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Posted on October 31 at 12:58 a.m.
Talk about 30 people misses a crucial point.
The DA and City Attorney first convince the judge to declare a large portion of downtown Santa Barbara a "nuisance area." Days of public trial will be spent denouncing our city to the world. Testimony will be heard about how dangerous blighted Santa Barbara is. State Street blighted? Please look at the proposed map. These are not blighted areas. This is a lose lose trial for our community.
The scheme starts with devaluation of our real estate. By "our" I mean "my", since I live in the proposed nuisance zone.
Our economic health depends upon the reputation that Santa Barbara is a safe and beautiful place. Now our elected officials are recklessly placing this reputation in jeopardy.
What mechanism is there for the people whose property value will be affected by this to have a voice at the trial?
No one seems to be able to answer that.
This is not about 30 gang members who are already in prison or on probation. It is about 3000 and more homeowners and business people, many of whom--unlike Joyce Dudley and Steve Wiley--do not believe our neighborhoods are nuisance zones.
On Trial Date Set For Gang Injunction
Posted on May 21 at 10:09 a.m.
In Conclusion DA Joyce Dudley, City Attorney Steve Wiley, and Chief Cam Sanchez have a plan. If their plan works, it will discourage 5 people who are gang members from standing next to other people who are gang members when they are in public and within the boundaries of a nuisance area. And on certain holidays the nuisance area becomes bigger than on other days. That is their plan. They call it a "gang injunction."
Here are few of its problems:(1) Their plan has already cost us many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trying to convince a judge that the areas are a nuisance and the named people contribute to that nuisance will cost many hundreds of thousands more.
(2) Every hour the DA is focused on this civil lawsuit is an hour the DA is not focused on the litigation of actual criminal cases.
(3) Their plan will cause loss of property value to those, like me, whose property is within the proposed nuisance area.
(4) Their plan violates the rights of property owners as it provide no opportunity for us to object to their attempt to designate our property a "nuisance."
(5) Their plan places at risk Santa Barbara's international reputation as a safe tourist destination.
I conclude, Santa Barbara needs a different plan.
On Heated Debate Over Gang Injunction
Posted on May 17 at 11:37 p.m.
I think we all agree that the Nuisance Area is a tool. But a tool to do what specifically? It addresses the behavior of 30 individuals. 15 of those individuals are presently in jail or prison. A significant number of the remaining 15 are certainly on probation or parole. The terms of their probation include far more strict requirements than any injunction would give them. The police can already search them without any cause. Can search where they live without notice. The injunction tool has no such powers. Terms of probation already regulate whom they can be seen with. Further, a violation of felony probation could land them in prison. Violation of the injunction is a misdemeanor. So what is left for this tool to do? Jail, prison, parole and probation have taken care of most of the 30. Let us say there are 5 of the 30 who aren't on probation or parole, because they haven't been caught doing criminal behavior in the last 3 or more years. Paying over $100,000 for each one of these 5 guys so a judge could send them to jail for no more than six months for standing with another gang member? This makes no fiscal sense. I want law enforcement that is flexible, not tied to a convoluted map. The time that the DA is focused on this civil lawsuit sideshow is time that the DA is not spending on prosecuting actual criminal cases. It's a tool, agreed, a very expensive and inefficient tool that threatens my pocketbook when it declares my home a nuisance area. Let's invest in other tools.
Posted on May 17 at 1:58 a.m.
Again, I think we agree, we need to keep Santa Barbara from becoming a place in which people live in constant fear. That requires vigilance. We need to ensure our community is a safe place for all to grow and thrive. We agree. The problem is that DA and City Attorney want to declare my neighborhood, my house, a nuisance area now. This is not about preventing an eventual problem. They claim my house is a nuisance right now. And they are requesting that the court announce to the world, and anyone who might want to buy my house, that it is a nuisance area right now. It is not. At least not where I live. Why is there no mechanism for the judge to hear from me, Mr. City Attorney, Ms. District Attorney?
Posted on May 17 at 12:10 a.m.
I don't think we are that far apart. I want to pay taxes for all of the things you say are important. I would be willing to pay more if my elected officials were making good decisions about how to use my taxes. Tools are great, but different tools have different costs. Maybe the police could use a helicopter or two. Paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure 15 guys cannot stand too close to one another seems like a poor cost/benefit decision to me. Finally, I think I should at least have a chance to tell the judge, my neighborhood doesn't belong inside the nuisance zone. At least where I live, it feels like Santa Barbara and not like central LA in the 1980s.
Posted on May 16 at 11:01 p.m.
