LADWP cuts power to controversial Sylmar property packed with RV homes

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Wednesday, July 19, 2023
LADWP cuts power to controversial RV property in Sylmar
LADWP crews climbed poles and cut wires to turn off service at a controversial property in Sylmar that has generated multiple neighbor complaints.

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On one of the hottest days of the year, city utility crews cut the power to a controversial property in Sylmar that is home to dozens of RVs and an unknown number of tenants.

Officials for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are refusing to say why their crews turned off service at the property just as temperatures were climbing into the high 90s. Video footage showed crews climbing power poles just after noon and snipping wires at the top.

The RVs are packed onto a residential lot at the corner of Hubbard and Lucas streets that has been subject to multiple neighbor complaints for years. Many of those complaints were focused on the smell and human waste pouring into the street.

The utility shutoff happened as officials with multiple city agencies showed up at the property.

A spokesperson for LADWP refused to say which department ordered the power turned off, citing confidentiality reasons, and instead told Eyewitness News that LAPD and the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety were "taking the lead" on this case.

Eyewitness News reached out to both the police and building and safety departments, but our multiple requests for comment have gone unanswered.

See our previous reports on this property here on YouTube.

The owner of the property, Cruz Godoy, is due in court Wednesday, charged with misdemeanors related to zoning and permit violations.

Residents of the RVs say Godoy charges them around $500 a month for each mobile home. Aerial images show there are more than 20 RVs on the property.

"They've had, I guess right now, about 26 RVs in the back property and they have a lot of issues with sewage overflowing," said Curt Cabrera Miller, the president of the Sylmar Neighborhood Council. "There's been 41 violations, opened and closed cases from the Department of Building and Safety on this property."

Cabrera Miller says that neighbor complaints to the city date all the way back to 2013, and since then residents have captured images of human waste leaking off Godoy's property and onto sidewalks and into neighboring yards.

Inspectors from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety went onto the property Tuesday morning, accompanied by Los Angeles Police Department officers.

Godoy was at the home Tuesday but declined to talk to Eyewitness News. Manny Femat, who does maintenance for Godoy, says she is only trying to provide shelter for the RV residents.

"You're cutting the power to an elderly woman? With this heat?" Femat said.

He warned that if the RVs are removed, it will just add to the city's homelessness problem.

"If they decide to take the trailers out, then they're going to have them right here, parked in the street," Femat said. "There are trailers out there in the street right now. They don't even have tags on them and they're allowed to stay out there."

Although the embattled property sits in LA Councilmember Monica Rodriguez's district, Rodriguez has refused previous requests to be interviewed about the lack of city action against the owner for so many years. Tuesday night, her office did release a written statement from the councilwoman:

"The City family continues to work with great urgency to mitigate the impacts for both the individuals living on the property and neighboring residents. As previously shared, we are working with all resources at our disposal to address the public health and safety concerns and place those residing in the RVs with emergency shelter. The conditions on this private property is an exploitation of vulnerable people seeking housing, and I'm hopeful that the City Attorney will be successful in representing this case in court tomorrow."