Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hauling Out the Trailer Trash - One Piece at a Time

O.K., folks, it's time to clean up for the annual health department inspection of the commissary operation. Of course, we don't have to worry about the really big ticket items because the county's Environmental Health Department only checks food temperatures, hot water, washing hands, and whether the ice scoop is clean (more on that last one later.)

Anyway, five (5) pieces of trailer trash are hidden in plain sight, among all the other building code violations and affronts to common sense and decency. Can you spot them?

The first two fall under something called "Property Maintenance" in Manteca's Municipal Code (Chapter 17.53.) Freezers are specifically mentioned in both the "Unlawful Residential Property Nuisance" section and the "Unlawful Nonresidential Property Nuisance" section - so the code boys from city hall can take their pick (they seem to be confused whether this is a business or not.)

These two big metal boxes with compressors on top were apparently used during TLC Catering's heyday (circa 1999, four EHD truck licenses and the EHD commissary license.) Now they are used for storing junk and harboring vermin and feral cats. Don't believe me? See for yourself.

Abandoned Trailmobile full size shipping container.

Located along east property line, behind the commissary trailer. Cast-off from unlawful business operation. Unused for at least two years, probably more. Formerly used as walk-in refrigerator/freezer with two roof-mounted compressors.

Abandoned metal insulated walk-in refrigerator/freezer.

Located along north property line, in vicinity of commercial icemaker and several refrigerators. Cast-off from unlawful business operation. Unused for at least two years, probably more.

Abandoned vehicles

The three vehicles are under a different part of the Municipal Code, in Chapter 8.20, Abandoned Vehicles. The city council found that: "The accumulation and storage of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof on private or public property not including highways is found to create a condition tending to reduce the value of private property, to promote blight and deterioration, ..." Yup, I agree with that.

Unlicensed and inoperative vehicles can only be stored on residential property if they are enclosed in a building and not visible from the street or other public or private property. The interesting thing about all three vehicles is the For Sale sign inside each windshield, as if the owners are pretending to dispose of them. This car and these trucks "appear by sight to have been left to the elements" and the California Highway Patrol confirms their unlicensed and inoperative status.

It's bad enough that Manteca allows (even protects) an illegal business to operate on this property. Worse, still is the official denial of its existence and operation. Now, we get to watch the business jetsam turn to detritus...

Two complaints were entered into the city's "government out-of-reach" website, one for the two freezers and one for the three vehicles. However, the two "pigeon hole" classifications for the complaints were both assigned to code enforcement, so I estimate the liklihood of real resolution to be zero (0.00%).

We will watch to see which gets the cast offs first - rust or city enforcement people. (No bets taken - that's illegal, you know.)

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