UPDATE, 4:47 p.m.:

Here’s a press release from the City of Eureka:

Pursuant to an inspection warrant issued by the Superior Court, staff from the City of Eureka’s Code Enforcement division, with the assistance of the Eureka Police Department (EPD) and Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF), are performing inspections beginning today of 11 properties owned by Floyd and Betty Squires.

As a result of long-running unresolved code enforcement cases, complaints from tenants and neighbors, and observations by City staff, EPD, and HBF, the City believes it is necessary to fully assess these properties and characterize the nature, extent, and severity of the violations present. Violations already observed include structural deficiencies, exposed wiring, leaking plumbing, un-permitted work, blocked exits, missing fire protection devices, broken windows and rotten siding. Many of the properties at which the inspections are being performed are subject to the lawsuit filed by the City against the Squires in 2011, which continues without resolution. At this time, occupants of these buildings continue to reside within the buildings and have not been displaced.

The City believes that proper maintenance of buildings helps ensure the safety of the occupants, first responders, and the public. Derelict buildings negatively impact property values, tourism, and the quality of life for our citizens. As such, following the inspections, the City intends to examine its options to resolve the violations found through available legal means.

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Original post:

A “Notice to Vacate” flyer posted at a Squires-owned apartment building on the 2900 block of California Street. | Photos by Andrew Goff.

Eureka city staff and code enforcement officers are out today serving inspection warrants on 11 properties owned by Eureka’s most monumentally troublesome landlords, Floyd and Betty Squires. 

“They’re just continuing sources of complaints and ongoing violations,” Public Works Director Brian Gerving said of the properties. By “violations” Gerving was referring to both Eureka’s municipal code and California’s Health and Safety Code.

All but one of the 11 properties (815 H Street) have been placed into receivership as part of the city’s ongoing legal battle with the Squireses, though those properties continue to be managed by the duo. 

The violations uncovered so far, according to Gerving, include broken windows, boarded-up and broken doors, unsafe electrical systems, missing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and more. 

Apartments were ordered vacated at a Squires-owned building on the 2900 block of California Street. During inspections, building officials deemed one unit uninhabitable due to excessive cat urine and feces, and at least eight cats were taken by animal control. [Note: Though the cats were removed, the apartment was at least partially cleaned up and the tenant of that unit was not displaced.]

The city’s next step, Gerving said, is to document and characterize the scope and extent of the violations and then determine the best path forward to get them resolved.

Meanwhile, Floyd and Betty Squires have appealed a recent conviction in small claims court where Judge Timothy Cissna found that the pair had allowed their properties at 1625 and 1635 G Street to deteriorate to the point of being a public nuisance.

Earlier in the day inspectors searched this property on Third Street, across from The Shanty.

A warning was written in chalk outside the front door.

Floyd Squires himself showed up during the inspection of his apartment building at 833 H Street, site of several fires in recent years. He walked into the building before he could be asked for a response to today’s actions.