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Escondido residents facing eviction 'willing to make a stand'

The city has filed lawsuit alleging Escondido property is a public nuisance.

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The city of Escondido has filed a lawsuit aimed at declaring a property at 2130 W El Norte Parkway a public nuisance.

Neighbors have been complaining for months about disturbances, trash, and squatters on the property.

The one-acre property has a 2,000 square foot house, and a long history of code violations and complaints dating back to 2020, including abandoned vehicles, trash throughout the property, and people living illegally in RVs, according to a lawsuit filed by the city of Escondido on April 21.

The lawsuit confirmed reports an overdose death on the property in May of 2021.

A federal agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has owned the property since it fell into foreclose in September.

On May 3, a San Diego County Superior Court judge ruled in an unlawful detainer case that HUD can evict the dozen or so residents currently living there.

CBS 8 went to the property to talk to the residents who call the area home. Richard Zindler, a resident on the property agreed to speak with CBS 8.

We asked Zindler what he has to say to the lawsuit declaring the property a public nuisance. 

“Not much. Mind your own business, I guess,” replied Zindler. “I guess what I would say is, I apologize that their real estate value might be going down a little tiny bit, even though the record shows otherwise. But they can just thank us for decreasing the real estate value so that people can afford homes.”

The previous owner of the property, Robert E. Donelson, passed away in 2019. His stepdaughter, Terry Bearer, still lives in the house, according to court filings.

Zindler said Bearer was never given a chance to bid on the property at the foreclosure auction.

“It's supposed to be a public auction. The definition of a public auction is that the public is afforded the opportunity to participate, and they weren't afforded the opportunity,” Zindler said.

“She was never given the opportunity to refinance the loan, or to take care of the loan, or to even make any payments,” Zindler said.

Zindler said he has been living on the property for about a month, and he does not pay rent.

CBS 8 asked Zindler what he wants the public to know about the residents on the property.

“That they are definitely willing to make a stand for the rest of the poor people that have lost their land, which happens all the time,” Zindler responded.

HUD attorney, Andrew Pomerantz, told CBS 8 that he expects deputies to move on the property with eviction papers in about a month.

WATCH RELATED: HUD wins in court, plans to evict 'squatters' on Escondido property (May 2022).

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