Code Enforcement Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the Development Services Department to investigate all zoning code violations that are reported to the City in writing or by phone at 619-825-3820, anonymous complaints cannot be accepted.
Complaints may be submitted in person to:
Code Enforcement Officer
City of Lemon Grove
3232 Main Street
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
If you are issued an administrative citation for a violation of the Lemon Grove Municipal Code, please correct the violation and pay your fine by the date specified on your citation. Payment of the fine does not excuse or discharge your duty to correct the violation. Payments are accepted in person at City Hall, at the address listed above.
Private Party Trespassing and Homeless:
Dear Lemon Grove Business Owner,
Thank you for being a part of “Team Lemon Grove” and for choosing to continue to operate your business in the City. Your presence is greatly needed and the City hopes to rekindle the partnership that we have to make the City a great place to live, work and shop!
With that said this message was created to help inform each current and prospective business owner of the increase in the number of concerns that have been raised by businesses and residents alike, regarding the transient population and trespassing on private property.
In 2017, the annual point-in-time count quantified the City’s homeless population to equal 52. While this is one of the lowest counts in the County, there is still an impact to the businesses in the City. The City and its law enforcement partner, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, have received calls for service that range from vandalism, public urination, littering, smoking, public intoxication, and trespassing.
Often time homeless individuals are directly related to trespassing. It is noticeable that an increase in the number of homeless population can affect the quality of life in the community. However, we as the City are in a very precarious position because we have to preserve business property rights and also be compassionate and humane regarding the homeless population. This information was created with the hopes of educating what trespassing is and having a functional understanding of California’s trespassing laws to solve the problem.
Section 602 of the California Penal Code provides an exhaustive list of various forms of trespass. To trespass is defined as entering the property of another without permission or right to do so. The elements to prosecute under this section are:
- A Peace Officer must ask the individual in question to leave; or
- The Owner or Owner’s Agent must ask the individuals in question to leave.
If the individual refuses to leave after being asked to do so or subsequently returns to the property after being asked to leave, a trespass violation exists. If an individual voluntarily complies to leave after being asked to do so, a trespass arrest typically is not possible unless other crimes have been committed.
What can you do to deter homeless trespassing?
By taking certain steps, you can ensure that you are not inadvertently enabling trespassing on your private property. Some tips include:
- Posting your property with “No Trespassing” signs, citing section 602 of the Penal Code is helpful. Consider posting at entrances and gates. By posting the signs, it may aid in the prosecution of trespassing to prove “intent” to commit the crime.
- Lock and secure dumpsters and recyclable receptacles at all times.
- Avoid offering food or money.
- Lock and secure power outlets, water spigots (remove handles), gates, and restroom doors.
- Avoid allowing trash, shopping carts, or personal belongings to accumulate on the property.
- Cut back shrubbery and foliage growth to prevent hiding places.
- Consider a private security service to conduct patrols through your property. Most individuals will move along to other areas to camp after they realize they are being inconvenienced too many times and asked to leave.
It is very important to understand the use and filing of a “No Trespass Letter” with the Sheriff’s Department. Simply filling out a form does not give permission to the Sheriff’s Department to immediately respond and arrest whomever the suspect is. Each responding Deputy will do his/her due diligence to investigate and interview the reporting party as well as the suspect. If your business is in a public place that is reasonably, open to the public, then any individual can be present and that is not a crime.
If you have questions please contact:
- City of Lemon Grove Code Enforcement Division at 619-825-3820
- San Diego Sheriff’s Department Non-Emergency at 858-565-5200
If you have an emergency situation call 911.
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