Albuquerque man cited for overgrown weeds claims the city is being unfair

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man is complaining that the city is unfairly targeting him for the weeds in his yard, claiming half the city has a worse weed problem than he does. City code enforcement said they were just following up on 311 calls from neighbors.

“I got a citation notification from my landlord Friday, that I needed to clean up the weeds in my yard,” said Michael Mills.

Mills has been living in a home near Wyoming and Copper since January. He moved into it while it had a lot of weeds in the front yard, but never thought they would be a problem.

Until, he got two citations from the city, telling him he needed to clean up. The city’s Planning and Zoning Department said they got a few anonymous tips about five houses on Mills’ street and cited them all.

“I find the citation rather peculiar because as I drive around the city, and especially this neighborhood, I see a lot of lawns that are desperately overgrown and desperately in need of attention,” Mills said.

According to the city’s website, weeds that are wider or taller than four inches need to go. The site even features photos of vegetation they consider weeds.

Mills is not alone though, because code enforcement has been busy. As KRQE News 13 reported last month, weed complaints have doubled in 2019 because it’s been such a wet year.

While Mills agrees with the weed program, he thinks his citation is unfair. “My yard needs a haircut, but so does half the yards in Albuquerque,” he said.

KRQE News 13 even found weeds growing on city property. Mills says he’s been working on cleaning it up, but believes the city needs to do a better job at maintaining other properties around the city as well.

“I think if they cite me, they need to cite about 3/4 of the city. I could help them with that. I could call in all these properties, I guess,” said Mills.

The Planning and Zoning Department said it will notify city departments to clean up their property if weed complaints come in. In the past, code enforcement has said that most weed citations are the result of neighborhood tips.

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