David Kreitzer spoke during the public-comment portion of the November 30 San Diego City Council meeting to ask the council to review the sudden enforcement of an old ordinance that has affected the city-provided collection of trash at his Rancho Bernardo townhome residence, which is located on a private road.
Kreitzer says that his property is part of 87 townhome units built in 1971; 48 were built on a public street, and 39 on two short private drives. For the past 39 years, city trucks have entered the private roads and collected trash in the area, said Kreitzer. Now he has been informed that trash service will be stopped by the City because of a “hold-harmless” ordinance that was passed in 1986. (The ordinance was instituted to require that residents from the private roads agree not to hold the City responsible for any loss, damage, or legal liability related to the collection of trash in their area.)
“We knew nothing of this ordinance and none of the older members can remember it either,” said Kreitzer. According Kreitzer, the director of Environmental Services informed him via letter that properties developed before November 4, 1986, should have been informed through their developers that a hold-harmless agreement would be needed in order to continue to receive City-provided trash collection.
However, Kreitzer states that neither the City nor older residents in the neighborhood have any records of the mentioned agreement from 1986. “Those living on private roads throughout the city — including ours — pay the same taxes…as the 48 out [on the public street] but we will be denied a very fundamental service. We will also be denied…recycling,” he said.
Without the City’s services, Kreitzer says, the residents already have limited space around their townhouse and may be forced to use guest parking space to put in a dumpster. “I would like to see an effort [to] amend that ordinance, if it really exists,” added Kreitzer. “Amend it to allow people living on these private roads to go back and sign a [hold-]harmless agreement.”