Lawsuits Filed Against Venice, Del Rey 'Nuisance' Properties

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LOS ANGELES (CNS/FOX 11) - The City Attorney's Office announced lawsuits Monday against two properties and their owners in the Venice and Del Rey neighborhoods amid a crackdown on residences that for years have allegedly served as centers for drug sales and other criminal activity.

"We allege that for too long, these properties have been epicenters of drug-related crime that threatens the safety and quality of life of neighboring families," City Attorney Mike Feuer said. "Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of serious nuisances that can drag down entire communities."

The lawsuits target the owners of properties at 12950 Admiral Ave. in Del Rey and 923 Sunset Ave. in Venice. Feuer alleges that Admiral Avenue property has been used as a drug house, with six arrests at the home since November. He said there have been at least 16 arrests at the Venice home, and repeated complaints from neighbors about drug and other activities.

In February, Feuer filed suit against owners of so-called nuisance houses in Hollywood and South Los Angeles.

He cited the owner of a house at 1233 W. 53nd St., where, according to the city's lawsuit, the Crips street gang has held sway for more than a decade and a "hybrid PCP swap meet and flop house" was being operated.

Police allege more than nine criminal cases involving PCP and weapons possession are pending from the 53rd Street home. The injunction asks that her son and others be prevented from setting foot on the property, Feuer said.

City attorneys also sued the owner of two adjacent properties in Hollywood, at 5655 and 5657 Lexington Ave., where the city alleges methamphetamine is sold and stored.

The city is seeking injunctions regarding the Hollywood homes, to prevent the owners and known associates from illegally selling, making or storing controlled substances. Current tenants would need to move out and stay at least 1,000 feet away as part of the proposed restrictions.

The Hollywood properties have been an "epicenter of criminal activity" over the past decade, city attorneys said. Prostitutes, transients, parolees and people on probation frequent the homes, where 15 arrests have been made.

Feuer said a "single property can endanger an entire neighborhood" and property owners are responsible for keeping them from becoming crime dens.

"If they fail to fulfill that obligation -- ignoring criminal activity, for example, that jeopardizes neighborhood safety -- my office will hold them accountable," he said.