The threat of $70,000 in fines prompted a Bend car dealer to remove security lights that neighbors complained were glaring into nearby homes.
But problems with vandalism at the car dealership continue and relations between the business and the city are fraying.
Over the past year vandals broke into several vehicles at Volvo Cars of Bend.
Catalytic converters, batteries, tires, wheels, axles, gas and accessories were taken under the cover of darkness and thousands of dollars in damage left behind.
One vehicle was stolen.
“We installed a $28,000 security system in early summer. The cameras couldn’t see at night, so lights were installed on the back of the property so the thievery could be captured on video,” said John Vierra, Volvo Cars of Bend general manager.
In a Sept. 23rd email to Vierra, City of Bend Code Enforcement Officer Julie Craig said she was “sorry the dealership was having to deal with so many issues. Unfortunately, the lights are excessively bright and are causing issues with the neighbors. The lights will need to be replaced and meet our code requirements.”
Vierra says he heard nothing from the city while Volvo Cars of Bend let a city-hired contractor use the lot this past summer to crush rock for the north sewer interceptor project.
The convenient location sped up the project and saved the city money.
But shortly after the rock crushing was complete, the city resumed sending notices about the security lights and a citation for $76,500.
“I had until December 22nd to take the lights off the building. I’m took them off the 21st, so now the thieves can come and go as they please,” he said.
Since being informed he was breaking a city code, Vierra said he familiarized himself with all city codes.
He’s troubled by contradictions in code enforcement, especially in regards to a nearby homeless camp
“Hunnell Road is breaking at least 50 codes daily. They say there’s a $750 code violation per day. Yet because they can’t collect from the Hunnell Road residents, they come after the company that can pay. They have not been cooperative in any way, shape or form.”
I asked the city for comment and was told no one from the code enforcement department was available.
Vierra says it was never Volvo Cars of Bend’s intention to create an issue with the city.