As a 24-year resident in the infamous “box,” I’ve seen the deterioration after the original residents were dying off in the late ’90s, I remember when Beverly Hills Boulevard looked pretty shabby. New owners (flippers) made improvements, the Beverly Hills Beautification Committee was formed, as was the MSBU, which installed street lights and maintained entrance areas; common-area grass cuttings were increased.

The civic association sponsored clean up days and acted as a liaison between residents/reported violators and county code enforcement. There were citizen volunteers cleaning up trash on roadways and recycling centers; the county repaved the worse pothole ridden streets. The sheriff’s office did much to clean up the perpetual drug dealing.

My beef with all of this is the central problem was then, and is now, certain renters and unchecked landlords — nearly every block has an eyesore with little or no recourse at the county level. We have residents here who need to be told repeatedly by the county to mow their lawns. Trees are allowed to become hazards and eyesores. There are people who constantly disturb the peace at night, who are told to stop when the CSCO are called, only to repeat the offense an hour later. I don’t have this problem anymore, but a deputy told me their hands are tied since their is no noise ordinance and all they can legally do is keep coming back for the same offense.

Not all landlords/renters are a problem; most on my street these days act like they own the abode they rent. It ticks me off that every so often the underbelly of Beverly Hills gets publicly regurgitated followed by collective outrage while the obvious problems are ignored. Begging the county for money they don’t have for amenities when many streets need repaving is superfluous. The swimming pool simply doesn’t pay for itself because of a lack of dues-paying members, much the same reason the Beverly Hills Recreation Association went belly up.

The main problems affecting quality of life can be better laws and enforcement at the county level if they so choose, so for now, cynically speaking, the saving grace seems to be a possible real estate bubble pricing out all but most well-heeled buyers/renters per socioeconomic class until the next economic downturn. In short, things look better than just a few years ago.

Mike Milaccio

Beverly Hills

(1) comment

CitrusCo Citizen

Mike, in a previous town that I lived in the city passed an ordinance stated that there were no more than 3 rentals per block. That helped a lot because it was the renters who neglected and even ruined properties. Also, the neighboring home owners on the block had the phone numbers of the owners of the rental properties and would call them OR call the police when something was wrong. I once noticed a renter's 15 month old baby walking around in the front yard, alone, with just a diaper on in 50 degree weather! The police AND child protection services were there in a heartbeat.

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