Planning & Development Services

Commissioners Approve Nuisance Abatement Ordinance

Property owners who fail to keep their properties free of weeds and trash, or have substandard buildings may have the county cleaning up and billing the owners for the work.

Bernalillo County commissioners approved the nuisance abatement ordinance on Tuesday which now gives the Bernalillo County Planning and Development Services Department the authority, under the county’s statutory and home rule authority, to abate nuisances in the unincorporated areas of the county, outside the city limits.

Nuisance properties include those with accumulated trash, debris, tries, appliances, abandoned equipment or motor vehicles, excessive weeds or plants, piles of unclean fill dirt, insect or rodent infestation, or buildings that are substandard and represent a health or safety hazard, just to name some.

The county now has the authority to abate these issues and seek restitution from the property owner or person responsible for the problem.

“We’ll work with any property owner to solve these problems, but the county needs the ability get the job done if the property owner is unable or unwilling.” says Acting Planning and Development Services Director Lucas Tafoya. “It’s important to address these properties, otherwise they become a dumping ground, attract illicit activity and result in a health and safety hazard to the community.”

Any declaration of a nuisance will go before a hearing officer for determination. If approved by the hearing officer, the abatement will be presented to the Bernalillo County Commission for final abatement approval. Appeals of commission approvals must be presented to district court.

The nuisance abatement ordinance will take effect in 30 days.

Commissioners approved the ordinance on a 5 to 0 vote.

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