La Jolla neighbors seek relief from ‘Rancho Relaxo’

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

It might be the beginning of the end for “Rancho Relaxo.”

That’s what Bird Rock residents have dubbed the house at 5460 La Jolla Hermosa they say is a nuisance to the neighborhood.

Neighbors have been compiling a laundry list of complaints against a revolving door of tenants on the 900-square-foot, single-family residence, whose landlord, they claim, has been operating for years as a lodging/rooming house in an alleged violation of the San Diego Municipal Code.

Recently, 18 neighbors banded together with the cooperation of San Diego Police, First District Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and a host of governmental agencies to bring a consolidated legal action against the property owned by the Blakely Nan M. Trust.

A judicial decision on that case in Small Claims Court is pending. But San Diego Police Lt. Jim Filley told Bird Rock Community Council members at their monthly meeting last week the outlook on “remedying” the nuisance situation is positive and hopeful.

“It’s a flop house with a commune-style environment,” said Filley, noting a police raid there several weeks ago revealed 11 people living on the premises, some in cars in the front and back yards. “He’s (homeowner’s) a hoarder so the inside of the house is a mess. He also has issues with dogs labeled vicious: He can’t get mail there anymore.”

Filley said complaints on the residence stretch back 10 to 15 years.

“There’s been virtually every kind of nuisance that you can imagine — noise, dogs; at one point they even had a senior citizen living in the garage with no electricity,” Filley said. “There have been rats and cockroaches moving through the property: It’s just been really challenging.”

The Bird Rock community worked with Leo Wilson, director of Safe Streets Now: San Diego, to put together a case against “Rancho Relaxo.”

“Safe Streets is a program where communities can get individuals to file petitions together for a small claims action seeking relief,” said Wilson. “The maximum reward per individual is $7,500. If this action is successful, the court could find that each of the plaintiffs is eligible.”

In a statement of facts submitted by plaintiffs in their nuisance lawsuit in Small Claims Court heard Jan. 31, it was documented that the latest San Diego Police Department raid on Rancho Relaxo on Jan. 14, 2011, resulted in three arrests. One person was charged with felony possession for sale of several narcotic substances, including methamphetamine.  Two others were arrested for parole violations.

A letter from the City Attorney’s Office to the court noted the presence of “known convicts and drug users” loitering and staying overnight on the subject property.

“I think we’re going to get a favorable verdict,” said Filley. “If he (owner) has the money, and I don’t think he does, it would be about a $127,000 verdict for the plaintiffs.”

“I applaud you (community) for your efforts,” Filley added. “It’s a very courageous thing for people to get together and take an action. Oftentimes we (police) get told: It’s your problem, go fix it. This time it was ‘our’ problem. Anybody who lives next to a nuisance property that doesn’t go away understands how uncomfortable it can be.”

“It’s a serious and significant safety issue,” said BRCC president Joe Parker. “There has been fighting, yelling and screaming at all hours of the day and night, extremely aggressive dogs, loud music, dilapidated cars … it just goes on and on. We’re tired of it.”

Parker talked about what they would like to see ultimately happen with Rancho Relaxo.

“We want him (owner) to sell his house and leave,” he said. “He’s made it clear he has no intention of changing what’s going on.”

Related posts:

  1. Bird Rock salutes Joe LaCava
  2. Warning issued on century plants in Bird Rock
  3. La Jolla crash injuries at 5; driver faces felony charges
  4. 3 children, 1 adult hurt as drunk driver crashes onto sidewalk, into La Jolla restaurant
  5. Bird Rock has plenty of opportunities for community involvement

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=34956

Posted by Dave Schwab on Feb 10, 2011. Filed under La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

6 Comments for “La Jolla neighbors seek relief from ‘Rancho Relaxo’”

  1. Matt

    If "RR" gets shut down the auto glass companies will suffer!

  2. BirdRockNative

    I am a frequent "passer by" on my bicycle, there is nothing short of removing the residents that will change the situation. Best of luck to the neighbors getting rid of this nuisance.

  3. Courtney Cale-Bell

    Mrs. Blakey, the home owners mother was a wonderful woman. She left her home to her only son when she passed away. She was one of the kindest people around. She took care of many of the youth of that area. It as a sad situation.

  4. WINDSONG

    "MRS. B ", AS MRS. BLAKELY WAS CALLED, IS SURVIVED BY HER SON WHOSE KINDNESS AND CARE FOR PEOPLE WAS NOT APPRECIATED AND RESPECTED AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN . HE HAS BEEN OUTNUMBERED AND EXPLOITED …SOMETIMES TO THE POINT OF DISPONDENCY…WHILE DOING HIS BEST TO CONTINUE HIS MOTHER'S LEGACY OF HELPING PEOPLE WHO HAD NO WHERE ELSE TO TURN TO. HE IS PAYING THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR THE LACK OF HIS TENANTS TO RETURN THE BROTHERLY CONCERN HE HAS SHOWN TOWARD THEM. I PRAY THAT THE NEIGHBORS AND AUTHORITIES WILL FIND IT IN THEIR HEARTS TO RESPECT THE GOODNESS IN A MAN WHO MEANT WELL BUT WAS OVERWHELMED .

  5. Courtney Cale-Bell

    Hey Now Windsong,

    Since I have moved away , I don't get over to Dano's often. It is really terrific to read such nice things about him. He was always a true friend to me. He "picked me up and put me back on my feet again." I am glad to hear that his soul and goodness is still the core of who he is. I too hope that everything works out in the end for Dano. Thanks!

  6. sneeb

    rancho relaxo sucks and so do the tweakers that reside there-used to pass on my bike all the time, even saw drug deals…shut it down.

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