PLEASANT HILL -- Since December, the city has been asking Caltrans and the East Bay Municipal Utility District to clean up unsightly trash on its property near Interstate 680.
Caltrans owns the strip of property bordering the Gregory Lane offramp from southbound I-680. EBMUD owns the property running alongside the Monument Boulevard highway exit.
Particularly galling for the city -- and for residents who made their displeasure known at City Hall -- was a fenced-in, triangular area strewn with refuse that is visible to motorists exiting on the Gregory Lane offramp.
On Jan. 31, bags of foodstuffs, rolls of toilet paper, sheets, pillows and an overturned portable medical toilet littered the ground.
The same day, empty 40-ounce beer bottles, flattened cardboard boxes, paper and even a bag of oranges were tucked around the trees bordering the chain-link fence separating the utility district property from the rear of the Courtyard Shopping Center on Contra Costa Boulevard.
"They've been responsive in the sense that they've contacted us. It's an area of multiple jurisdictions, so I think that's what creates some of the problem," said Greg Fuz, Pleasant Hill planner.
Last week, EBMUD removed the trash from its property, Fuz said. An EBMUD representative could not be reached for comment Friday, so it's unclear whether the district will clean the property more frequently from now on.
On Jan. 19, a Caltrans crew removed litter, trimmed trees and brush and sprayed weeds in the area along the Gregory offramp up to the chain-link fence, which the agency believes marks the boundary of its property, spokesman Allyn Amsk said.
"Maintenance did not clean inside the triangular area because it was outside the right-of-way," he added. Fuz, however, said the area does belong to Caltrans. Amsk said the transportation agency plans to double check the boundary line.
Regardless of which entity ultimately has responsibility for the area, for now this gateway to Pleasant Hill no longer is a source of embarrassment for residents.
"Finally we did get so frustrated last week with that triangular area because it's just so visible that a city maintenance crew went and cleaned it up," Fuz said.
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.