Man claims temple has 'decimated' his neighborhood

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Randy Jones lives in a southwest Bakersfield neighborhood and said Tuesday that the Sikh temple behind his house is dumping raw sewage on the ground.

"I've seen raw sewage being dumped, trash, the noise and the smell. It's just nasty," Jones said.

He said the temple, located at 7000 Wible Road, has been nothing but trouble for the past four years.

"Since they moved in, the whole neighborhood has problems with rats, because it's the smell drawing them, and the flies and mosquitoes, and nobody will do anything about it," he said.

Jones said the temple is also setting off illegal fireworks and making large amounts of noise at odd hours.

"They had a box of fireworks, and the fire department did not take them, did not cite them, and they said they couldn't cite them, because it was religious celebration," Jones said.

He said complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

"They either walk away from you or ignore you, or when (the neighbor) went to the front door, they confronted him with a sword," Jones contended.

When Eyewitness News stopped by the temple Tuesday to ask about the complaints, the man who answered the door put a reporter on the phone with the man in charge of the property.

The man on the phone said the complaints aren't true.

But, Bakersfield Code Enforcement officials said they did find raw sewage on the property. City officials issued a notice Monday.

City officials said the temple is currently under investigation.

Jones said he and his neighbors are just tired of the situation.

"We've lost the use of our yards, our homes have been devalued, the neighborhood's kind of been decimated because the value has gone down," he said.

He said he wants to see something done.

"I think they should be required to cease and desist on the dumping of sewer, and that they should have the same codes the rest of us do and hook up to a sewer," Jones said.

The Environmental Health Department is also investigating.