County takes management of Turlock property

A Turlock property that has repeatedly been the site of illegal marijuana grows, as well as other drug and nuisance issues, has been placed into county receivership after a court ruling.

While the property owner will continue to hold ownership of the property, a receiver has been directed by Stanislaus County Superior Court to take over management of the property. The appointed receiver will secure funds to bring the property up to code and address any health and safety issues.

When the rehabilitation of the property is completed, the property is sold and any liens, contractor and materials expenses, abatement costs and receiver’s fees are paid. Any remaining proceeds from the sale are delivered to the property owner.

The property is located at 8400 Harding Road. Public records show it is 19.26 acres. Property tax rolls show the property with an assessment of $808,792.

Stanislaus County Superior Court appointed a receiver on Wednesday.

The property has been the source of recurring drug and marijuana problems. Several marijuana violations have occurred on site in past years, including a 2019 discovery of approximately 5,000 cannabis plants at various stages of growth and a recent 2020 eradication of 2,827 plants by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. The property has been the source of numerous calls for service to law enforcement and resulting arrests have failed to curtail the drug, criminal, and other nuisance activities there, said County spokesperson Amy Carroll in a news release.

“The County is committed to allowing legal cannabis grows and dealing swiftly with bad actors,” said Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Chairman Vito Chiesa. “Legal action, like the Court decision this week, is critically important toward our efforts in building successful mitigation strategies.”

The property is in a state of disrepair and poses danger to the health and safety of occupants, neighbors and the public. The lot consists of a substandard single-family residential structure, a barn containing an unpermitted converted habitable space, an unpermitted addition and greenhouse structures. Many structural hazards, unsanitary conditions, fire and electrical hazards, visual blight and other hallmarks of unsafe living conditions have been recorded as well, Carroll said.

“This is an important step in putting teeth behind our civil abatement process and holding individuals accountable,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse. “The goal is to safely and efficiently eradicate the illegal grows that plague our community.”

The County has attempted to gain the responsible party’s voluntary compliance and rehabilitation of the nuisance property for more than five years, to no avail, after having received numerous complaints about the property from neighbors. Despite several notices and other contacts, the owners have made little effort to rehabilitate the property. The County has confirmed the continuing presence of numerous extremely dangerous and life-threatening violations of law on the property including: elaborate cannabis grow operations and the sale of crystal methamphetamine, multiple violations of law relating to health and safety, unpermitted construction of a chicken barn (conversion into living space), 25 to 30 inoperable vehicles being stored on site, and regular criminal activity related to stolen property connected to the property.



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