” and added in Dec. 13 interview “there are multiple
properties in Calexico that could be considered a public nuisance.”
Dale did use as an
example the shell of a burned-out building at Third Street between Emerson and Imperial
avenues that was the Guadalajara’s restaurant. It has had numerous fires.
While most of the
flammable material from the site has been removed by the property owner, Dale
noted the block structure has not been razed, implying the ordinance changes would
It is recommended the
council repeal a chapter of the ordinance that contains only a limited list of
public nuisances and an “overly brief and general recitation of the city’s
authority to, and procedures for, abating public nuisances,” according to
Campos’ and Velasco’s report.
The chapter as worded does
not provide adequate notice to property owners and code enforcement officials
on what conditions constitute public nuisances, the report states. Moreover it
does not define what due-process protection property owners have available to
them during the mitigation process. That increases city liability if it is
taken to court over issuing citations and removing public nuisances, the report
“The lack of clear and
uniform procedures for seeking property owners’ compliance and affording
property owners due process will continue to mire the city’s efforts to abate
dangerous nuisance conditions in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” the
The replacement chapter
to the ordinance is intended to create uniform policies and procedures for code
enforcement officers and other city officials. In turn, that would allow nuisances to be removed
faster and at less cost.
As part of the
expanded chapter, a list of common public nuisances would be defined and
described so that violators and city enforcers have a clearer picture of what
constitutes a nuisance.