Homeowners Behind Apartment Complex Tired of “Deviant Atmosphere”

Jonathan McCorkell|

Homeowners behind Villas Lakeside Apartments, located at 381 W. Hawkeye Ave. in Turlock, are fed up with what they say is a consistently unsafe atmosphere in an alley behind the complex.

Resident Bryan Clarke reports that the alley, between Hawkeye Avenue and Earlham Drive, has become a haven for loitering, drug and alcohol abuse, and loud music that plays at all hours of the night.

“Cars speed through the alley at unsafe speeds and create unbearable noise/music at very undesirable hours,” Clarke wrote in an e-mail. “I personally have lived in my home directly behind (Villas Lakeside) apartments for more than two years, and I have a wife and three children that I am concerned for their safety. Other neighbors have been dealing with these issues for much longer than I.”

Several of Clarke’s neighbors interviewed by TurlockCityNews.com, who live on Earlham Drive, say that issues with the apartments have been going on for at least 10 years. Numerous homeowners report that items such as cinder blocks and 40-ounce beer bottles have been thrown over their fences and into their backyards and swimming pools.

One woman said that a puppy was once found in her backyard. She indicated that there was no visible way for the puppy to have dug under the fence, and that someone likely dropped the puppy over the fence to abandon it.

Other complaints include firecrackers being placed in garbage cans, and homeless people parking in the alley and setting up a makeshift camp complete with laundry lines.

Clarke says he has been fined by his garbage service and the city several times for items placed in his waste disposal, which he says were not his.

Villas Lakeside maintenance manger David Nunes, who lives on-site, admitted that there was major problem with residents in the past. However, in April the apartment complex obtained new management and matters have improved.

“We want our neighbors to know that we are working on it. Give us some time. They have spent a half-million dollars on improvements so things are changing,” he said.

All of the homeowners interviewed acknowledged that in recent months incidents have calmed, however loud music still plays on a regular basis.

Clarke and the other homeowners say that building a fence along the perimeter of the apartments would help reduce the number of problems.

Evidently there have been numerous fences, either chain link or boards, which have removed for various reasons.

“Simply replacing the fence that was once there would be ideal. Closing the parking lot so that cars are unable to travel through the alley is definitely necessary. Enforcing parking rules, garbage regulations, and hiring a security guard would be a good idea. Instead of being met with 'attitude' it would be nice if management provided contact information and worked with surrounding neighbors to take note of concerns and address issues as they arise,” wrote Clarke.

Nunes says the apartment management is in the process of filing paperwork with the City of Turlock for a fencing permit to build a fence.

Clarke has contacted the Turlock Police Department in an attempt to increase patrols in the alley and around the apartment complex.

Turlock police sent an e-mail to Clarke stating that Lt. Miguel Pacheco will soon be in contact with Clark to coordinate efforts between homeowners and police.

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