City Council addresses Village Square Shopping Center neglect

30 West Shaw is the location of several empty buildings that have been a landing point for vandalism, burglaries and fires. All along the south side of the building extend empty buildings and businesses.

A resolution for the Town of Clovis was brought to the attention of City Council at Monday’s meeting to confirm the cost estimate of reducing a nuisance from one of the town’s business locations.

30 West Shaw, or better known as the Village Square mall next to Shaw and Minnewawa, is home to businesses like Old Town Donuts and VIP Nails and Spa. However, it is also home to empty building after empty building.

These empty buildings have experienced break-ins, vandalism and even a small fire. More than 67 code enforcement citations were made to vacant buildings with no response from the owner.

Deputy City Manager Andy Haussler said the city has a potential buyer for the property, and as part of the resolution, the city would be able to negotiate ‘specific terms’ in a potential deal. with a new buyer.

Pro-Tem Mayor Lynne Ashbeck thought there were too many instances where the city had engaged in code enforcement without action. “Either our citation amounts aren’t enough, or we’re giving people too many.”

She then went on to say that 67 times was “ridiculous”. Ashbeck was primarily concerned with the time it took for police department personnel to travel to the property and cite the property for code enforcement.

City Attorney Scott Cross said the city has some time to allow the landlord to challenge enforcement of the code.

Appearing before the city council is the last step to reclaiming the “reward” for the property according to Cross.

Supervisor of the Police Department’s Code Enforcement Team, Police Corporal Jesus Santillan addressed the situation and said his main concern is the complaints he receives from other businesses in the area.

One business, Kelly’s Pets, has since moved and now resides within the jurisdiction of the city of Fresno.

Corporal Santillan says the companies’ concerns prompted the department to go to the scene and formulate a plan for public safety.

He mentioned the small fire that broke out there and said: “It’s lucky the whole structure wasn’t engulfed in flames.”

Corporal Santillan then continued, “These business owners in this region deserve more for maintaining a successful business. This is what customers have to watch now because of an irresponsible owner.

Council member Drew Bessinger asked if there had been any attempts to contact the owner and was told there were letters sent to the original owner to which the City never received a response.

According to Andy Haussler, the only contact with the original owner was from a broker for the new contract with the new owner.

Mayor Flores thanked Corporal Santillan for keeping the companies together and the vote to confirm the assessment passed 5-0.