The Palo Alto City Council has stepped in after a public complaint was filed about a house that some residents feel is a possible “hoarder house” and may pose a risk to neighbors.
The house, in a South Palo Alto neighborhood with homes worth millions, is a concern for neighbors because there are boxes and trash piled up in front, spilling onto the lawn. Neighbors worry about the possibility of a fire hazard and of rats that come from the debris.
“This isn’t a landfill, this is a neighborhood,” said resident Drew Oman. “This isn’t a photoshoot for sunset [magazine], there are all kinds of yards here, but this is trash.”
One woman, who lives nearby and who brought the compliant to the City Council, said that rats from the house are coming onto her property. She demanded that code enforcement investigate, which they did last Thursday. The city said that the property is not an immediate hazard, but they did send the homeowner a notice to clean up his yard within 30 days or face a fine.
The homeowner said he minds his own business and is not a hoarder, and that while neighbors complained to the city they didn’t say anything to him.
“There are more serious issues than someone who has some extra things in their yard,” he said.
Other neighbors see his point. “It doesn’t appear anything is off the premises,” said neighbor Tyler Sagan. “It’s just one of those things, I just walk by and try to ignore it.”