Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program (CNAP)
a multi-agency task force, the first of its kind in the nation


Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program (CNAP)
a multi-agency task force, the first of its kind in the nation

by Mary Clare Molidor
Sr. Asst. City Attorney
Director of Nuisance Abatement


Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program

Rockard J. Delgadillo
Office of the City Attorney

Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles City Attorney's Office
Department of Building and Safety
Housing Department
Planning Department

Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program

The Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program (CNAP) began in 1997 and is coordinated under the supervision of the Office of the City Attorney. CNAP is a multi-agency task force, the first of its kind in the nation, charged with targeting the worst abandoned structures and nuisance properties plaguing Los Angeles neighborhoods.

CNAP is staffed by personnel from five core participating agencies: LAPD, City Attorney's Office, Department of Building and Safety, Housing Department and the Planning Department, collectively known as the Problem Property Resolution Team (PPRT).

Three of these agencies (LAPD, City Attorney's Office, and the Department of Building and Safety) had worked together since 1990 through the federal grant-funded FALCON (Focused Attack Linking Community Organizations and Neighborhoods) Narcotics Abatement Unit.

The participating agencies developed a coordinated, comprehensive approach to revitalizing buildings and neighborhoods with histories of pervasive narcotics activity. The FALCON Narcotics Abatement Unit has been integrated into CNAP.

In addition to traditional narcotics abatement cases, CNAP has developed strategies for abating other types of long- standing nuisance locations. CNAP is responsible for:

1) abating narcotics and vice nuisance activity at occupied residential and commercial locations;
2) abating vacant structures, open to unauthorized entry , which are sites of drug, gang, or other criminal activity or which are fire damaged; and,
3) implementing neighborhood block projects in each of the LAPD's four geographic bureaus, with efforts focused on the areas of crime reduction and prevention, physical improvements and enhancements, and community outreach.

This program's major objectives are:

1) to eliminate nuisance locations through the implementation of available remedies, including: encouraging voluntary compliance from owners; filing criminal complaints for non-compliance with Building and Safety orders or Zoning conditions; imposing conditions or revoking conditional use permits through the Zoning Administrator; filing narcotics abatement and/or red light abatement lawsuits; preparing asset forfeiture lawsuits; and demolishing vacant buildings declared public nuisances by the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners;
2) to establish integrated networks of law enforcement and governmental agencies, community-based organizations and concerned citizens;
3) to provide neighborhood crime prevention and education programs to residents and businesses in targeted areas; and,
4) to foster community coalitions among property owners, tenants, residents and business owners.

CNAP attorneys and building inspectors helped draft a "Vacant Building Ordinance". Effective September 30, 1999, the ordinance declares both vacant and unsecured or boarded buildings public nuisances. Additionally, the ordinance creates consequences if no action is taken by a property owner to eliminate the boarded building status.

The ordinance requires property owners, once their property becomes vacant, to submit a "Statement of Intent" describing their short-term and long-term plans for the property.

The ordinance also requires owners of vacant properties to:

1) secure, clean, and fence vacant properties;
2) submit and implement a maintenance agreement plan for the period the property is to remain vacant; and,
3) submit a plan and timeline for the lawful I occupancy, rehabilitation or demolition of the structure. Failure to comply with the requirements of the ordinance may result in misdemeanor prosecution by CNAP attorneys and/or imposition of civil and/or administrative penalties.

CNAP uses a number of strategies to abate narcotics and other nuisances on private property. These include:

Identifying and Targeting Nuisance Locations and Identifying and Targeting Drug Offenders
LAPD reviews crime statistics and referrals to identify nuisance locations and narcotics and vice offenders.

Coordinating Multi-Agency Investigations and Formulating Long Term Solutions
Code inspectors, local police officers and specialized vice and narcotics I officers are consulted during the development of strategies for criminal and regulatory enforcement. Administrative procedures, such as boarding and fencing vacant buildings, and demolitions of nuisance buildings are enforced expeditiously to ensure that neighborhoods do not suffer the negative effects that a vacant property can generate. The Housing Department evaluates properties as well, to determine eligibility for financial assistance.

Evaluating Nuisance Remedies, Notifying Property Owners and City Attorney hearings
City attorneys and police officers examine possible remedies such as voluntary abatement, civil abatement, property seizure and forfeiture, and criminal prosecution. They determine which remedies would be most effective in abating particular nuisances. These profiles are presented to property owners at city attorney hearings.

Filing Civil and Criminal Lawsuits
City attorneys prepare abatement filings and review forfeiture cases against owners who fail to voluntarily abate nuisances at their properties. Prosecutors file criminal cases against property owners and tenants who fail to comply with orders issued by regulatory inspectors.


CNAP Supervisory Personnel
310 / 575-8500

Mary Clare Molidor, Sr. Asst. City Attorney
Director of Nuisance Abatement

Los Angeles City Attorney's Office
1645 Corinth Ave., Room 210
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Asha Greenberg, Supervising Deputy City Attorney
Tina Hess, Supervising Deputy City Attorney
Los Angeles City Attorney's Office

Detective Lori Miller, Acting Officer-in-Charge
Los Angeles Police Department

Mark Morrow, Sr. Building Inspector
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

Chris Hatzikian, Sr. Housing Inspector
Bob Mitschell, Sr. Management Analyst
Los Angeles Housing Department

Cora Smith, City Planner
Planning Department


Los Angeles City Attorney Personnel:

310 / 575-8500

South Bureau

77th & Southwest Areas:
Amy Brothers, Deputy City Attorney

Harbor & Southeast Areas:
Janet Karkanen, Deputy City Attorney

Southeast Area:
Onica Cole, Deputy City Attorney

Southwest Area:
Helen Yun, Deputy City Attorney

Central Bureau

Hollenbeck Area:
Daniel Whitley Deputy City Attorney

Rampart Area:
William Larsen, Deputy City Attorney

Newton Area:
Reginald Chun, Deputy City Attorney
Barbara Hamilton, Deputy City Attorney

Central & Northeast Areas:
Jonathan Cristall, Deputy City Attorney

Valley Bureau

Foothill & Van Nuys Areas:
Gretchen Smith, Deputy City Attorney

Devonshire, North Hollywood & West Valley Areas:
Colleen Courtney, Deputy City Attorney

West Bureau

Hollywood, Pacific, West L.A. & Wilshire Areas:
Jan Reyes, Deputy City Attorney