Vacant Parlier property teems with tires, trash

City looks into addressing violations on Prodigy Square, an abandoned lot teeming with trash on the intersection of Academy and Manning Avenue

Trash piles up near an abandoned house near the corner of Manning Ave. and Academy Ave. in Parlier. Kenny Goodman)
Trash piles up near an abandoned house near the corner of Manning Ave. and Academy Ave. in Parlier. Kenny Goodman)
Darren Fraser
Published February 22, 2024  • 
11:00 am

PARLIER – In 1982, in an article appearing in The Atlantic Monthly, social scientists James Q. Wilson and George Kelling proposed the broken windows theory. In short, areas that are left to neglect breed more neglect, more crime and fall into greater disrepair. Which explains what has happened at the intersection of Academy and Manning avenues in Parlier.

In Aug. 19, 2021, the Parlier City Council took several actions to allow the construction of Prodigy Square. When it was proposed, the Square would include a mini-mart gas station, including diesel pumps, a carwash, a fast food restaurant with a drive-thru and space for retail stores.

On Feb. 16, 2023, the Council approved a conditional use permit (CUP) for a similar but larger project on the property. S&H Group, LLC owns the property. Shogy Saleh is the listed owner of the company. Since that time, the 5.66 acre property has stood idle.

S&H contracted with the Bryan Company in Visalia to demolish the abandoned home on the property that gravity is slowly reclaiming. A Bryan dumpster sits on the property. The company may have also contracted with AD&J for trash removal – that company also has a dumpster on the property.

There is an abandoned car, two boats, most major appliances, hundreds of tires, a gutted structure, tarps, empty beer bottles, broken bottles, boards with and without rusty nails sticking out of them, enough sleeping bags to constitute a sleepover and every conceivable nuisance that can be considered a code violation according to section 6.11.101 of the Parlier Municipal Code.

The Times visited the property on Feb. 15. Encountered there was an individual who was sitting behind the home having lunch.

“I’ve been living here for six months,” he said.

Conspicuously absent from the property is a fence.

WORKING ON IT

Juan Menendez is Parlier’s new code enforcement officer. Prodigy Square is at the top of Menedez’s to-do list.

“As far as what concerns code enforcement, there are plenty of violations on the property,” Menedez said. “I am currently working with the property owner to correct those violations.”

Menendez said he mailed out the first wave of notices to the property owner on Feb. 20.

“The property is broken down into different parcels,” he said. “Each parcel consists of different violations. I found there are violations surrounding the main development. I am preparing those notices to be mailed out today (Feb. 21).”

Menendez said he is throwing all the city has at its disposal to fix the situation.

“Those conditions didn’t happen overnight,” he said. “We’re not going to let that property sit out there for another six months.”

When asked if it was the property owner’s responsibility to enclose the property with fencing, Menendez said he is researching the code to determine if there is an ordinance that mandates the owner take such precautions.

“If it is something in the ordinance, I will attach that and have them put up that fence. Not only will it prevent the visual, but it will also prevent further illegal dumping after hours,” he said.

According to Menendez, Saleh has 25 days to comply with the notices. Menendez said he is not concerned about the fence – a company can install that in a day. What concerns him are the tires and the abandoned vehicles. He said if those nuisances can be abated, then what is left on the property can be resolved relatively easily by contractors.

“It’s going to depend on how responsive they (owners) are to the notices,” he said.

Jeff O’Neal is Parlier’s city planner. His company, Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group, also drafted the revised Prodigy Square CUP that was published in January 2023.

O’Neal said he does not know why the project has languished for so long. The last action taken on the project was the revised CUP. Since that time, O’Neal said he has had little to no contact with S&H. He said the city is waiting for the company to submit its civil plans to the city engineer. When the city receives the plans, the project can move forward.

“We’re waiting for them to move forward,” said O’Neal. “It’s in their court.”

The Times reached out to Saleh for comment but received no reply.

Darren Fraser
Reporter