‘Auto shop’ continues in front yard of home despite neighbor complaints

A home on Lexington Avenue with damaged cars and an engine in the front yard
A home on Lexington Avenue with damaged cars and an engine in the front yard

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Neighbors say the front yard of a home on Lexington Avenue off of Juan Tabo Boulevard is doubling as an auto repair shop.

“There’s always at least one, usually two or three cars in various stages of dismantle or (repair) either in the street, in the front yard, wherever,” said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

Some neighbors they’ve been seeing damaged cars or car parts come and go from the front yard for years, but others say it’s really picked up in the past few weeks.

“It looks like they need a dismantlers license. You can’t just be parking cars out in your front yard. It’s just a mess. It’s been that way for weeks,” said John Naymen, who lives on the same street as the home in question.

Five separate complaints about the property have been filed with the City of Albuquerque’s 311 service, which responds to resident complaints and code violations. However, the city says there’s not much they can do at this point.

“We’ve had an inspector out several times since then to look at those complaints. As of yet, the inspector has been unable to verify that commercial auto repair was taking place,” said Brennon Williams, Albuquerque Planning Department Deputy Director.

There is nothing illegal about a property owner doing “routine maintenance or auto repair” in a residential zone. However, Williams does say that there’s a line where auto work does become an issue in neighborhoods.

“It’s only when it crosses the line when it becomes major auto repair, we’re moving engines, you’re doing body work or you’re working on somebody else’s vehicle that it becomes a zoning issue,” said Williams.

Neighbors argue that major auto repair, as well as commercial auto repair, is going on.

“It is a business, I believe. If he’s remodeling cars to sell on his own or repairing people’s cars as a repair business, I don’t know. But, it’s a business of some sort. It’s got to be. It’s been going on for too long and the turnover of damaged and repairing vehicles is too many of them,” said the neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

One neighbor also told KRQE News 13 that the homeowner asked to repair her car, and other neighbors’ vehicles, for a profit.

“I don’t know if they’re doing it for money or for the scrap,” said Naymen.

KRQE News 13 also attempted to make contact with the homeowner to get his side of the story, but no one answered the door.

Neighbors hope whether this is a business or not, that the homeowner cleans up his front yard.

“I like the quiet and I like the pretty, but i don’t like having a business on the corner,” said the unnamed neighbor.

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