Resident Complaints Lead to LADWP Promise to Clean Up Abandoned Lot

Residents in a North Hollywood neighborhood said that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power stopped maintaining the property around two years ago.

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    Residents in North Hollywood claim an abandoned DWP lot has a water leak allowing a single patch of bright-green grass to grow where trash and dust have collected over months of neglect by officials. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from North Hollywood Monday, July 14, 2014. (Published Monday, July 14, 2014)

    After complaints from North Hollywood residents about a water-leaking, trash-filled lot that has been abandoned for years, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power now says it will take steps to clean up the space.

    A patch of dust and mostly dead grass at the corner of Vanowen Street and Case Avenue is an eyesore to residents. It’s littered with trash, dog poop, and medical cannabis containers, but in the middle of it all is a patch of healthy green grass.

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    "There’s this big spot of green grass growing there, and it’s obviously (the result of) a water leak," North Hollywood resident George Ploskunak said.

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    The property is owned and maintained by LADWP, and residents believe this leak is a classic example of water waste during a severe drought.

    "They have to be an example," Ploskunak said. "If they want us to save water, they have to save water as well."

    Another North Hollywood resident, Al Hayward, said he let his grass die years ago because of the city’s water restrictions.

    "I don’t want a $500 fine for watering my dirt," Hayward said.

    DWP crews stopped maintaining the property around two years ago, longtime residents of this community said.

    "Now they just forget it," Leah Reed-Ericksen said. "For months and months, they don’t come by."

    After NBC4’s Gordon Tokumatsu reached out to LADWP for a statement on the residents’ concerns Monday, the utility agency apologized for the condition of the lot.

    "We apologize for the state of this property and we appreciate the neighbors bringing it to our attention. We recognize there is trash on the lot and a small leak from an old irrigation pipe. We should have been better neighbors," the statement said.

    The statement went on to say that the department would take steps to clean up the lot and stop the water leakage.

    A DWP crew was seen making their first inspections Monday afternoon, according to an NBC4 report.

    Samia Khan contributed to this report. 

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