County to collect for cleanup

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County is trying to get a Mi-Wuk Village property owner to pay for cleanup on a troublesome property.

This week, the county Board of Supervisors authorized building officials to demand about $7,500 in payment for cleanup at 24510 Highway 108. The cleanup work was conducted by the county and finished in May 2012, as the property was considered an imminent danger due to proliferation of garbage, pest infestation, illegal wiring and other substandard conditions.

The residential property is owned by the Daniel Alonzo Trust, which had not paid or contacted the county for the work and multiple notices about the code violations as of Tuesday.

According to Doug Oliver, the county's chief building official, these abatement orders and fees are only reserved for "very egregious health and safety violations or very attractive nuisances."

The county contacted the property owner multiple times with notices but the violations were never remedied, Oliver said. According to the county's Community Resources Agency, the county can place a lien on the property for failure to pay the fines and charges.

Photographs taken by the county at the site show garbage stacked almost floor to ceiling inside the house and garage, unsanitary conditions, sheetrock and insulation torn from the walls and large amounts of trash piled outside of the house.

Oliver said there were also reports of foul odors coming from the property, and almost a dozen local community members aided in the cleanup.

"The community did respond quite well," he said.

The county will force a cleanup and even demolition of a property in rare cases of severe health and safety violations. Another recent case took place recently when Tuolumne County demolished and cleaned up the long vacant buildings located at the old Little Sweden site on Highway 108. That cleanup work was also charged to the property owner.

The Union Democrat
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