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Joseph Diliberti -lived here for 20 years
Local authorities have forced a Vietnam Vet to quite his off-grid home although he is harming no-one and owns the land he lives on.

County officials in the town of Dehesa, East of San Diego,call Joseph Diliberti a scofflaw. But who can respect a law that tries to tell a harmless old man how to live his own life? At the moment, Diliberti can still call his wooded hollow home after officials tried Friday to auction off his rural land because of the back fees and penalties he owes, largely stemming from an unpaid weed-clearing bill. It was a task that Diliberti actively opposed.

The thing was, no one wanted to buy it.

At a public auction in downtown San Diego, county Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister failed to get a nibble when he offered the 3.7-acre parcel for a minimum of $71,100.

He said will try again in May, when his office will hold an online auction of local properties.

The failed sale was the latest twist involving the parcel that has served as Diliberti’s handcrafted, off-the-grid home for more than three decades.

Diliberti, a Vietnam War veteran, built a rounded clay house and other structures on the site, which is lush with vegetation. There’s no indoor plumbing or electricity.

The untamed property hasn’t sat well with some of his neighbors and firefighting officials. In 2004, the San Diego Rural Fire Protection District called in a company to strip the parcel of brush and weeds after the district said Diliberti failed to comply with an order to clear the land.

Diliberti has refused to pay for the weed-clearing. He has said he believes the district treated him unfairly and without proper notice.

One of his supporters, Richard Halsey with the California Chaparral Institute, said Diliberti is resigned to losing the property — if not this week, then soon — and has been looking for a new home.

“He’s just decided he’s going to take the path of peace instead of bitterness,” Halsey said.

According to county officials, the assessed value of the parcel is $91,155.

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16 Responses to “Let him live in peace!”

  1. Dean

    It seems JD seems willing to live on a very modest level and capable of creating and maintaining a very low cost dwelling. Unfortunately, any lifestyle that doesn’t fit social norms or goverment’s idea of what is “good” for us or neighbors must be ended. I do not wish to live this way but DB should be able to. Maybe, there’s more to the story? Regardless, it looks like our goverment, the best in the world, has an wonderful opportunity to transcend their fears.
    what’s the real risk here?

    Reply
  2. FatherWillSmith, OSB

    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…is what our constitution holds to be self-evident for all, this guy is a VietNam Vet…leave him alone, he looked after our county and we continued to treat our Nam vets with dishonor….lets get with it…

    Reply
  3. Pedro

    WHAT SORT OF COUNTRY IS THIS WHERE ONLY THE WEALTHY HAVE THEIR WAY?????
    LEAVE Joseph Diliberti ALONE!!!!

    Reply
  4. jammit

    i was forced to work for the airforce i never got a dime from them. this country has crapped on all of us. and those in power will never stop.untell we all stand up.and say no more.there are men and women getting out of service.and living under bridges,in arizona.when we ask for help they laugh.and say we dont know you.but they did when they took us and when they want money from us.but not when they have to pay us. and for the person that wrote that about joseph shame on you.because your blind and a backstabber.

    Reply
  5. WestTexasLawrence

    If he’s looking for a place to live….send him out to West Texas. There are 480 Vietnam vets living
    out here in Reeves County, west Texas, minding their own business. Land is cheap out here…$100-$300 per acre. Water is shallow…less than 50 feet most places. And the Texans out here
    will leave you alone if that’s what you want. Many of us Vietnam Vets just want to be left alone.

    I’m a Vietnam Vet and I own a farm in Reeves County. I would be willing to help him get a place
    here and live independently, IF someone can help
    him get in touch with me at: lawrencerayburn@yahoo.com

    Reply
  6. EJPlough

    Although I feal for this man and do believe that he should be left alone for the most part, there are rules that DO benefit the comon good that we must all abide by, fire safety in the sothern California desert is one, pay your taxes in very unfortunatly another. I would like to see Joseph keep his home and live the life that he has chosen for himself, but don’t be so quick to jump on the person that malignes Joseph in posting #7 “forced to live in shame”. He may actually know more about this man than any of us casual readers. Before judging do your homework, Joseph may be all of those things, or he might be a kindly old man that just wants to be left alone. Educate yourself befor choosing a side.

    Reply
  7. pat

    i do agree this man has fought for our freedom and this is the way he is treated and the post before putting him down you don’t know his circumstances and i know the goverment are not helping the vets because if they were the homeless rate would drop many of our homeless are disabled vets , and all of us are just 1 pay check from homelessness with the economy the way it is , so we can’t judge others because we don’t know how we would react if we were in his shoes .

    Reply
  8. PB

    Yeap, and I do believe that things are just going to get worse with the government, as I read somewhere that the government will soon be taking all land away from people and you will either live like they want, or have no where to go. You can hardly find places to live sustainability anymore. Too many regulations….

    Reply
  9. JC

    someone please where is the “abuse” button for the above post. it should be removed!

    Reply
  10. Forced to live in shame

    This man is a shameless habitual drug-abuser-lier-thug-thief-manipulator, and he gives the Diliberti clan a bad name.
    He also burned all his mail to avoid in order to avoid the responsibility that comes from getting excessive amounts of court appearances and tickets that he racks up.
    He has a mental-health disorder, he is verbally abusive, and if he lives in a clay hut he deserves to get removed because he was aware of the fact that you need permits.
    He is too stupid to follow through with what he wants/wanted which is to make a beautiful garden and work-shop/nursery for all of his illegitamite children that he so hopelessly forced upon society by means of seducing under-age women and then brain-washing them.
    This half-man/half beast is stuck on stupid and only wishes he had the balls to be a mexican and jump the fence to make his ass a cardboard shack down in Baja somewhere.

    Reply
  11. Bryan

    I believe the state has too much power. People need to take back their lives and freedom from oppression which is what this clearly is.
    Too much greed and wealth has created this tax this tax that. It’s disgusting.

    Reply
  12. Cathy

    I was born in Santee. I understand why in the late 70’s my parents packed us up to leave the state as well as for one of my cousins 15+ yrs ago. If there is a fund I’ll start it with a $20. He is one of us, could be us, and more than likely will be us. My God there is nowhere left to go. They’ve got people by the short hairs. We Americans need to stick together against the tyrannical bully thugs! Joseph don’t give up!

    Reply
  13. Mini

    Does it strike anyone as weird that California FORBIDS some home owners from removing overgrowth, which has led to homeowners loosing their homes to forest fires and this poor vet is being bullied, because he won’t remove overgrowth? Seems like the CA government wants it both ways – result being everybody looses their home! Go figure! Nice going CA!

    Reply
  14. Bob

    True, you gots to pay those taxes! Even if you own the property outright.

    Reply
  15. wayne

    More proof that no one really owns their land. You can pay $91,000 for a property and finish paying the mortgage, but if you don’t pay your property tax of say $4000 then the government can take it away from you. Forever. So… who’s the real owner?

    Reply
  16. Kristen

    Is there any fund set up for this guy or something? This is terrible and so amazingly unfair!

    Reply

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