San Dimas residents fret recycling center, say it’s attracting transients – Daily Bulletin

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Residents in one San Dimas neighborhood say they don’t feel safe because a nearby recycling center is drawing transients and creating a public nuisance.

Alba Amaya told elected officials this week she’s concerned about the facility in the rear parking lot of the Stater Brothers in the 1400 block of Arrow Highway. The recycling center is in the back of the grocery store parking lot which is bordered by homes across the street on Valley Center Avenue and Goldrush Drive.

Joined by a handful of residents, Amaya made a plea to the City Council on Tuesday to take some action.

“It has been three tough years, with transients, finding needles in our neighborhood, having people rummage through our trash looking for recyclables,” she said.

She’s complained to the city, sent pictures of people urinating on the shopping center property and even gathered signatures from residents and local business owners, petitioning for the center to be relocated.

“I’m asking for help,” said Amaya, who was joined by a half-dozen neighbors.

After the meeting, Larry Stevens, assistant city manager of community development, said the operator of the recycling service has had a business license for at least the past decade, but the city only began to receive calls about nuisance concerns toward the end of 2018.

In response, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department increased patrols in the area and, for the past two months, code enforcement staffers are out at the center at least three times a week, he said. However, staff hasn’t found any violations, Stevens said.

“Our hands are tied to some degree,” he said. “What we can do may be limited.”

It doesn’t appear homeless are sleeping or loitering on the site, Steven said. It’s not uncommon, however, to see them queuing up, waiting for the center to open to recycle their items, he said.

The situation has made Amaya so uneasy that she will not let her 16-year-old walk 1 1/2 blocks from  their home to her job.

“There are men there. They’re loitering, doing things I don’t want to mention, but you can imagine, and I don’t want to subject my 16-year-old to that,” she told the council.

The January 2018 point-in-time count found 13 San Dimas residents are considered unsheltered, meaning they live in their vehicles or on the streets. Of those, six were living on the streets. Los Angeles County hasn’t released the figures for count that was conducted last month.

Complicating matters, Stevens said, is that Valley Center Avenue abuts the city border with unincorporated Los Angeles County, and further north it becomes Glendora, which means homeless could be coming from outside the city, he said.

Stevens said he will be meeting with deputies and city staff this week and will ask about the possibility of pursing other strategies such as a neighborhood watch group with the concerned residents.

Another possible solution would be for the residents to also take their concerns to the owner of the shopping center, he said.

Amaya said her concern isn’t about recycling, it’s about the location of the center, which she said is oriented toward homes and not near other commercial businesses.

Although Amaya says she only lives a couple of blocks from her work, she too will not walk there.

“I don’t want to walk through my neighborhood. I don’t feel safe, my neighbors don’t feel safe,” she told the council.



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