About a month ago I contacted the Outlets management group about the weeds growing on Camino Arroyo between the two sections of the Outlets, and they don’t seem to be doing anything about it. I was wondering if maybe this is the city’s issue. I must say it looks really bad out there, especially considering a lot people come from out of town to go to the Outlets in particular. To have the weeds taller than 12 feet is unbelievably tacky and an eyesore.
I also noticed that the Hometown Buffet has been closed down for about two months, but nobody is mowing the lawn there, either. That Camino Arroyo loop is a heavily traveled area and it really looks bad.
So I’m wondering if the city could possibly intervene or do something about the weeds at the Outlets and the weeds at the Hometown Buffet because our city just continues to look a little bit worse for wear and I’m surprised things like that aren’t being addressed. I don’t think visitors to Gilroy or locals should have to put up with that kind of blight.
Thank you, good caller, for bringing these two situations to the attention of Red Phone. Red Phone is happy to inform you that half of the problem has already been resolved. Red Phone contacted Gilroy Fire Marshall, Jackie Bretschneider, who immediately checked on the two situations.
Bretschneider said that she drove by Camino Arroyo to look for the tall grass. What she found is this, “I found the issue on Camino Arroyo just south of Leavesley, and I would categorize those as blight not a fire hazard. I will forward to Public Works and to the Outlets management. I am not sure who maintains that strip.”
Later, Bretschneider said,” The outlets have since taken care of the median area. So I think that one is done.”
When asked about the Hometown Buffet lawn, Bretschneider said, “The lawn at Hometown buffet is alive, and therefore is not weeds or a fire hazard. However it does constitute blight. I have the email for the owner and I will send them a note. Sometimes a gentle reminder works. I am sure that they will address it.”
Bretschneider offered this advice for those reporting problems. “It is important for someone complaining to give as good a location as they can. Of course, a picture is often very useful as long as I can tell where it’s located (a close-up of the weeds is not helpful). But I often get detailed explanations or a screenshot of a Google Earth image.”
For the weed abatement program, Bretschneider said, “Property owners were sent notices in January and again in April. However many property owners wait up to the deadline.”
For property sites not yet on the weed abatement list, Bretschneider will identity the site and confirm the complaint with a drive-by. A notice is sent with a week to 10-day compliance period, or the owner receives a $100 per day citation. Bretschneider said, “This usually gets their attention, except finding property owners can be a challenge.”
Bretschneider said, “Property in the process of foreclosure or bankruptcy is always a problem, but then that is where the county comes in and does the work.”
So, good caller, by the time you read this, the problems may be a distant memory. In the future, for blight problems, call Gilroy code enforcer Scott Barron at (408) 846-0264. For tall weeds that may be a fire hazard, call Fire Marshall Bretschneider at (408) 846-0439.