SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Homeless cleanup only in rich neighborhoods? That’s what one Sacramento property owner says is happening and now he’s suing the city.
Every street in one north Sacramento neighborhood was lined with trash. People were camping directly on park property.
Daniel Alweiss, the owner of vacant land off of Eleanor Avenue, says he wants to fight for his neighborhood that is now afraid to speak up.
“There is human feces, urine, oil, all sorts of trash, and the city knows it,” Daniel said.
He wants to build an affordable senior housing complex on his land, but he says the trash, tents and toxic conditions on and around Johnston Park are preventing that.
“We’re at our limit for what we can possibly do,” Daniel said.
That’s why he’s suing the city of Sacramento. He says the city is clearing camps from parks in more affluent neighborhoods like McKinley and Land Park but not enforcing city codes like loitering in his neighborhood.
Just this morning, Caltrans crews cleared out an encampment not far from McKinley Park. Neighbor Jeff Fabbri has been calling on the city to do this for a year so he can feel safe walking his three-year-old outside.
“Just cleaning up the neighborhood and not devastating property values,” Jeff said.
In his McKinley Park neighborhood where the cleanups are happening, the average home price is about $675,000. But in Northgate near Johnston Park, the average home is about $390,000.READ MORE: 'AMEND Changed My Life': Program For African American Students Offers Path To Success
Daniel says the city is choosing to leave this neighborhood behind.
“Those are higher class people and my neighborhood is working class. My neighbors are truck drivers,” he said. “They’re not being listened to at all and they need a park, too.”
So how does the city prioritize its cleanups? It comes down to complaints.
When a call goes into 3-1-1, the city will decide if action has been taken. Dan says in his mainly black and brown neighborhood that doesn’t happen as often as predominantly white neighborhoods.
“By nature, people in these types of communities are afraid to complain and put their head up to change things,” he said.
But Daniel says the city should create change for every community across the city.
“I hope people who are watching learn about this, are scratching their heads and saying ‘Gee, why is this park treated this way?” he said.MORE NEWS: Rancho Cordova Jumpstarts Job Seeking Programs To Find People High-Paying Jobs
The lawsuit is claiming the city is violating equal rights, creating a public and private nuisance and a state-created danger. The city won’t comment on the lawsuit because it has not yet been served.