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Union Street Neighborhood Watch to focus on untidy yards, crime

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Residents of Union Street, a quiet horseshoe street of 23 homes off Argonaut, are organized to protect their property values against crime and non-resident owners who allow renters to abuse the neighborhood. Residents will meet at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Rocklin Police Station to finalize their Union Street Neighborhood Watch. Several Union Street residents, led by Roger S. Peterson, Union Street Neighborhood Watch organizer, developed a street map with the names and phone numbers for all residents. If unfamiliar or suspicious people are at a neighbor’s house, any resident now knows whom to contact. The city of Rocklin recently installed two “Neighborhood Watch At Work” signs on Union Street. “We are a small street with many well-kept homes,” Peterson said. “But four homes have been rented. Each has been a problem for owner residents.” Peterson cites loud parties, speeding cars, and weeds in violation of city ordinances. “We’re not tolerating it anymore,” Peterson said. “We have all agreed to call the police on the first instance.” A recent study by Folsom-based Gregory Group cites Rocklin as having the sharpest decline in housing values of any city in the Sacramento area. “Banks and real estate firms have to take care of unoccupied properties. Owners who rent must be careful to whom they rent and must make sure renters are following the law. Right now, parts of Rocklin look like Rio Linda,” Peterson said. “That’s not going to happen on Union Street, even if we have to knock on doors and confront the renters.” Recent home invasions in Rocklin make the Union Street effort timelier than ever before, Peterson said, adding that an alert Union Street resident recently stopped a car battery theft in progress. Peterson said he wants the city council to pass his Good Neighbor Ordinances about unkempt yards and unrestrained dogs. “Only one council member helped — Mayor Scott Yuill. He put me in touch with other concerned citizens and encouraged us to use the Neighborhood Watch program,” Peterson said. The Union Street residents will meet with Police Officer Mike Nottoli, the department’s community programs coordinator who provides a Neighborhood Watch newsletter for participating residents. The residents will then tour the new high-tech police station. “We want Union Street to become one of the most attractive and safest streets in town,” Peterson said. “We here are all aware of the city’s noise, yard maintenance, and dog ordinances. No more collapsed property values. This is Rocklin, not Rio Linda.” For information on Peterson’s proposed Good Neighbor Ordinances, e-mail him at peterson@sacramentowriters.com. ~Staff report