New ordinances will indeed work

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In response to a recent letter to the editor in the Oct. 13 Monitor by John Davey: “Codes too restrictive,” I would point out that, on the contrary, the current Los Alamos County nuisance and car storage ordinances are insufficient and lacking the necessary definition to allow a county zoning-enforcement officer to respond to many recent complaints regarding the condition of both private property and business property in Los Alamos.  
In many areas of town, for example, a proliferation of trailers, RVs and boats, to name a few typical items, are parked in front yards or unscreened side yards — either on driveways or parking pads or, more and more commonly, where lawns and gardens once existed. The immediate result is that the neighborhood is downgraded and surrounding property values are diminished. That’s because the residential aspect of the neighborhood changes to that of a storage lot.
Los Alamos County, like many other communities, provides an area for storing recreational vehicles.  It is illegal in Los Alamos, as it is in many other communities across the country, to park a vehicle not capable of operating under its own power on a residential street. There are good reasons why communities take these steps — for safety, to keep streets clear and to ensure a decent level of upkeep.
It is obvious to me and many others, that sections of Los Alamos have taken on a definite run-down look that has been noticed by newcomers and long-time residents alike. I believe that tightening our nuisance and property-maintenance ordinances, together with hiring a full-time county zoning-enforcement officer, will have a positive effect by maintaining long-held community standards regarding our town’s appearance without unfairly impacting our citizens.
Donald R. Machen
Los Alamos