Hancock Park residents have been frustrated in their attempts to stop illegal activity at 508 N. Highland Ave. that has become a haven for drug dealing and squatters. Other violations include suspected use as a boarding house, frequent yard sales, an illegal fence and general lack of maintenance.
“We have contacted our Council office, city Department of Building and Safety and the police department to ask for their assistance,” said Cindy Chvatal, president of Hancock Park Homeowners Association.
Complaints about illegal activity at the house date back to 2005.
In a drug bust last August, helicopters were drawn to the scene and L.A. Police Dept. officers raided the location and made several arrests. In February, Councilman Tom LaBonge’s office contacted the L.A.P.D. and city agencies.
Ben Seinfeld of LaBonge’s office said the house has been the subject of a court battle following the death of the previous owner. The property had been tied up in probate, adding to delays for action by the city.
Leela Kapur, chief of staff, office of the Los Angeles city attorney, said, “We began actively collaborating with L.A.P.D.’s Wilshire Division to combat illicit drug issues at the site. We also pushed to speed the probate process so the new owner would control the location as soon as possible.”
The probate issue was settled and a neighbor on Highland Ave. has purchased the home.
As we went to press, the city attorney’s office said the sheriff will be evicting all but one of the occupants, and will support the owner in evicting the remaining occupant, who claims she is there legally.