City Council Addresses Negligence of Village Square Shopping Center

30 West Shaw is the location of multiple empty buildings that have been a landing spot for vandalism, break-ins, and fires. All along the south side of the building is the continuation of empty buildings and businesses.

A resolution for the City of Clovis was brought to the attention of the City Council in Monday’s meeting to confirm the assessment for costs of an abatement of a nuisance brought on by one of the city’s commercial business locations.

30 West Shaw, or better known as the Village Square shopping center off of Shaw and Minnewawa houses businesses like Old Town Donuts and VIP Nails and Spa. However, it also houses empty building after empty building.

These empty buildings have experienced break-ins, vandalism, and even a small fire. Over 67 code enforcement citations have been made on the vacant buildings without response from the property owner.

Assistant City Manager Andy Haussler stated that the city does have a potential buyer for the property and as a part of the resolution the city will be able to negotiate “specific terms” upon a potential deal with a new buyer.

Mayor Pro-Tem Lynne Ashbeck thought there were too many instances in which the city engaged in code enforcement without action. “Either our citation amounts are not enough, or we give people too many”.

She then went on to say 67 times was “ridiculous”. Ashbeck was mostly concerned with the staff time it took for the Police Department to go to the property and cite the property for code enforcement.

City Attorney Scott Cross assured there is a certain amount of time the city has to allow for the opportunity of the property owner to dispute the code enforcement.

Coming before the City Council is the final step in retrieving “recompense” for the property according to Cross.

Overseer of the Code Enforcement Team of the Police Department, Corporal Jesus Santillan addressed the situation and stated his main concern were the complaints he receives from the other businesses in the area.

Cpl. Santillan says the businesses’ concerns made it a concern of the department to go on site and to formulate a plan for the safety of the public.

He mentioned the small fire that took place in the location and stated, “It was fortunate that the entire structure did not engulf in flames”.

Cpl. Santillan then went on, “Those business owners in that area deserve more to properly maintain a successful business. This is what customers have to stare at now because of an irresponsible owner.”

Councilmember Drew Bessinger asked if there were attempts to contact the owner and was told that there were letters sent to the original property owner to which the City never received a response.

According to Andy Haussler, the only contact with the original owner was from a broker for the new deal with the new property owner.

Mayor Flores thanked Cpl. Santillan for keeping the businesses together and the vote to confirm the assessment passed 5-0.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.