Sheriff’s office aims to rid Meyers of abandoned cars
MEYERS – The long arm of the law has stepped up its efforts to clean up the former Tweeden gas station site, where a new business owner is struggling to deal with a parking lot full of abandoned vehicles and a condemned building.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Les Lovell is using a nuisance abatement program on the cars, posting 10-day notices on the rigs the county knows don’t belong to Lake Tahoe Automotive. Owner David Page moved his city business to the 2-acre site a few weeks ago. Since then, Page has indicated he’s willing to work with the Sheriff’s Department.
“(The situation) is the gateway to our community is a dump,” Lovell said, as Deputy Darren Carter placed notices Tuesday on two vans.
If the last registered owner doesn’t move the vehicle in 10 days, it will be towed at the car owner’s expense. Then, it becomes the responsibility of the property owner. At last record, the owner is Sarbjit Kang, whose family runs about half the gasoline stations on the South Shore including the Swiss Mart-United Gas station on Emerald Bay Road. Kang denies owning the site but is listed on the deed of the parcel with the county Recorder Clerk’s office under Tahoe 3208 Highway 50 Corp.
Page pays $1,200 a month rent to Kang, leaving little to deal with the expense of moving junk off the property. The going rate for vehicle towing could run an owner about $450.
“I need help financially to get rid of this stuff. It shouldn’t be all on me,” Page said. He plans to meet with Kang to discuss their next move.
“We’re looking for him to cooperate or explain his bad behavior to the judge,” Lovell said.
The county also condemned the building that was once a Mexican eatery. The roof has caved in and evidence of squatters was left – blankets in an old truck-bed shell and a wheelbarrow to build fires in. Lake Valley Fire Protection District cut off power to the building to reduce the fire hazard.
“This building is a disaster waiting to happen,” Lovell said.
The contractor, Michael Gerondakis, said Kang intends to remodel the building and open an office in the back. In front, he added, Kang also wants to reopen the gas station.
The clean-up effort began with a complaint by a citizen to the Meyers Roundtable. The site looks like an eyesore that may spur crime in the South Shore’s western haven, Roundtable representative Sue Novasel said. Local residents and business owners belong to the group.
Jim Lira, for one, applauds the efforts. He spent $2 million building and upgrading Lira’s Supermarket in the center of town, which he’d like to keep pristine. Motorists have left cars in his lot, too.
“This is important because (when they drive by) nine out of 10 people think this is Lake Tahoe,” Lira said.