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Volunteers launch another home makeover

Group will wield paint brushes and shovels to help a Canyon Country homeowner meet code violations

Posted: June 18, 2009 8:39 p.m.
Updated: June 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
It’s been an extreme year for Santa Clarita’s Community Preservation Office.

Since last year, the city has hosted four Extreme Neighborhood Makeover block parties.

In the last 11 months, code enforcement officers have cited 125 homes in Newhall, Saugus and Canyon Country for code violations. About 95 percent of those cases have been rectified, Community Preservation Administrator Cruz Caldera said.

“People are taking more pride in ownership,” Caldera said Thursday. “This is a proactive effort.”

Common offenses, he said, have included unmaintained front yards, trash and inoperable vehicles on property.

Last summer, the city started holding the block parties to point residents in the right direction, explaining whom to call to report problems like potholes and graffiti while also surveying neighborhoods for code violations.

The residents in the neighborhoods were given 30 days to spruce up their properties before code enforcement officers went out to enforce.

Caldera said residents have been very responsive to the call to spruce up their property.

Some, however, simply couldn’t afford compliance.

On Saturday, a group of volunteers from Grace Baptist Church is descending on a home in Canyon Country. Caldera said the elderly man who lives there had nearly $500 in code violations.

Unable to pay for house-painting and landscaping, the man was willing to accept volunteer assistance, Caldera said.

“It would have taken him forever because he’s on a fixed income,” Caldera said.

There are no more block parties scheduled for now, and Caldera said his department plans to regroup in six months to review the makeover program.


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