Some residents of makeshift RV lot in Sylmar remain to clean up for a planned inspection

Christiane Cordero Image
Monday, July 24, 2023
Some residents of makeshift RV lot in Sylmar remain despite conditions
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Some residents of an illegal RV lot in Sylmar remained on Monday, despite a court order to vacate the property by Sunday.

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Some residents of an illegal RV lot in Sylmar remained on Monday, despite a court order to vacate the property by Sunday.

Tarps have been put up in front of the property to block cameras from viewing what is going on, but the maintenance worker who lives on the property said residents are helping the owner clean up before an inspection of some kind next week.

The property sits both within Los Angeles and the city of San Fernando, but L.A. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez's office, which represents the area where part of the RV lot resides, said that everyone on the property has to leave and that an emergency shelter was set up for the RV lot's residents after their power was cut last Tuesday.

Residents who have spoken to Eyewitness News say the city's shelters are not suitable replacements for them, and would only be temporary.

"They had a place to stay, now they don't. What are they going to do? Give them motel a voucher, that's a temporary fix," said Joe Osorina of Sylmar.

A judge last week ordered residents to leave the property that has been subject to numerous complaints from neighbors, many of them centered around sewage spills and odor.

An estimated four dozen residents lived at the property and it is not entirely clear how many remain. But the owner, Cruz Godoy, is one of the people who have stayed.

"It's her home, why would she leave? That's abandoning her property," said Manny Femat, a maintenance worker who lives on the property. "She's scared straight, she's scared. She's crying and shaking."

Neighbors say they had complained to the city for years about the property, with raw human waste at times spilling into the street. But Godoy, who has been charged with two misdemeanors by the city, told Eyewitness News that she did not know of any issues.

"I can't tell you anything about that. I don't know about any dirtiness. I don't see any dirtiness," Godoy said.

Hector Rivera, one of the neighbors of the lot who has been trying to get it cleaned up, said the sewage needed to be better handled.

"Give them sanitary conditions to live in. Get them Porta Potties, have them dump that weekly. Don't dump your waste in our streets," he said.

Rivera also credited Eyewitness News for investigating and finally prompting action by city officials and the courts.

"It's crazy," said Rivera. "I reported to ABC7, (reporter) Rob Hayes called. Thirty-three days ago you guys broke the story. Now we got results. Not 33 weeks, not 33 months: 33 days. Because of you guys we finally got some action. It's been going on for years and years with the neighborhood trying to get help."

The judge ordered the property be vacated due to electrical and sewage issues at the RV lot. Sewage could be seen and smelled around the area, posing an unpleasant safety risk.

See our previous reports on this property here on YouTube.

Some residents who did move out on Sunday told Eyewitness News they weren't sure where they were going to go.

It is believed Godoy was charging about $500 a month in rent for each RV.