The city is preparing for legal action to clean up "severe hoarding" at a home in North Diamond Bar.
The home, at 23937 Decorah Road, contains fire hazards as a result of "severe hoarding" and conditions that Community Development Director Greg Gubman called "putrid."
"Not only is it a danger to the occupants, but it is an imminent threat to surrounding residents due to the amount of combustible storage," Gubman said. "The intensity and heat of a fire there would pose an imminent threat to the surrounding neighborhood."
Gubman said the current conditions are also unsanitary for the residents of the home.
"Cats have sprayed the walls (in the home) so much that the walls are rotting," Gubman said.
Gubman said the city had red-tagged the home but residents pulled the notices off the building and remained inside.
"It's a misdemeanor to do that," Gubman said, "but it's being occupied."
The city will now begin litigation to remove the residents from the home and begin a cleanup process that will be funded out of the equity in the home through a process called "receivership."
Gubman said the city will likely recommend a "receiver" to the home — a company who will be tasked with resolving the home's code violations.
"The receivership option is the most effective tool to eliminate these dangers," Gubman said.
For weeks, the city waited to take legal action pending a change to city code to allow for legal costs to be recovered through the same process, by placing a lien on the property.
The city council approved that change at a July 5 meeting.
The city will now seek a court order to remove the residents from the home and begin the cleanup process.