Victorville program aims to clean up properties, but some say it goes too far

Rob McMillan Image
Saturday, June 8, 2024
New Victorville program aims to clean up residential properties
Victorville is looking for residents to trim weeds and remove inoperable vehicles but some say they can't afford to make all of the improvements.

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KABC) -- A new initiative meant to clean up the city of Victorville is being met with mixed reactions, with some residents saying they can't afford to make the necessary changes to their property.

Rebecca Vigil said she received a notice from city code enforcement earlier this week advising her to remove a non-functional vehicle from the driveway, remove weeds and replace a patch of dirt in her front yard.

"I just feel it's unfair, because we don't have that kind of money to put into redoing our landscaping," Vigil said.

She said a city representative told her if changes aren't made, she could be issued a notice of violation within 30 days.

"They're going to put a lien on my home, and they're going to accumulate more fines, and we cannot refinance or sell our home with those liens and the fines. So I think it's not fair."

Vigil said she, as well as many other community members who received notices, won't be able to make the required changes.

"They're on fixed incomes; they're elderly and they have no idea how they're going to do that," said Vigil. "I have scoliosis in my back, and I cannot bend down to place rocks in the yard by myself, and I can't afford to pay a landscaper $4,000 in this economy. We can't do it."

A city spokesperson said they launched the Community Enhancement Program a few months ago in direct response to the community's desire to clean up the city and improve the quality of life.

"The program is educational first," said city spokesperson Sue Jones. "Code compliance officers visit homes with a checklist of common violations like excessive weeds or inoperable vehicles parked at the property. They are given 30 days to begin correcting the violations."

"We do work with our residents. For example, those who need more time to correct significant violations like landscaping can be granted extra time as long as progress is being made. Depending on the type of violation, we may have programs to assist residents experiencing financial hardships, and we invite them to reach out to us to learn about eligible programs."

The Community Enhancement Program is part of Measure P, which hiked the sales tax from 7.75% to 8.75% when it was approved by Victorville voters in 2020.

Jones said since the Community Enhancement Program began in early 2024, code enforcement officers have reached approximately 2,800 homes. She said more than half of residents make corrections upon receiving the initial notice.