A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of Charles Diamond, who owns the land where the Redondo Car Wash once stood, after he failed to appear in court on charges relating to the property's condition, the Daily Breeze reported Monday.
Diamond was supposed to be arraigned Aug. 7; however, neither he nor his lawyer appeared in court, Redondo Beach City Prosecutor Melanie Chavira told the Daily Breeze.
Chavira filed 13 counts on misdemeanor charges including structural damage and lack of proper permits after two inspections of the property by city workers, and for each count, Diamond faces up to a six-month jail term.
Vacant for 10 years, the structure that formerly housed the Redondo Car Wash on Torrance Boulevard was declared blighted by the city several years ago. The car wash was built in 1962, but since then, the building has rusted and fallen in places, and transients have made the property a home.
"The main part is that it is a dangerous building," Chavira told the Breeze. "I essentially want the building to be demolished. That's the goal here, to get it in compliance."
The building is, in fact, scheduled to be demolished Tuesday, according to Councilman Bill Brand, whose Second District includes Torrance Boulevard. A is scheduled to be built in its place, with an eye on opening by March 2013.
"It's been a big deal for a lot of people," he said. Brand made a campaign promise during his run for city council to clean up the area.
"I learned that making political promises is risky," Brand said in an email Monday to his constituents. "It's much safer to just keep quiet and see what happens. But promises keeps one focused on a goal.
"This was such a seemingly impossible task that if I had not made that promise, I would have ignored it like most everyone had for years."
The owners of the new, environmentally friendly car wash—called the Redondo Auto Spa—completed the paperwork on a 35-year lease at the end of June. They plan to spend more than $1 million on the project.
- Full story: Owner of Abandoned Redondo Beach Car Wash Property Faces Charges [Daily Breeze]