Recently a concerned citizen who lives near El Camino & Howe wrote Supervisor Desmond about the dreadful state of affairs at that corner and sent us a copy. We have covered the problem before, noting issues with free-rider retail businesses, trash and blocked sidewalks. Our sense is that Supervisor Desmond will read this letter, press his palms into his face and then sigh. Deeply. He knows the County isn't up to the job. The situation exists because of years of County neglect. It won't get better until the County gets out of the way. Yeah, like that's going to happen. Here is the constituent letter (name & address withheld for obvious reasons at the request of the constituent):
Dear Supervisor Desmond,
I know times are busy now in our County with homelessness, short staffing,etc. But I need to know that your office is aware of this blight corner at Howe and El Camino that is getting worse. I went for a walk this morning to buy a newspaper, and this is what I saw. I live in the neighborhood right next to this shopping center, and whatever happens here sweeps right into our neighborhood. We have tried to clean up this area, but were told we "are not authorized to do so." by the Property Management company. They stated it is private property.
Quite frankly, it is a mess. No one in their right mind will rent the retail space that was left empty by Rite Aid. Also, there is at least one store that is shifty, another reason no reputable company will come here. When I moved here, there was a thriving Rite Aid, a family grocery store (where the .99 cent store is), and the corner was clean and a community asset. Now it is a dump. AND, the .99 cent store just applied for a liquor license, which they are probably going to get!
I am not even adding pictures of the neglected buildings, or the sidewalk vendors that cover the sidewalks every day, or the trash they leave on that strip, including lots of discarded phone cards (Why are they even allowed there???), or the people doing car repairs on the laundromat side of the parking lot. They literally have cars jacked up. I am sending you the photos of overflowing trash cans, trash all over the parking lot and green strips, phone cards, etc.
This corner not only makes our neighborhood look like trash, the trash and neglect infiltrate our streets. The owners and property managers of this corner should be responsible for the upkeep.