Neighbors want to see City bulldoze burned Foothills home

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Neighbors say a Foothills home with a bizarre history of a deadly shooting and a house fire needs to be bulldozed.

Blighted homes aren’t uncommon around town.

“In the City of Albuquerque we have about 1,200 of these vacant and dilapidated houses,” Planning Department Director David Campbell said.

However, no abandoned house may be as unsafe as 1105 Stutz Drive NE. In this tidy Foothills neighborhood, the charred remains of the home are an obvious eyesore.

It’s been this way since June 2016, after a fire ripped through the single-story dwelling.

“And then we waited and we waited for something to happen with the property… and we hadn’t heard anything and then we started having vandals,” neighbor Cara Simons said.

The home has an odd history. In 2015, a year before the fire, the homeowner shot and killed an intruder. Neighbors say the intruder’s family or friends then harassed the homeowner for some time afterwards.

Now, the people who live in this community just want to forget the past and see 1105 Stutz torn down.

“Who knows what’s going on in there? But it definitely… it feels like an issue that this house has been a year-and-a-half in this state and nothing’s been done to get it taken care of,” another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

Neighbors have also reported the home to 311 multiple times.

City Councilor Don Harris even brought up the property at a city council meeting earlier this month, asking that the Planning Department clarify how it’s shuffling around money to demo the home.

Campbell says that there are two reasons its taking so long to tear down: funding and procedures.

The department is already double over budget this fiscal year for boarding up and tearing down blighted properties.

The money does now exist, however, for 1105 Stutz. It’ll cost around $17,000 to demo. The only potential issue is if the property has asbestos or other toxins, which would increase the demo price threefold.

Campbell says the city places liens on the properties it boards up and tears down, so it will recoup the money it spends when a home is sold.

The other reason it’s taken so long to tear down is that the city also have to give a homeowner every opportunity to fix the problem before stepping in.

“This is the right thing. It’s unfortunately it takes a while, but we are respecting people’s property rights in going through a legal process,” Campbell said.

Campbell says neighbors should expect the nuisance property at 1105 Stutz to come down within weeks. Neighbors tell KRQE News 13 while that’s exciting news, they’ll believe it when they see it.


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