Residents in the vicinity of Mission and El Camino are getting signatures on a petition asking the owners of El Camino Plaza to improve the property. Longtime residents remember the center in its prime, when it was populated with a grocery story, pharmacy, pizza parlor, and even a neighborhood watering hole. That was at least a couple decades ago. By now, though, the building and grounds haven't fared well throughout the not-so-recent past. Neighbors are concerned about things like broken signage, garbage, and security. And they worry that the owners won't be able to keep the existing tenants, as the property continues to deteriorate. They are also frustrated about the run-down commercial property's potential for a negative impact on home values. The situation begs the question: "Why do homeowners have to keep their properties up while commercial properties are allowed to let their buildings contribute to blight?"
A run-down, weed-strewn, junk-cars-in-the-driveway house in the neighborhood is a problem that can bring down property values, cause fire hazards, or threaten public health. The County has encouraged people to contact 311 about problem houses. Shouldn't commercial properties be held to similar standards? Like, for example, the Saving Center on Watt. (...oops, maybe the Savings Center isn't a good example---it's been like that for years). It's possible that the petition will get a better response than the Black Hole that 311 Connect sometimes is. If you are interested, feel free to add your voice to the petition.