Neighbors Say Delgadillo House Brings Blight to HPOZ

The gate to the vacant property at 800 S. Windsor Boulevard owned by former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo was left open on June 14th. Photo credit: Sheila Lane

The gate to the vacant property at 800 S. Windsor Boulevard owned by former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo was left open on June 14th. Photo credit: Sheila Lane

WINDSOR VILLAGE—In February of 2013, former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and his family safely escaped from a major fire at their home on 800 S. Windsor Boulevard.

Since the fire three years ago, the damaged house has remained vacant. Holes in the roof have been covered with tarps and the windows have been covered with plywood boards.

Over the years, complaints from neighbors about the house have ranged from calling it an eyesore to saying it’s become a beacon for transients.

According to Penny Pachman, Delgadillo’s immediate neighbor until she relocated in June, a couple lived in the garage of the property earlier this year on and off for over a month.

She also said her handyman was approached by a stranger a few months ago.

“A homeless man had a scratch piece of paper with [800 S. Windsor] written on it,” said Pachman. “He wanted to know if he had found the right address.”

City officials, including the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hebel Rodriguez, toured the home in June and found it was secure and squatter free.

But, Rodriguez said it was clear vandals have been in the home in the past.

“Unfortunately, when you have board-up situations there’s always going to be a way to get in,” he said. “Either by kicking in or prying the plywood away from the frame of a door or window.”

According to Rodriguez, who is assigned to patrol the area, if he sees evidence of a break-in or vandalism at the house, he informs Delgadillo, who he said, immediately has it repaired.

Delgadillo applied for a permit to demolish the house in March 2015, but it has been neither approved nor denied.

According to city officials, their understanding is that the process stalled due to red tape with Degadillo’s insurance company.

Delgadillo confirmed this and additionally said he’s been working with consultants to prepare the proper reports to move the demolition forward.

“Our plan has always been to rebuild,” he said. He did not, however, specify what will take the place of his former home once it is gone.

Delgadillo said he has recently authorized police to arrest vandals on the property and that “no trespassing” signs are forthcoming

As the house is a contributing structure to the area’s historic status, its possible demolition—and what might replace it—has concerned several neighbors, including R.J. Strotz.

According to Strotz, neighbors began filing complaints with the city in 2014 over possible break-ins on the property and because the home’s landscaping had not been kept up and was potentially flammable.

“Delgadillo has been disrespectful to his former neighbors,” said Strotz. “He allows vagrants to frequent his former home…and is allowing this historic house to be open to the elements and fall into ruin.”

As to neighbors’ complaints about the state of the house, Delgadillo said he is trying his best to resolve problems that arise.

“I’m as frustrated as anybody,” he said. “But every time I have had to deal with whatever issue that’s been, I’ve been responsive on my side. I’m doing the best I can to get the property to a place that makes sense for everybody including me, the property owner, and the one who has legal rights here.”

Posted June 29, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.

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