Local News in Brief : Camarillo to Remove 20-Year Pileup of Garbage From House

The city of Camarillo will remove a mountain of garbage collected over 20 years from a 64-year-old widow's one-story duplex, the City Council said Wednesday.

After nearly a year of missed clean-up deadlines, the council decided to remove the debris and to fumigate the house. Council members said the city will then seek to demolish the structure if it is found to be unsafe.

The owner of the Mobil Avenue house, Kelton Roberts, was evicted last summer. She could not be reached for comment since it is unknown where she is living.

City officials first investigated sanitation problems at the house when neighbors complained in April.

Building and health inspectors crawled through mounds of decaying garbage, moldy newspapers and rodent feces when they inspected the house. There was no plumbing, no gas and no heat. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures had been obscured by the debris.

Roberts was camping in her back yard under a blue tarpaulin at the time.

She was told April 25 that the house would be demolished if she did not clean up the mess within 30 days. She challenged the order before the Ventura County Building Appeals Board, which postponed the deadline until July 25.

After a series of delays, Roberts and one of her sons, who is serving as her conservator, signed a Superior Court agreement that they would clean the house by Feb. 20 and allow inspectors to enter. But city officials inspected the house on Tuesday and said little progress had been made.

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