A McKinleyville property that’s been in the news for a swastika painting and a stabbing has been declared a nuisance and will be condemned if it isn’t cleaned up by May 9.
Conditions of the house and yard at 1120 Forson Road were the subject of an abatement hearing at the April 9 Board of Supervisors meeting. Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Conner told supervisors he was first notified of the property’s conditions last year, when someone told him of a News Channel 3 broadcast about a swastika that had been painted on the house’s garage door.
The broadcast also indicated that neighbors were complaining about conditions at the property. Conner said his office soon got referrals about the property from other county departments.
The problems included accumulations of solid waste, recreational vehicles being used as residences and lack of running water. A code enforcement investigation determined that the property’s owner, Dianne Grimes, had abandoned it and her son, Christopher, was living there and renting out rooms as well as allowing people to live in the RVs, according to a written staff report.
“Several of the people residing on the property have significant criminal histories,” the staff report states.
The property is in the midst of being foreclosed upon and water and power service has been shut off. Conner said he carried out an inspection under a no-notice warrant with the assistance of Sheriff’s deputies because a stabbing had occurred in the property’s garage last February. A suspect has not been identified in that incident, according to the staff report.
The swastika had been painted over by neighbors by the time of the first check of the property, Conner wrote in his staff report. Earlier this year, a notice of nuisance was posted at the property but Conner said most of the conditions remain unchanged.
He told supervisors the only things that have changed are that one of the RV occupants has moved into the house while another has left due to being arrested and incarcerated. Conner said Grimes’ relationship with the tenants is adversarial enough to have motivated the construction of a makeshift barrier in the house to provide separation.
A notice to vacate has been posted, Conner continued, and the property’s owner has until early May to abate the nuisances. Supervisors approved a transfer of $4,500 to cover the cost of a clean-up if the owner doesn’t do it.
The cost will be recovered through a tax lien on the property. No one connected with the property attended the hearing. Conner said that if the problems aren’t addressed, the house will be boarded up and the county will proceed with abating the nuisances.