Homeowners in SanFernando/ Sylmar have taken numerous photos of sewage on the ground of the makeshift RV park that is seeping into the neighborhood.

Throughout the valley and LA, there are long stretches of old model RVs lined up against street curbs used as shelters for an estimated 11,000 people across the county. The numbers are reported to be growing. Some living in recreational vehicles (RVs) own them and others rent them. For them, living in an RV beats living in a tent on hard, hot cement and costs far less than it would be to rent an apartment in the area that most say they can’t afford.

Passersby complain the cost is high for the larger community. More than an eyesore, oftentimes the RVs are broken down and can’t be moved without towing and stay in one location for long periods of time with trash and belongings piling up, which causes sanitation issues along public streets. There have also been explosions and fires inside the parked RVs.

For homeowners living off the block on Hubbard Street in Sylmar, the problem is magnified.

Tucked away behind fencing and shrubbery, 20 RVs are permanently parked in a large lot in the back of a house in what can be best described as a makeshift trailer park.

The owner of the property, Cruz Florian Godoy, has been renting out her property for people to live in the RVs. She has moved RVs onto her property as rentals and in other cases has allowed owners of RVs to permanently park there as her tenants.

Homeowners living next to Godoy have reported a stench coming from the property and worse, sewage from the RVs leaching onto their property.

Residents said they’ve  asked for help but like a can just being kicked down the road, they have been shuffled along and so far action has yet to be taken.

Despite repeated complaints from neighbors, Godoy is currently charged with only two misdemeanors — for the parking of the multiple RVs and the (lack of) maintenance of trash.

Residents living near Godoy’s RV park appealed to the Sylmar neighborhood council on Monday.

Homeowner Maria Macias lives directly behind Godoy’s lot that is crammed full of RVs. She tearfully said the stench from the RVs dumping waste onto the ground caused her adult son to become ill and living with it daily has taken an emotional toll on her family.

“He was vomiting and it was a very bad situation. We called the San Fernando police and the odor was very strong and they acknowledged that it was horrible but then they just left. One officer said, ‘Well that’s what it’s like living in LA.’

“I ran to the City of San Fernando and showed them all of the video and they came to check but they have said that we just had to ‘wait.’ No one helps me with this situation.

“I don’t know what the officials are waiting for. San Fernando came last week and representatives from LA also came but no one has been able to go onto her property. I have been dealing with this for more than two years asking for help. I have called everyone — the Health Department and Building and Safety [Department]. I don’t have peace in my own house,” said Macias. “You can smell it every day.”

After she spoke out at the meeting on Monday, Macias said the owner of the property came knocking at her door on Tuesday morning.

“It’s been very stressful, I wasn’t home when she came to my door, but I saw her on the camera. I tried to report it. I went to the police, but they said they couldn’t do anything about it. It’s been a difficult situation. I don’t want to talk to her, I have been calling inspectors and want this to be done right through officials.”

Macias and other neighbors have noted how “bold” Godoy appears and said she hasn’t expressed any concern for causing any harm to them or their families.

At the neighborhood council meeting, it was announced that 117 signatures have been gathered on a petition so far and some neighbors said they are considering holding a protest if action isn’t taken soon. The residents have taken video and photos of sewage running on the sidewalks and street outside of their homes and moving onto their yards.

“This isn’t a new problem, we’ve been dealing with this now for two years, but no one has been listening. Instead, we’ve been told the problem is that the property borders both Sylmar, which is in the city of LA, and the City of San Fernando. It doesn’t just affect me, it affects the whole community,” Macias said. She said at night there is a lot of activity coming from the property with them moving RVs and pounding noises possibly from working on the RVs.

Kurt Cabrera-Miller, president of the Sylmar Neighborhood Council, said they were unaware of the situation until recently. Now after looking into the history of Godoy’s property, he learned that numerous RVs have been parked in the large back yard lot for at least the last 4 years and Godoy has been cited for several code violations but appears unfazed. The citations, to date, haven’t appeared to make a difference in shutting her makeshift RV park business down, even though such a business isn’t allowed in the Sylmar neighborhood. He said it was “baffling” that this situation has gone on for so long.

“It’s a Residential R1 Zone for a single family home and you can only have one RV that’s used as a temporary dwelling,” said Cabrera-Miller. “In 2010, she was cited by Building and Safety, that’s as far as I went back. She’s been having issues with the Department of LA City and Building and Safety at least since 2010. That resulted in a lien on the property. In 2016, she got a judgment against her for the lien,” he said.

Godoy’s history is documented on the Department of Building and Safety’s website.

“Over the last three to four years, there have been 41 cases that have been opened and closed. She’s received citations from everything from improper disposal of sewage to building a non-permitted accessory building on the property. A disabled woman in a wheelchair told one media outlet that she lives there and pays $1,000 per month,” said Cabrera-Miller. Those living in RVs have told media outlets that they pay $500 per month.

He said many of the RVs on Godoy’s property are “jerry rigged” with RV sewage piping and collapsible plumbing pipes, as well as PVC pipes attempting to create their own little above ground sewer piping system.

“So, they’ll have like 20 individual pipes, small pipes, going into the main sewer drain into the ground. So, one of my concerns with that, as a community, is the footage that we’re seeing of the human waste on the concrete and on the sidewalk coming from a backup from the main drain or is that coming from faulty septic tanks above ground?”

Cabrera-Miller said he received a call from Mayor Karen Bass’ office on Tuesday night. Bass previously said she was looking into moving the RVs to another location, but residents point out that isn’t solving the problem. “Housing services are needed for those individuals who are going to become homeless once the city and county work together and the property is cleared,” said Cabrera-Miller.

“If those RVs leave that property and they have damaged septic tanks, all that means it’s just whack-a-mole. With no septic tanks, [they] are now going to be parked along Sylmar and San Fernando on public streets doing the exact same thing we’re doing on this private property,” he said.