Transient camps make it difficult to sell commercial property

Ashland, Ore. — A local selling agent says homeless camps are having a big impact on an Ashland business district.

He says businesses, homeowners and even churches are having issues.

“The trash that’s right here has been here at least a month,” selling agent Gary Smith said.

Gary smith is a selling agent for Jefferson Investment Properties, LLC.

He says clients have bailed from investing in the commercial property he’s trying to sell in Ashland due to transient camps.

“They defecate on the property, they destroy the property… because they’re out of sight, out of mind… and it looks like it’s open land,” Smith said.

With 15 transients living on the property, Smith says he’s also concerned for the health and safety of the other nearby businesses.

He says some of the transients even steal from the Ashland Tennis and Fitness Club down the road.

“Little things become big things. And ya know once they can get away with doing something, then it just amplifies and gets larger,” Smith said.

Smith filed a complaint with the Ashland Police Department which passed the case onto code enforcement.

“It is a violation of Ashland municipal code to camp in public and so we do try to stay on top of it when we get complaints,” Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’ Meara said.

Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’ Meara says if transients are on private property, that means they’re trespassing and can be removed immediately.

According to Smith, the code enforcement officer has removed a vehicle that was previously on the property, and also took notes on the trash.

“The trash keeps building up and building up and building up. And at some point, it has to go away,” Smith said.

He’d like to see the homeless placed in a safe shelter, but he would also like to see them take responsibility for their actions.

“They have no respect for anything that someone else owns… and that’s very sad,” Smith said.

Smith says he and the nearby businesses will be hiring someone within the next week to clean the trash from all the properties.

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