Oakland Home Depot given OK to put up a fence to block out homeless, illegal dumping

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The Oakland City Council this week voted to close a dead-end street behind a Home Depot to allow the company to put up a fence to prevent homeless people in RVs from living there and to curb the mounds of trash heaps that they say scares their customers.

The area in question: The 600 block and 700 blocks of 37th Avenue, behind the Fruitvale district Home Depot. On a recent weekday, the streets were littered with garbage spilling into the street and sidewalk. 

Home Depot has been pressuring Oakland to remove the homeless, saying they make customers and employees uncomfortable and have been stealing merchandise, the East Bay Times reported. In addition to the RV encampment on 37th Avenue, a larger encampment has been set up on a vacant lot next to the business's front parking lot.

Plans to clear the encampment in front of the store on Alameda Avenue are in the works. After the RVs have cleared out, the East Bay Times reported, public works department crews will clean up the site and the fence will be installed. The closure would last 18 months.