Since the recession hit, Glendora has seen more dying lawns, overgrown yards, unmaintained businesses and foreclosed homes. Blight in Glendora, said Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro, is growing.
But as blight becomes more of problem, the city’s code enforcement division, which monitors cases of city code violations, may be in jeopardy.
Three code enforcement officers were partially funded through the now defunct redevelopment agency. With redevelopment now officially disbanded, Castro said code enforcement may be drastically reduced the following year.
One code enforcement officer was funded through the CDBG grant, a funding source that is expected to be significantly reduced the following year.
Each code enforcement officer focuses on a specific area of the city. One officer oversees the Route 66 corridor, while another focuses on Arrow Highway.
Code enforcement officers will deal with an array of code compliances cases such as unpermitted business banners or illegal signs. Each code enforcement officer currently takes on about 325 cases a year.
But lately, officers have been concentrating their efforts on landscaping issues in both residential and commercial areas.
Castro said maintenance of shopping centers and homes is starting to decline as more landowners and residents can’t keep up with landscaping costs.
“It’s not fair for the other property owners in the neighborhood to maintain their yards in the level that the community expects, but have one or two property owners let their property go,” said Castro.
Last year, code enforcement officers cited 31 residents and landowners for landscaping issues.
Castro said the department will often times host a neighborhood cleanup and enlist the help of church groups, boy scouts and other community volunteers to help residents maintain their yards.
But foreclosed homes is also adding to the visible blight in the city, said Castro.
One part-time code enforcement officer focuses on monitoring foreclosed homes and making sure the properties are maintained. Often times, the overgrown weeds and plants and neglected swimming pools of foreclosed homes will create safety hazards and force the city to clean up the yards. Last year, the city dealt with 28 foreclosed homes.
“We’re trying to get a handle on this so it’s not becoming the norm,” said Castro.
“By removing it, we won’t let it take hold.”
Not only is blight an aesthetic problem, blighted conditions may invite more crime into the area, said Castro.
But with a reduced staff, regulating the growing amount of code violations will be far more difficult.
“We try to maintain what a majority of our community wants,” said Castro. “They want a community where they feel secure and they feel safe,” said Castro. “They want their community to have an appearance of a safe community.”