One of you accuses me of being "self-serving" because I am outraged that the nuisance zone will cost me thousands of dollars in lost property value. Well obviously that is correct. I care how much my home is worth. That is self-serving. But, let me guess, you don't own real estate in the proposed nuisance area. You write I should consider that the property value "may" increase in the future. Exactly correct here too. I have considered that, and I don't want to speculate on an untested scheme. The nuisance designation has no end date. Usually, when the government takes something from a property owner, the owner gets a chance to respond first--a day in court before the property is condemned for the benefit of the larger community. That is all I want. My chance to say, my neighborhood is not a nuisance; to say, draw your map differently. Instead, only the alleged gang members get a day in court. This is not justice.
Posted on May 16 at 1:09 a.m.
The City Attorney and DA are rolling the dice with the value of my home for the sake of 30 gang members, 15 of whom are already in jail or prison. And the City Council says the train has left the station. Outrageous!This is about the property rights of thousands of homeowners within the proposed nuisance area. If your home or business is in the zone you will need to tell prospective buyers, my property is in a zone that was determined by a judge to be a nuisance area because we live in constant fear of gang members. That is not a good selling point. If the injunction is such a great thing, why aren't owners of property outside the zone begging to have their neighborhoods included in the nuisance area?
Posted on April 27 at 12:05 a.m.
The DA and City Attorney are asking a judge to declare a large part of Santa Barbara a nuisance area. I own a home in that proposed "nuisance zone" and I want out. The injunction is about my rights as a property owner. Why is there no option for me to decline the government's offer of protection? (The DA makes a big deal about how former gang members can opt out, but I cannot!)The biggest cost of the injunction will be loss of property value for people like me whose homes are in the proposed nuisance area. When I sell my house, I must disclose that it is on a street that lives in constant fear of attack by the "baddest of the bad." Nonsense. But is the buyer more likely to rely on my realtor's assurances that there is no gang problem, or on a colorful map endorsed by the District Attorney?And what about business owners? Does a restaurant on State St. have a duty to warn customers who just stepped off the cruise ship that they are in a gang nuisance area? What number should we put on the cost of that new liability for businesses?I have no doubt that injunctions are a great tool in LA and Oakland, but Santa Barbara is a very different kind of place.
On City Council Finally Addressing Gang Injunction
Posted on April 11 at 1:31 p.m.
The real cost of the injunction is a city-wide loss of property value within the proposed nuisance area.My home is in the area which DA Joyce Dudley and City Attorney Steve Wiley seek to have declared a nuisance area. My realtor tells me that already now, if I try to sell, I must disclose to the buyer that I am in the proposed nuisance area. Our officials are asking the court to declare that around my house people are at immediate risk of attack and intimidation by gang members. Which is just not true. But if I fail to explain all this to the buyer the buyer may be able to back out of the contract or sue me. It is madness. How much has this already cost me in property value? $1000 $10,000? How much are the good folks in Mission Canyon going to lose? My neighborhood, near Cottage Hospital no more nuisance than theirs. But I don't look forward to explaining that to an out of town buyer or renter.DA and City Attorney say that 30 defendants--most of whom are already in prison (!)--can apply to opt out of the injunction. Well, I want to opt my property out too, but Dudley and Wiley have no option for that. Their model might work great in LA County where property values are depressed by real gang terror, but they should have thought things through before trying to apply it here. Perhaps an economist can put a number on what this will cost us Santa Barbara property owners but one thing is certain: It is a number that will make the DA's and City Attorney's hundreds of thousands in legal fees look miniscule in comparison.
On Gang Injunction Still Stuck in Juvenile Court
Posted on November 25 at 4:48 p.m.
Your responses do not address my concern.
If word of mouth already has declared my house a nuisance area, as you write, then at least I can do something about it. I can trim the hedge, paint the house, and remove the car from my lawn. I can encourage my neighbors to do the same, maybe even with legal action.
But if the DA and City Attorney get what they are asking for, my house is in a perpetual nuisance area no matter how good it looks.
I'm near Mission and Cottage Hospital, by the way. And my neighbor's house outside of the proposed border to the nuisance looks an awful lot like mine. (Neither us have cars on our lawns, although it is true the hedge could use a trim.)
Are homeowners who were excluded from the nuisance zone demanding the borders of the nuisance be expanded to include their homes? Of course they aren't. If the injunction is such a great thing, then why aren't they?
Imagine you're looking for a summer rental in a beach town. Do you want the house in the gang nuisance zone or the house outside the nuisance zone--regardless of how great the hedge looks? This City Attorney and DA experiment will have a direct and lasting financial impact on me.
I want out.
On Gang Injunction Blistered
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