Instigated in part by the high-profile case of Huntington Harbour homeowner Elena Zagustin, the city has created a Nuisance House Management team to spot blight and reduce problems in residential and commercial areas.
The City Council this week approved a team made up of representatives from police, fire, code enforcement, the city attorney's office and public works to identify unkept homes, gang hangouts and houses where drugs are a problem.
Acting City Administrator Ray Silver told the council the group would focus on code-related issues and their enforcement. The team would also respond more quickly and efficiently to neighborhood complaints than in the past, he said.
The idea for a nuisance team came about almost two years ago following citizen complaints about several locations. Foremost on that list was Zagustin's home, which neighbors have complained about for years because of its unkept grounds. Next week, Zagustin faces 92 misdemeanor violations for the condition of her home.