Los Alamos County Council took a hard look at property maintenance standards during Tuesday’s work session in White Rock and gave Community and Economic Development Department staff the go-ahead to develop a new ordinance.
CEDD Director Anne Laurent introduced the proposal and explained why it was necessary.
“Certain people have ideas of what the county should be able to do when there is a problem,” Laurent said.
“And with certain complaints that come in we say, ‘unless it gets worse, we’re not going to step in.’ And that’s frustrating.”
Those complaints have to do with exterior property maintenance. CEDD staff is unable to address those problems because the county has no ordinance regarding upkeep.
Current code has guidelines regarding weeds, rubbish, parking inoperable vehicles and structural failure.
Exterior issues that fall short of structural failure, such as loose siding or roofing materials, holes in exterior walls, broken or missing windows and fences in disrepair are not addressed in the county code.
Laurent stressed that aside from affecting property values in a neighborhood, the issue affects the community as a whole.