www.montereycountyweekly.com March 7-13, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 In its heyday, the apartments at 359 Larkin St. in Monterey’s Old Town neighborhood were gems, two rows of cottage-like buildings built in 1932 with a neatly manicured lawn down the middle. Last fall, the complex was visibly falling apart from the outside while inside some units were filled with mold, broken heaters and other issues. City officials condemned apartments one by one beginning in December 2022, while trying to work with owner Leslie J. Flores to get them back up to code. On Feb. 13, city officials put Flores on notice: They were on the brink of filing a complaint in Monterey County Superior Court asking a judge to appoint a receiver for the property “to abate the substandard conditions,” according to a letter from Civica Law Group, an outside law firm hired by the city for its experience in pursuing such cases. The complaint was filed in court on Feb. 26. It’s only the second such receivership complaint the city has filed over the past four years, according to Monterey Chief Building Official Lori L. Williamson. The Civica letter mentions officials had met with Flores recently, but at the time he was unwilling to enter into a written agreement to make repairs. On Tuesday, March 5, it appeared that work is being done on the property. The buildings have recently been painted and there were workers outside a couple of apartments. Apartment #1, which previously had been packed with belongings from tenants who moved out due to mold issues, had been cleared out. There is much to fix at the property, which includes 11 permitted and three unpermitted apartments discovered by city inspectors. Past city inspection reports listed a hole in the ceiling of one unit, broken windows and heaters and disintegrating roofing, among other issues. Eight units are redtagged, two more than last August. Williamson says most of the work needed to bring units up to code would require a permit and painting and cleaning do not require permits. She says a request for a plumbing inspection was filed by someone representing Flores on March 5. The city is willing to work with Flores, she adds, but they will continue the court process. One way or another repairs will be made. “It will at some point be made safe and habitable,” Williamson says. If for some reason a judge grants a receivership, the appointed receiver—a third party not with the city—would determine what needs to be fixed and coordinate repairs. The city would pay for repairs, recouping those costs when the property is sold in the future through a lien placed on the property. A court hearing about the receivership complaint is scheduled for June 25. In the meantime, Flores has other problems. He’s facing three active felony cases, along with multiple misdemeanor charges. One felony case stems from a bar fight in downtown Monterey in 2022. He was arrested in September 2023 after Monterey Police found an unserialized weapon, or “ghost gun,” in his possession. He was arraigned on Jan. 4 after he was accused of making felony criminal threats against a Jane Doe. Receive This Monterey takes action to force repairs at a dilapidated apartment complex. By Pam Marino In August 2023, six of the apartments at 359 Larkin St. in Monterey had been tagged by the city. Cosmetic work has begun on the complex, but no permits have been pulled for bigger issues. NEWS “It will at some point be made safe and habitable.” DANIEL DREIFUSS GET CCFCU PRE-APPROVED! Getting Pre-Approved* for an auto loan can make the process of purchasing a new vehicle simple and straight forward. Benefits of Pre-Approval include: •• YEoa us i’el lr kt on odwe chi doewomn uacvhe hyoi cul ec an b or row •• FE il ni md i pnoa tt ee ns tui ar pl cr irseedsi td ius rs iunegs b ne faonrce ihnagn d fi Give us a call at 831-393-3480 to get you into a new vehicle today! *Pre-Approval subject to credit check and other qualifying factors. NMLS ID: 786119 LOCATED BEHIND THE PORTOLA HOTEL & SPA | COMPLIMENTARY PARKING (831) 649-2699 | PETERBSBREWPUB.COM VOTED BEST SPORTS BAR BY MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY READERS 2 HAPPY HOURS 4PM TO 6PM AND 9PM TO 10PM NEW HOURS THURSDAY - MONDAY: 4PM TO 10PM TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: CLOSED