FAIRFIELD — Officials are working to improve Parkway Gardens, where police will offer a community safety meeting Wednesday, an attorney for the city of Fairfield said after a court hearing about a suit filed by a resident over problems with the homeowners association board.
Toussaint Bailey said police, the City Council, city manager and others will meet to review the situation at the condominium development troubled by crime.
“We’re laying out a plan,” Bailey said. “The Police Department is looking at units that have been perpetual problems.”
He spoke Friday after the hearing in the suit filed in Solano County Superior Court by resident Janice Eaton, who said the Parkway Gardens Homeowners Association board on which Eaton once served as a director failed to maintain the required five-member board. The city of Fairfield agreed in a June court filing and stated that the lack of a board affects the ability to police crime and enforce city codes.
Parkway Gardens resident Brad Huffman said at the court hearing that after speaking with city officials, he’s withdrawn his request that Ben McGrew, appointed by the court as receiver to take over management of the condo complex, be replaced. Huffman spoke after the court hearing about his decision to drop his request that McGrew be replaced for reasons he had said included problems contacting Huffman.
“Now that we’re moving in the right direction,” he said, “I think it would have been counterproductive.”
McGrew has undertaken measures that include adding armed security guards to address problems at Parkway Gardens. McGrew, when asked about an account that the tires on his cars were slashed, said that the vandalism came days after a gang member threatened his life in September.
Eaton said that some people at the condominium development are aggressive toward any authority trying to improve the area. She linked 90 percent of the problems at Parkway Gardens to absentee owners subleasing to people who move from unit to unit, unaffiliated with the neighborhood and indifferent to conditions at the development.
She said Parkway Gardens is improving and that courage along with hard work will further advance that effort.
“You’ve got to get people who are not afraid to walk with you,” she said.
“We get so much fear in that neighborhood,” Eaton said. “I don’t fear.”
Residents and homeowners will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the clubhouse room on Del Paso Court at Parkway Gardens. People who attend the meeting can voice any safety concerns and speak with officers who patrol the area.
The Parkway Gardens meeting comes a week after a similar meeting this week during which Cordelia Villages residents came together with police to discuss an increase in the number and severity of crimes there. The impetus for the meeting was a shooting the previous week.
Parkway Gardens itself was the site of similar meetings involving residents, police and community leaders. Those meetings came after a drug deal in the neighborhood in March 2012 ended in a gunbattle that left two men dead.
Glen Faison contributed to this report. Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]