Officials step up to clean troubled neighborhoods in Yakima

Officials step up to clean troubled neighborhoods in Yakima »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima takes another step toward cleaning up some troubled neighborhoods. Wednesday, authorities targeted a home that's falling apart with several RV's parked on the property. It's also the same place a 25-year-old woman died from a drug overdose weeks ago. KIMA was there when officers cracked down.

"You're not taking the dogs! You're not taking the dogs!” said owner Mary Fromm.

Police, ode enforcement and animal control officers tackled a property they say is out of control. It's a response to neighborhood complaints about this house with no roof.

"We're getting a lot of reports of people living in the RVs,” said City Codes Manager Joe Caruso.
“There was a guy staying there for a week and unfortunately the incident happened with him,” said homeowner Ben Fromm.

That incident happened here in September. Police responded to a call about a 25-year-old woman who was unconscious. She died from a drug overdose.

At the time, officers arrested the man they say gave her the drugs and charged him with murder.

Officials are trying to keep anything like that from happening again. The backyard is littered with sleeping bags and seven empty RVs.

"I'll tag them with a 48 hour impound. No questions asked and we'll tow them right off the property,” Officer Rich Fowler told KIMA.

Investigators say it's likely people are camping here illegally, but with no solid evidence, they can’t tag the vehicles.

As for the house, Yakima's Neighborhood Development Services Department can help with up to $15,000 for emergency renovations.

"Probably a whole new electrical system, and then a heating system, and then a plumbing system and then a waste water system,” said Archie Matthews the neighborhood development services manager.

But, the money might not be enough. The owners have 15 days from the time they get notice to clean up their mess. If not, they go to a review board and the possibility of a lien on their property.

Police let the homeowners keep the dogs if they get them licensed. Officers will check on the property again to make sure it's complying with the cleanup order.