Richmond City Official Faces Blight Charge - NBC Bay Area

Richmond City Official Faces Blight Charge



    One man's trash is another man's treasure is playing out literally in the city of Richmond. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Tuesday, June 18, 2013)

    Richmond Vice Mayor Corky Booze is in the middle of a fight against what zoning officials call blight.

    Booze rents a storage yard and operates a restoration and storage operation on a busy corner surrounded by homes.

    City officials are going after him by threatening a lawsuit to clean it up. Booze said he keeps the items in his Richmond storage yard under lock and key.

    “Because I’m outspoken for the community, I’ve become victim to these political attacks,” Booze said.

    City Manager Bill Lindsay said the property is illegal. "What we perceive it to be illegal storage in violation of our land use codes,” Lindsay said.

    Lindsay said the codes prevent Booze from keeping certain items in his yard.

    Officials say the property is a public nuisance with too many wrecked, dismantled and inoperable vehicles.

    But booze showed us court documents that don’t restrict what he can store in the yard, and he says what you see here is bought, sold and he says it’s not junk.

    The city manager disagrees. “We think that the condition of property has an effect on crime property values we feel we have an obligation to proceed on that,” Lindsay said.