“I mean, these are multi-million dollar homes that look like hell from the back,” Waddell said.
SAN DIEGO — A large vacant house at 625 Bird Rock Wrelton Drive was severely damaged and covered in graffiti. It sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Tourmaline Beach parking lot.
“The back of the building is full of graffiti,” said neighbor Jim Waddell. “If you go in, it’s full of graffiti and vandalism.”
“I don’t like it,” neighbour Tamlin Henahan said. “It can be a broken house. It can be anything. It’s not safe.”
Neighbors say abandoned houses have become graffiti magnets and drug dens.
“It’s not just graffiti,” Waddell said. “I worry about the kids out there, you know, drugs and parties.”
In August 2019, former owner Alex Jvirblis passed away at the age of 82. A few months later, authorities found illegally stored chemicals in the back of the house that were so unstable that they had to be detonated at the scene.
“Bahbaabaa, you know, they’re detonating chemicals,” Waddell said.
“I got out of the car and the car rumbled,” Henahan said. “I am really scared.”
The home sold for $2.7 million in July 2020, at which point some new renovations and roofing work began on the home.
“Suddenly, everything stopped, so for the past year or so, the place has been empty, and now there’s a bunch of kids coming in and doing graffiti all over the place,” Waddell said. “They’re partying there and I don’t know what the hell they’re doing. It’s not great.”
“Frankly, it is unacceptable in this community, and in any community in our city, to have private property in this state,” said City Councilman Jola Cava.
“What we’ve done is be responsive in terms of being alerted to code enforcement. I know there’s now an effort to reach out to owners to find out what’s going on with them, and then we can be proactive about removing graffiti that’s visible in beach areas and making sure no one is inappropriately Use that house.”
Waddell, who has lived on Wrelton Drive for 25 years, said neighbours were frustrated.
“I mean, these are multi-million dollar homes that look like hell from the back,” Waddell said. “So we want the graffiti to disappear and let them figure out how to protect the building.”
“Longer term, we hope that the owner will step up and take care of the property, complete any repairs that are in progress, and start fixing the problem,” said City Councilman Joe LaCava.
Related Watch: Abandoned Building Fires on the Rise in San Diego (January 2022).