LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - Play del Rey residents are telling FOX 11 they are fed up.
The deadline to clear RVs parked along the coast has come and gone. But now, the homeless problem is not only a nuisance for the neighborhood – residents say it's causing damage to an environmentally-sensitive habitat.
"We're actually very scared that our homes are subject to blowing up," says Lucy Han, co-founder of the community activist group, Friends of the Jungle.
Some Playa del Rey residents live around the Ballona Wetlands. It has transformed into an RV homeless encampment along Jefferson Boulevard and the epicenter for a lot of crime in the area.
Last month, the Los Angeles City Council voted to lift the moratorium on illegally parked vehicles. While RVs are supposed to be towed if they are illegally parked in dangerous or environmentally-sensitive locations. However, on Monday, the vehicles were still here.
Han says she is getting very frustrated by "no action by the city or the state."
"There was a fire in the wetlands last week and that could potentially burn up the whole wetlands and that’s an issue. We also have a Southern California gas company, their storage tanks are there. We’re on a methane field that could also ignite. There are many, many homes above the wetlands and that would be torched, burned up like the Laguna Hills fire and thousands of people could be affected," Han added.
Han says LAPD responded to 80 calls at the wetlands last year, including shootings, fires, a suspected meth lab, carjacking and bicycles being recovered. In April 2022, FOX 11's Hailey Winslow spoke with a woman who was attacked by a person, believed to be homeless, who threw a portable bathroom at her. The woman was cleaning up the Ballona Wetlands when the portable bathroom came flying in her direction.
Han insists she and fellow residents are not "nimbies" trying to criminalize homelessness.
"We just have a very special situation here," Han said. "We’re scared for the safety of the residents. We cannot even go to the wetlands anymore, it’s dangerous."