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Owner of makeshift RV park in Sylmar ordered to clean up property

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The owner of a makeshift RV lot in Sylmar has been ordered to clean up her property that at one point housed more than 20 recreational vehicles and drew complaints from angry neighbors who described putrid conditions at the site.

Cruz Florian Godoy pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of unlawfully erecting a structure without a permit and was ordered to clean up the Hubbard Street property to bring it into compliance with Los Angeles city laws, according to court records. She was also sentenced to 12 months of supervised probation as part of her plea.

All of the residents who lived in more than 20 RVs that sat parked on her property have moved out, Godoy told The Times in a phone interview. But she said she is still trying to figure out how to clean the property where more than a dozen RVs were left abandoned.

“I need to get [the RVs] out and clean the property,” Godoy said, adding she had a 45-day deadline from the city. “I’m making calls to see if someone can help me clean.”

Most of the people who lived in the RVs on Godoy’s property paid her a few hundred dollars a month for rent over the past several years. Some of the residents told The Times they would have been unable to afford rent anywhere else.

Godoy, some residents said, worked with them on the rent and to keep them from becoming homeless.

Godoy said she was in debt when she first got the idea to let an RV park on her property. But she said she hoped doing so would also help people who were struggling to find an affordable place to live.

“I was trying to help people because I would rent the little property to them and they could be in their trailer,” she said in Spanish.

In exchange, she said, the rent money helped her pay her bills.

But what started out as one or two trailers soon became more than 20 that were being used as homes, she said.

Some residents paid $300 or $400 a month for the space. But Godoy said she tried to work with residents who couldn’t rent at times.

“Some owed me rent and wouldn’t pay, and some came and threatened me,” she said. “Some didn’t even work and I couldn’t get them to leave.”

But neighbors had also complained about conditions on the site, including describing dumping of human waste in a report from ABC-TV Channel 7. One resident told the news station that tenants were forced to clear clogged sewage lines if they were unable to pay their rent.

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