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Published November 13th, 2019
No movement to remove blight at 90 Greenfield Drive in Moraga
A state of disrepair at 90 Greenfield Dr. Photo Vera Kochan

For nearly three years residents in the vicinity of 90 Greenfield Drive have had to put up with a visual blight and fire hazard pertaining to a house that is currently in a state of disrepair and apparent abandonment.
Planning Department Director Derek Farmer made a quick presentation to the town council during the Oct. 23 meeting requesting the members to consider a resolution declaring the Greenfield property a public nuisance and asking for the allocation of $15,000 from the general fund reserves to abate the visual blight.
The $15,000 would include legal fees of roughly $5,000 to $7,000 to proceed with the abatement and an additional $6,000 to have a contractor make exterior repairs to the house.
The 1,786-square-foot property was built in 1972. The original owner sold it to an individual who, according to neighbors, had plans to flip the house for resale. The town had issued a building permit to the new owner in 2015 for various repairs to include new windows and doors, a rear deck replacement and new stairs to the front porch. While some repairs have been made, for the most part the house remains in a state of incomplete construction.
The property owner is currently in violation of several municipal codes, including overgrown vegetation, possibility of vermin, appearance of abandonment, safety hazards and lack of proper approvals and permits.
Between 2016-18, the town has issued seven administrative citations to the property owner including partial payment of fines. The town has also issued two Notice and Order to Abate, one in June 2018 and another one year later.
The Moraga-Orinda Fire District has also issued citations to the property owner for lack of weed abatement. In the process MOFD discovered that the property is in foreclosure.
During the public comment portion of the council meeting, neighbors on either side of 90 Greenfield Drive complained about the fire hazards the property poses to the immediate area.
Moraga's legal counsel obtained information regarding the property's bank and tax liens totaling nearly $1.5 million. Mayor Roger Wykle acknowledged that in its current condition the property wouldn't come close to fetching that amount of money, in which case, Farmer acceded that there was almost no chance the town would recover its $15,000 cost to abate.
The town council unanimously voted not to adopt the resolution to provide funds to abate the nuisance. However, it directed staff to revisit the situation in early 2020 with a progress report regarding the property's foreclosure status.

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