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Yost ordered to clean it up

Courtney Astolfi • Jul 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Sandusky fire marshal Rudy Ruiz notified Hoppers owner Joe Yost of at least five serious code violations at his Venice Road mobile home park.

Yost has 30 days to clean up and secure the property, or he’ll face fines of $50 per violation, per day. According to the city’s code, Yost could even see jail time if his cleanup efforts aren’t satisfactory. He has until the second week of August to clean up the mess. 

On Aug. 1, meanwhile, city officials plan to cut off water service to the park, a reaction to five years of unpaid water bills at Yost’s property and management company. He is $260,000 delinquent on water and sewer service payments, according to the city.  

Residents at the troubled property have spent the past few weeks dismantling, scrapping, abandoning or moving their mobile homes, a process that has resulted in the numerous code violations Yost must now address.

In a letter to Yost, the fire marshal cited unsafe structural conditions, an accumulation of waste materials, the presence of abandoned and unsecured buildings, and a buildup of combustible materials.

“It’s his responsibility to secure any vacant or abandoned structures, especially if it’s property he owns,” Sandusky fire chief Paul Ricci said.

The abandoned and unsecured mobile homes has left the park ripe for a plucking. Ricci cited personal property thefts as a primary concern. 

As owners peel the aluminum siding from the skeletons of their mobile homes, their belongings inside have become vulnerable to theft. While it’s been more than two weeks since Yost was served his paperwork, conditions have hardly improved. 

On Tuesday, Sandusky police responded to one such theft. Billy Crawford, a resident of lot 514, returned home to a ransacked trailer that was stripped of its aluminum siding and glass windows. 

Televisions, fishing equipment, children’s clothing and other items were stolen. The mobile home had been rifled through from top to bottom, leaving even Crawford unsure of the extent of the thievery.

Such circumstances are threatening the safety of residents who, at the same time, are being forced from their homes.  

“The current conditions present a life-safety risk to the public and emergency responders,” Ruiz stated. “The immediate removal of all trash, combustible debris, rubbish and waste is imperative.”

If Yost fails to clean up the park, Ruiz can authorize city workers to remove any of the hazardous materials.

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