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Proposed codes restrict lifestyles and discriminate

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Most of the county is probably unaware of the newly proposed “Nuisance Codes” that will restrict people from having RVs, boats, motorcycles, large pick-up trucks, trailers, or too many cars at their property and particularly discriminate against people who can’t afford large properties with hidden parking areas.  
However, many citizens waited for hours at Tuesday’s county council meeting to express their strong opposition to these proposed codes.
A preliminary estimate predicts that the proposed “Nuisance Codes,” with its many diverse restrictive/controlling sections, could make half the properties in the county out of compliance. Another example of the restrictive nature of these codes is the prohibition of numerous species of weeds on properties. The county will employ compliance “police” to enforce these codes.  Non-compliance will result in large fines and criminal prosecution for repeated violators.
In response to a handful of ill-maintained properties with debris and vehicles under long-term repair in front yards, the Community Development Department (CDD) addressed the problem by going out and finding a severe, overly-restrictive set of property codes, the so-called “international codes,” rather than re-writing the existing codes to eliminate loopholes and require the offensive properties to clean up their places. People with insight have told me that much of this is driven by the push of the local real estate industry. It is also believed that the CDD is motivated by self-justification, power and job expansion/security.
For the purpose of transparency in local government, the public should be made aware of who the members of the CDD are, what they do for a living and who employs them (follow the money), if they are to have such influential power over people’s lifestyles and pursuit of happiness. I think it is obvious that the proposed “Nuisance Codes” based on the so-called “international codes”, referred to by the CDD, are an extreme set of restrictive codes that have been used in densely packed urban, gated, or covenant-type communities and not in small, somewhat rural, diverse lifestyle western communities like ours.
I urge property owners to examine the proposed “Nuisance Codes” at www.losalamosnm.us (go to “projects”, then “Nuisance & Property Maintenance codes”, then to “Suggested Nuisance Code Provisions”).  
Then I urge people to e-mail the county council (countycouncil@lacnm.us) and the CDD director (Rick.Bohn@lacnm.us) to request that they completely abandon the newly proposed “Nuisance Codes” and re-write sections of the existing codes to remedy the few offensive properties and allow us to continue to pursue our lifestyles.

John Davey
Los Alamos