Council votes for abatement on Sparkle Dr. home


On March 5, 2009, a driver traveling at high speed crashed into a property on the corner of Canyon Lake Dr. South and Sparkle Dr., causing it to flip into the air and smash into this house on the opposite corner.

The impact of the car resulted in damages to windows and stucco as high as the second story.

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At its January meeting, the Canyon Lake City Council voted unanimously to approve a nuisance abatement hearing on property located at 22485 Canyon Lake Drive South. The house that sits on the corner of Sparkle and Canyon Lake Dr. has been considered an eyesore for over two years, according to the background information on the report submitted to the Council by Code Enforcement Officer Jean Voshall.

Residents may recall that on March 5, 2009, the house was damaged when a driver allegedly lost control of his vehicle. According to an account provided by the Canyon Lake Police Department, a male driver was traveling on CLDS at a high rate of speed in a convertible Nissan 350Z at approximately 11:30 p.m., approaching Sparkle Dr. from the direction of the Main Gate when, for unknown reasons, he left the roadway, hitting several items in the front yard of a home at the opposite corner of Sparkle and Canyon Lake Dr. South.

The car became airborne and landed on Sparkle Dr. before flipping several times and striking the house on the opposite corner of the intersection. The car finally stopped after hitting several trees in front of the second home. The driver survived; however, no information was available at the time regarding his condition.

The house, built in 1989, has been sold and purchased four times. The latest recorded sale was in November 2006, that owner still holds title. On July 23, 2010, over a year and half, after the accident that caused damage to the house,the owners were mailed a letter from Building and Safety regarding state health and safety codes. On August 25, 2010, Officer Voshall inspected the house, finding structural damage evident from the accident, and lack of landscape maintenance.

Due to a language barrier, the granddaughter of the owner communicated with Officer Voshall. In September 2010, she contacted Code Enforcement stating the owners were going to be living off site for three to four weeks until the contractor could finish the stucco and window replacement.

The owner agreed to start landscaping restoration within a week of the phone call. The owner went to Canyon Lake's Building Department to purchase the required building permit, but decided not to purchase it due to cost, according to Voshall's report to Council.

In October and November 2010, communication between the owner and Code Enforcement included discussion of a reduced permit fee and promises to obtain a permit. Consent letters were posted on the front door stating the City would do the work and put a lien on the property with the owner's consent.

There were four citations for no building permit and continued lack of maintenance on the property. An attempt to hand deliver an abatement letter to the owner's primary residence outside of Canyon Lake failed when the person residing in the home said the owner no longer lived there or owned the property.

On November 18, 2010, the granddaughter contacted Code Enforcement on the behalf of the owner asking about the abatement hearing and later came in to obtain the building permit.

From November 19, 2010 through July 7, 2011, Officer Voshall says Code Enforcement was not able to cite the property for continued violations due to active permits.

On July 7, 2011, the building permit expired with no building inspections and Code Enforcement issued a citation and posted to the front of the property. Officer Voshall says on several occasions she contacted Bank of America, lender of record, to do the repairs on the property.

On September 9, 2011, Bank of America started foreclosure on the property. In October, a joint inspection was completed with US Best Buys and Officer Voshall. Also that month, Canyon Lake Police removed and arrested squatters as a result of stolen property being recovered. Bank of America later reported removing seven gallons of hazardous materials and approximately four cubic yards of exterior debris, discussing further work to be performed.

An attorney for Bank of America, Kathy PourSane, appeared before the January City Council meeting to let members know Bank of America desires to continue to working with the City. She told them all repairs done prior to the City Council meeting were being paid by Bank of America, noting that, as of January 4, the house still was owned by Aida Rey, owner since 2006.

The attorney also stated at the meeting the bank attempted to access the house when first notified, but was denied access by the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association.

In an interview after the City Council meeting, Voshall told The Friday Flyer she is pleased to work with Bank of America. "Bank of America has been willing to assist in this situation since I first contacted them. The obstacle has been getting permits from the Property Owners Association because permits must be issued to the legal owner, which, at this time, Bank of America is not." She noted the abatement proceeding will allow Bank of America and the City to make repairs.

Prior to the vote on nuisance abatement at the January Council meeting, Councilman Barry Talbot said, "We must remember City money can be used, and a lien placed on the property by the City would supersede even the mortgage company when the house sells."

Mayor Jordan Ehrenkranz shared with the Council that he had walked through the house prior to the meeting. "There is a health hazard there, a fire hazard." After the 5-0 vote, Barry concluded, "It's about time."