A northwest Fresno couple is fed up with homeless people camping out and trashing the area behind their property.
But they said when they reported the activity to the city through the FresGO app the response was unexpected. They were told they had to clean it up or face a fine.
“We’ll be out in our backyard trying to relax and you hear someone building a home, or going to the restroom or doing whatever they’re doing,” Ashley Nieto said Monday.
She said they don’t want to touch the mess because it includes needles and human waste. The couple also said it’s not on their property, but were told they were still responsible for it.
They said they recieved a letter from the city Friday after reporting the problem.
“This letter it’s ridiculous. It’s unfair. It’s not right,” Nieto said.
“We’ve complained about it to the city. This seems like their response was to make me clean it up,” Tyron Duguay said.
The notice came with pictures of the area asking the couple to correct code violations by removing all garbage located in the alley behind the property.
“I need to clean it up by August 12 or face fines,” Duguay said.
The letter said failure to correct the violations will result in further action including possible citations and criminal prosecution.
“(The homeless people) are doing whatever they’re doing back there and the city expects me to go back there and clean it up, claiming it’s our mess. It’s not my mess,” Nieto said.
She said they’d like to work with the city to find a solution, but cleaning it up themselves is off the table.
“That’s bio-hazard material. I’m not touching that. I’m not putting my life and my health in jeopardy to clean up something someone else left,” she said.
We contacted the City Attorney to clarify what the rules are in this situation and gave him the couple’s address. He said he’ll be looking into it.