Public weighs in on nuisance code

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By Kirsten Laskey

One person’s blight is another individual’s beauty. Everyone has their own opinions of how a property should look, but despite the variety of opinions, residents who attended two recent meetings on updating Los Alamos County’s nuisance ordinance, supported the endeavour.
The county was running into a problem with its current nuisance code, said Rick Bohn, director of the county’s Community Development Department. People were expressing concerns to the Community Development Department, to the county councilors, he said. Many people, Bohn said, felt that maintenance standards had fallen for residences.
Another problem the development department faces is that 30 percent of the complaints are not clearly addressed in the current code. This can be interpreted in several ways, Bohn said. Either the code is being misunderstood or it needs to be rewritten. Plus, he said if issues regarding the code are taken to court, it would be difficult because of the way it is written. “It’s sort of vague,” he said. “It might be hard to adjudicate. There are sections that are just not clear.”
As a result of this, county council asked the development department to come up with standards for non-residential and residential properties.

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