Neighbor’s long-time PODS eyesore sheds light on city ordinance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re convenient for storage and moving, but they’re supposed to be temporary. Now, neighbors on one Albuquerque street say someone just won’t get rid of an unsightly PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) in their driveway.

Most would probably agree, keeping your property tidy is just the neighborly thing to do. After all, those who live across the street are likely looking at your home more than you.

“It’s just common courtesy,” Lukas Lowery-Ross said.

Lowery-Ross lives across Marron Circle NE from a house with a PODS sitting cattywampus in the driveway, blocking the garage.

Recently, someone – not Lowery-Ross, though – complained to the City of Albuquerque’s 311 website about the PODS having been in the driveway for more than five years.

Lowery-Ross says he didn’t submit the anonymous complaint given he just moved into his home weeks ago.

“Had I been here for five years, I would absolutely notice it,” he said.

Off-camera, long-time neighbors called the PODS  a long-time eyesore that’s been there for several years. Sure enough, Google Street View confirms it’s been there since at least May 2016.

“If it’s just extra storage it would probably be more beneficial to just get a storage shed or like a storage facility, something like that. Not necessarily sticking it in your drive way,” Lowery-Ross said.

At the City’s Planning Department, Deputy Director Brennon Williams explained you can have a PODS or dumpster on your property during permitted construction.

“Starting back in about 2010 to 2013, there was one or more active construction projects [at the house]. Looks like home remodeling,” Williams said but the work has long ended.

Williams said it’s also OK to have a PODS without a construction permit for a max of 180 days.

“The inspector will investigate the complaint, and based upon the discussion with the property owner as to what the storage pod is being used for, how long it’s been on the property, that sort of thing, then a determination will be made on if it will need to be moved,” Williams said.

KRQE News 13 tried to get in touch with the property owner, but the woman did not wish to respond or come out of the house.

KRQE News 13 also reached out to PODS for more information on the situation and were told the customer is in good standing with the company. However, PODS said it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to follow local ordinances about pods in yards. PODS will now reach out to her to remind her of that, and offer solutions to this issue.

PODS typically cost more than $100 a month to rent.

Williams said complaints about PODS come in a handful of times a year — more often, it’s because the pod has been placed on a city street. Williams said there is a special application that must be submitted through the city’s Department of Municipal Development for that.

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