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Local News July 13, 2006


Waldron Seeks Ordinance Prohibiting Rentals to Illegals

Escondido Councilwoman Marie Waldron is seeking to craft an ordinance that will prohibit rentals to illegal aliens. She is presently doing research to determine how such an ordinance might be written to comply with existing fair housing laws.

There is a test case in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, that seeks passage of such an ordinance. It also seeks to require English as the official language for that community as well. Waldron hopes to attack these issues incrementally.

“It is against the law for me or any other business owner to hire illegals. I don’t quite understand why we can’t have the right to require rentals to only someone who has legal standing, whether that is as a citizen or a resident alien with a green card that shows they’ve complied with our laws.”

Fellow councilmembers Ed Gallo and Sam Abed seem sympathetic with Waldron’s mission. Gallo: “I’ve also been concerned about having sufficient regulatory power to restrict the number of people able to live in a residence. But we may have out hands tied on that issue as well. I can remember a horrible example of several years ago when we had a fire at one of the flower street homes. Firefighters responded and found a garage partitioned off into individual rooms and there were 19 persons living at that one house. Thank God no one was injured or killed that night.

Another more current example, we have a house on Ash Street in the North 700 block. The whole front yard is cemented in and there are eight cars parked there. How many people live in that three bedroom, 1000 square foot house? Situations like this drain our public services, our police services, our school system. The fees were paid when the house was built but that did not provide for 12-14 people living in the house. The school system today doesn’t get a dime from the increased school age kids living there.”

Waldron agreed, saying she had many complaints of up to 18 people living in a single family residence.

Councilman Ron Newman is not “real warm,” to Waldron’s idea. “I sometimes wonder, with an election right around the corner if proposals such as this, which are very popular with the community, but possibly not do-able legally, are more for show. I don’t think her idea will stand up to a legal challenge. I have a good relationship with Marie . . . but I’m mindful that she’s running for re-election in November . . . I would need more input.”

“Both issues, renting to illegals and restricting the number of tenants in a single family residence, become property rights issues.”

Pointed out that housing agencies that provide governmentally subsidized housing do, indeed, require proof of citizenship . . . but that private ownership did not . . . Newman agreed that there appeared to be a double standard. “I know we place certain restrictions on Habitat for Humanity homes we build in partnership with the community, and to some extent, subsidize . . . but whether we could do that with private ownership I just don’t know. We’d need some legal counsel.”

San Marcos Robbery Nets $12,000

Described as two Latino males, one with a silver and black revolver, the other with a paring knife, the two bandits demanded money from a store clerk then fled the area on foot.

The robbery was reported at the 99 Cent Store at 309 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, according to Sheriff’s deputies.

Ordinance Requiring Stores to Keep Carts on Property?

As part of the city of Escondido’s anti-graffiti and other unsightly visual impacts, city staff has submitted to the City Council a proposed ordinance that would impose fines of up to $1000 on vendors who did not comply with the law.

Many complaints come in to city offices about abandoned carts used to transport groceries home and then simply left on the street. Several companies, notably Food 4 Less and the 99 Cent store on E. Valley Parkway, have electronic locks that prevent carts from leaving the premises. Other vendors pay trucks to go around the neighborhoods and collect abandoned carts. Frequently, homeless persons use the cart as their personal ‘baggage trolleys,’ others simply cart groceries home then leave the carts wherever is most convenient for them. This frequently results in littering the streets and sidewalks of Escondido.

Recently, the Escondido City Council voted $1 million to address issues of visual blight, including graffiti and problems similar to that of the abandoned grocery carts.

San Marcos Mobile Home Park Faces Rent Hike: Residents Unhappy

There’s a new owner of the Villa Vista Mobile Home park and the residents aren’t happy about it. Reason? The new owner intends on raising the rents by aproximately 27%.

Residents, many of whom are senior citizens on fixed incomes, are both alarmed and angry that the rental rates have been proposed. They plan on petitioning the San Marcos City Council, asking them to deny the rate increase. First, however, they will have to obtain their own petition with a majority of park owners signing. Since only 31 of the 85 families living in the park are immediately affected (those on month-to-month leases) obtaining the necessary petition signatures is not a given. Those residents on a long term lease would not be subject to the rental increases until expiration of their lease.

Residents also have expressed an interest in still trying to buy the mobile home park. A city ordinance does provide first refusal rights to park residents. Attempts, so far, have been unsuccessful.





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