On-Site Managers Ordered for Drug-Plagued Property

Times Staff Writer

The owners of a Sun Valley apartment building, which police say has been the scene of rampant drug activity, were ordered by a Superior Court commissioner Friday to either move into the complex or provide a full-time manager.

Commissioner Virginia Chernack issued the order and a preliminary injunction banning drug activity at the apartment complex at 10538-10544 1/2 Cantara St.

Authorities said drug problems at the complex are so severe that neighborhood residents call it the “Valley Drugstore.”

The injunction replaces a temporary restraining order issued Sept. 7 against Steve and Lucy Kajaoghlanian of Van Nuys, owners of the nine-unit complex. The Kajaoghlanians have until Nov. 1 to comply or be in contempt of court.


Deputy City Atty. Kevin T. Ryan said the couple already has taken steps to solve problems at the complex. But he said he welcomes Chernack’s order for on-site management of the property.

‘Sense of Responsibility’

“Hopefully, it is going to instill a sense of responsibility and accountability on the premises,” Ryan said of such management. “There will be someone there monitoring who is coming on to the property and what they are doing.”

Ryan said Lucy Kajaoghlanian appeared at the hearing in Burbank and opposed the preliminary injunction because it would cause a financial hardship.


She could not be reached for comment afterward, but previously she said she and her husband have taken steps to stop the drug dealing. She then blamed any problems at the complex on non-residents, who she said are the responsibility of the police.

The Kajaoghlanians bought the complex in July, 1986. Narcotics detectives said it has been a center of drug activity for at least eight years.

Since the city filed suit seeking the injunction, exterior lighting has been added and a security guard hired, Ryan said. But Ryan and detectives who patrol the area said it is too early to determine if the improvements have made a difference.