By Mark Gomez, San Jose Mercury News
Posted: 03/15/2012 06:24:40 AM PDT, Updated: 03/15/2012 08:03:03 AM PDT
Crews were in their second day at a San Jose home removing mountains of debris so massive that workers used two hauling trucks, each capable of carrying 72,380 pounds of material, to get the job done.
As of Wednesday morning, they still hadn’t made their way into the backyard.
The extreme makeover at 226 S. Claremont Ave. began Tuesday after a vote last month by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to declare the residence a public nuisance. The piles of junk, garbage and other items, including worn out bicycles, car tires and animal cages, had become so vast that it was visible from satellite photos.
The cleanup, which is expected to take about five days, ends a years-long struggle for neighbors who live in the otherwise well-kept neighborhood located off Alum Rock Avenue.
Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy Tea House, who had sent in an earlier story about the residents complaining about the massive piles of garbage at this house. Looks like once this story hit both what’s left of a newspaper as well as on KGO-7 television news, the County finally took action.
Neighbors have been trying to have the grounds cleaned up since 2005. Cleanup orders and fines were ignored by Richard Baker, the 58 year old son of the registered homeowners. People fortunate enough to live near this local attraction suggested that Richard might be a few hundred square feet short of a McMansion.
Robert and Bessie Baker, Richard Baker’s parents, have both been deceased for ten years, so management of the house was transferred to the Office of the Public Guardian. This agency will be responsible for inventorying whatever is in the house, as opposed to the mountains of garbage outside mostly headed for the landfill. Anything of value inside or out would be saved for the Bakers’ estate, over and above this valuable residence. In addition to Richard, the Bakers also have a daughter living in Santa Cruz who was only located recently.
Richard had been living in the house while collecting treasures, but not recently. He did show up at the County hearing to object to the the home’s being declared a public nuisance, although the neither the Murk nor KGO-7 reported on what his reasons were. He attempted to postpone the hearing because he had been in the hospital, but was unsuccessful. We’d guess the County’s embarrassment over things getting to this point trumped a hospital stay. Remember all those fines Richard blew off? Guess they did.
Okay, enough rewording the newspaper and TV articles. Let’s have a look at this house.
Better have a good look at the driveway, too.
So here’s a way Richard (right) and his sister (who had the sense not to show up when cameras were rolling) could save even more money. We know the County’s going to stick them with that clean-up bill, so every little bit is going to help!
Thanks for the advice, Trulia! Anyway, do you have a neighbor building a fortification on the front lawn like this? Tell us about it in today’s Weekend Open Thread!