On April 12, 2016, in a closed session meeting, the Stockton City Council authorized and directed the City Attorney’s Office to proceed with initiating a civil action seeking to abate the substandard and nuisance conditions against the business and property operating as New Grand Save Market, located at 2318 South Airport Way.
“This Office sought the authorization from the Council after spending months working closely with the Police Department and Code Enforcement to gather the information necessary to pursue such an action,” said City Attorney John Luebberke.
On Tuesday May 31, 2016, the City filed a lawsuit against both the owner of the property and the owners of the market business. As part of the nuisance action, the City will also be seeking the appointment of a Receiver that would become responsible for management of the property for addressing the nuisance and criminal activity occurring at the business.
This action is being taken based on the investigations conducted by the Stockton Police Department and Neighborhood Services (Code Enforcement) Division, regarding the long term recurring nuisance and criminal activity on the property. The property and business have been the subjects of repeated enforcement for blighted and substandard conditions in the store and building. Despite the fact that over the years the City has undertaken multiple enforcement actions such as issuing violation notices, ordering the property vacated, and levying significant fines, the response from the property owner and business owner, thus far, has been to take minimal corrective action resulting in the property falling quickly into a non-compliant state.
The effect of this long-term nuisance activity and chronic lack of proper management on the surrounding neighborhood and businesses has been substantial, creating a hub of criminal and nuisance activity. This activity includes shootings, drug use and sales, open drinking, and numerous other nuisance offenses. From April 7, 2015, to April 3, 2016, there were 191 calls for service at that location, including the most recent shooting that took place on May 11, 2016, resulting in the victim’s death on May 13, 2016.
“We have seen an unacceptable uptick of violence that has occurred in this neighborhood,” said Chief Eric Jones. “That is why the Stockton Police Department and our collaborative law enforcement partners have been giving this area special attention.”
Councilmember Michael Tubbs represents the District where the market is located. “This community is working hard to make positive changes in their neighborhoods. This business has been consistently cited by the neighbors, community groups, school officials, and surrounding businesses as being the number one problem in the area. As a city and a community, we will not tolerate properties and businesses that are a magnet for crime and blight.”
The City expects to have a hearing scheduled soon on the Petition for the Appointment of a Court Receiver.