ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Recent strong winds have tossed trash around, especially in Northwest Albuquerque where garbage is piling up on one road.
“Well I don’t like it, I think it looks ugly,” Catherine Blas said.
Blas lives near Unser between Paseo del Norte and Paradise – a stretch of road that is currently a litter haven.
“It needs to be cleaned up,” Joe Valdez said, referring to the same area.
These homeowners and others told KRQE News 13 the City of Albuquerque needs to clean up the mess. But as it turns out, it’s not the City’s problem.
Brennon Williams, Associate Planning Director and Acting Code Compliance Manager, said there’s about 30 to 50 private property owners of these empty lots.
“I mean, if I have to keep my home clean and cleared, why aren’t we making the people with the big bucks that can afford to own that land, why aren’t they doing the same?” Linda Haddox, who also lives close by, said.
In a situation like this, Williams said, private property owners are, in fact, responsible for the area 10 feet outside their property line. That includes all the way up to the roadway.
Williams said a City inspector will soon head out to the area to assess the problem then make sure the property owners are aware, if they aren’t already, of the litter issue in a written notification.
“It’s been there a while, at least over a month, I’m sure, because as I drive by there I notice it,” Valdez said.
In the end though, the City might still be the one to do the clean up, but for a price.
“It’s possible that we could have a city crew go out there, perform the work for them and then the costs of the work performed becomes a lien against the property,” Williams said.
Williams said the happens in about one third of cases like this involving vacant lots.
No matter who cleans it up, these neighbors hope it happens soon.
“It just makes Albuquerque look bad,” Haddox said.