Walnut residents share concerns about public safety and illegal activity

Walnut City Council issues temporary no-parking signs


Our no parking signs. Via Flickr/ Mark Doliner.

During the Walnut City Council meeting on April 26, residents voiced criticisms about the lack of concern for public safety regarding a public nuisance property doubling as space for illegal activity and potential prisoner releases.

Walnut resident Adnan Khan spoke of the “criminal element” to public nuisance property and a house on 558 Tri Net Court. Khan said he observed what he alleged as sex trafficking activity within the property.

On Jan. 28, during the night, Khan said he noticed a young woman being guided into the house by a person on both sides of her. He could hear her telling them she did not want to go in and that she was tired.

He claimed, with his experience as a member of the Board of FBI National Citizen Academy and serving on the sheriff’s advisory council, he had no trouble identifying the crime occurring.
It was not the only illegal activity that took place on the property, according to Chris Vazquez, director of Community Development, who said that tenants have commercialized the home by publicly advertising paid events and entertainment.

These events caused much traffic in the area, resulting in blocked fire hydrants and driveways. Residents have been complaining for over a year about the lack of parking as a result of the weekly parties.

The city responded by issuing temporary no parking signs from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tickets to non-compliant vehicles.

Despite the city intervention to alleviate parking problems on Tri Net Court and Marcon Drive, guests of the street have found loopholes by parking in local churches and nearby lots and shuttling to the residence.

According to City Manager Tom Weiner, Walnut has enacted a proper investigation and enforcement upon the tenants of 558 Tri Net Court regarding ongoing code violations since the first meeting in January.

Local residents made over 50 service calls to sheriff’s departments in the last year.

The city council voted 5-0 to declare the property a public nuisance with the intent to lay the precedent that this kind of activity will not go unnoticed in Walnut and result in proper enforcement when necessary.

While the city seemingly has brought the issue of the public nuisance to a close, resident Imran Khan pointed to the disconnect in communication between Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Walnut City Council.

He said the department raided the home over a year ago. However, the city’s efforts of ongoing investigation and enforcement have not been enough to end the noise on the property.
Residents displayed major concern for the future safety of Walnut. The city is known for its “slow, lethargic lifestyle” according to resident William Harrison, who asked residents and city staff to do their due diligence to keep it that way.

“We cannot be soft on crime because we will become the victims,” Harrison said. He proceeded to ask residents to speak up against County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
The next Walnut City Council meeting will be on May 9.