A homeless encampment in a canyon off Mira Mesa's Montongo Street is stirring up the neighborhood.
Resident Katherine White says there have been three fires in the past two weeks. The land is owned by Pardee Homes, and, says White, "Pardee Homes has only provided a letter finally letting the police go [on] their property. Pardee doesn't clean up the random illegal dumping or address the homeless problem. Homeowners are concerned that one of these fires they are setting will get out of control and threaten houses."
The land is on a steep embankment. The homeless have a sled with a rope to shuttle down supplies. "They disturb the residents around the canyon by making dogs bark and cooking food at one a.m.," says White.
Jimmy Ayala, division president of Pardee Homes San Diego, says there are problems the neighbors may not know about. First, the land won't be built on because there is an open-space easement.
"We can't clear it because there is sensitive habitat," he says. "[On July 5] we picked up shopping carts and trash in the area. There are folks camping down below, and we are working with the city and police department to have the folks removed. It is a sensitive thing to remove folks. We are trying to take all precautions."
There are areas that are not sensitive, "and we are clearing them of vegetation," says Ayala. "We are doing what we can as quickly as we can, but probably not as quickly as [neighbors] would like."