Overgrown landscaping causes concern

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A wet winter and spring means plants and weeds are growing like crazy on sidewalks around Albuquerque.

There’s more than the city can keep up with.

The storms that rolled into Albuquerque this winter and spring left behind much-needed moisture. Now we’re seeing the byproduct.

“It has been a little wetter and warmer and typically that brings more weeds and vegetation, weeds and trees grow a lot more,” said City of Albuquerque Planning Department Associate Director, Brennon Williams.

Just as fast as weeds are popping up and plants are spilling over onto the sidewalks, tips are coming into the city’s 311 system to take care of the problems, and the problems are everywhere.

In a six block drive through Nob Hill, KRQE News 13 saw landscaping blocking the sidewalk in three different spots.

With more than 185 square miles to look after, Albuquerque Planning Department said it relies on 311 reports to find out about these things.

“The citizen registers their issue with the city. That call is then routed to our code enforcement division and they have inspectors that are our in the field,” Williams said.

With summer nearly here, people are out walking. While weeds are ugly, plants blocking their way can be a safety hazard forcing people to walk out into the street.

“During the day it is harder because especially on Girard the traffic is really bad,” Andrea Rutan said.

Rutan lives in the Nob Hill area. It’s an area she said is mostly well kept, but she sometimes still finds weeds or overgrown landscape.

For the homeowners whose landscaping blocks her path, she has a message for them:

“Just be conscious that the sidewalk is for public use and to keep it as kept up as best as you can,” Rutan said.

According to the city, people are responsible for keeping sidewalks outside of their homes clear.

The city already sent out more than 5,000 flyers to people who received notices last year for weeds on their property or sidewalks, reminding them clean up again this year.

The city gives people warnings and 28 days to fix the problem. After that, there is a court summons and a possible fine.

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