Upset neighbors say wall is an ‘eye sore’ and illegal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood are upset with what their neighbor is building. You could call it a wall, they call it a fort, and they may have the law on their side.

One resident in northeast Albuquerque is building wall around their house that stands more than five feet tall. The city said all walls and fences require a permit — regardless of height, which is something they say this homeowner does not have.

The city said it has notified the homeowner that they are in violation of the law, and that they need to obtain a permit or need to remove the wall.

According to the city’s wall and fence policy, any construction — regardless of height — requires a permit. If the wall is in the front yard, there are a few extra steps the homeowner must follow.

The city said there are two main reasons for its policies — one of them is aesthetics.

“Walls and fences in the front yard, those are limited in height, typically to three feet, and anything greater than three feet requires some sort of special exception to the code,” said Brennon Williams, City of Albuquerque’s Planning Department. “We don’t want to live in a city where there are walls right up against the sidewalk and it creates a canyon effect as you’re driving down the street.”

More importantly, the city said it is for everyone’s safety.

“It becomes a safety hazard, it’s either not constructed correctly, it falls over and hurts somebody or causes some sort of property damage,” said Williams.

Neighbors said they just want the wall lowered.

“I want it taken down, at least down to three feet, so I don’t have to look at that,” said a neighbor. “If I wanted to sell the house, I could never sell it with that.”

“We can’t see down the road, for one I like to stand right here and I can see my kids playing down the road, and I can’t see them,” said a neighbor.

The city said in cases where homeowners did follow all procedures, neighbors can still file a complaint if they don’t agree with it. The city has a mediation process for neighbor disputes.

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