When the RPD Code Enforcement Team was formed in January 2015, one of the private properties it found with a large number of illegal transient camps was the extensive open land owned by the Thomason Development Co. to the northwest of Oasis Road and Cascade Blvd. For years, people in the surrounding neighborhood had regularly reported problems and crimes associated with the concentration of illegal camping on the property. The RPD Code Enforcement Team immediately began patrolling the land, posting illegal camps for removal, and citing numerous people who were illegally camping on the property. The team found one “village” of camps where some of the people had been living for years. The team had the Code Enforcement unit in the City of Redding Building Division notify the property owner, Thomason Development, of the problems on the land and request removal of the illegal camps and trash, as it was a longstanding and continuing public nuisance.
The RPD Code Enforcement Team continued to patrol the property, post illegal camps, and cite people illegally on the property. One of the neighbors who was very active in seeking to address transient problems on the Thomason land, Dave Anderson, noted that the RPD patrols reduced the illegal transient activity significantly.
Thomason Development did not take any action to remove the illegal camps and large amounts of trash on the property. Some of the camps and trash were next to Churn Creek, polluting the creek. The Code Enforcement unit in the Building Division repeatedly requested Thomason Development remove the illegal camps and trash. As Thomason Development declined to clean up the property after repeated requests and warnings, Code Enforcement brought the case to the City of Redding Administrative Hearing Board on February 18, 2015. The Administrative Hearing Board ordered Thomason Development to remove the illegal camps and trash on the property. Thomason Development still took no action to clean up the property. Due to their inaction, a $50 per day penalty began to be assessed. This has been the only undeveloped, open land property in Redding, with transient problems, which Code Enforcement has been forced to bring to an Administrative Hearing. In almost every other case, private property owners have worked in partnership with the RPD Code Enforcement Team to remove illegal camps and trash on their property.
Several weeks ago, Thomason Development contracted with Gabel Hauling and Demolition to clean up the property. Gabel conducted a clean up of the property, which was completed yesterday (October 27). The RPD Code Enforcement Team conducted a final inspection of the property and certified that all of the illegal camps and trash had been removed. As of October 26, Thomason Development had accrued the daily penalty over 227 days, at $50 per day, totaling $11,350.
The RPD Code Enforcement Team has worked with numerous private property owners in Redding to remove illegal campers and their camps from private property. The team has found the partnership to be the most successful when property owners continue to inspect and maintain their property, and immediately remove an illegal camp as soon as it appears. Often, removing low lying vegetation, and raising the canopy of trees, makes the property less attractive as a place to illegally camp. It is important that the property is properly posted with “no trespassing” signs and a “consent to enforcement” letter is on file with the Police Department. The RPD Code Enforcement Team continues to patrol such properties as often as possible. Our hope is that Thomason Development will continue to monitor their properties in Redding.