SAN DIEGO - An unprecedented, illegal and unsafe homeless encampment was removed from the backyard of a Pacific Beach home Thursday.
After months of living next to a home where as many as 25 people lived without water, power or sewage, neighbors were elated to learn the City of San Diego -- working through the judicial process -- was able to put the property into receivership and vacate it.
“It’s always somewhere else. When it happens in your neighborhood it touches you personally, it’s shocking,” said PB resident Rick Bushree.
Police had been called to the home off Hornblend Street dozens of times since April.
“The police were coming every time we called and they were taking action every time they came out but nothing was changing -- more people would show up,” said neighbor Mike Perry. "It literally grew into a homeless compound with more than 30 people and it was out of control."
The illegal tenants turned the backyard into a makeshift tent city, leaving behind mattresses and furniture.
The city attorney took control of the home from the original homeowner, a woman in her 90s. One source told FOX 5 the woman knew of the issues, but not the extent. She was accused of taking limited action due to her son living in the home as well.
“They no longer have to endure being intimidated or harassed by squatters that have been stealing their property and using their sidewalks and alleyways as toilets,” said San Diego Councilmember Lorie Zapf.
The city will now work to clean up the house and get it up to code before auctioning it off.
The current homeowner will likely face thousands of dollars in fines and fees following the sale.