City of Albuquerque moves to demolish ‘pig house’

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A man who’s been at the center of a number of Larry Barker investigations may finally be running out of strikes. The city of Albuquerque is finally moving to get rid of the man’s problem property known as the ‘pig house.’

“Slowly but surely it’s come back into violation. Typically we explain these things, the violation resolves itself. This is the opposite,” says Planning & Zoning Director Brennon Williams.

The house on Mesilla Street, near Louisiana and Copper, has been a problem for the city for more than 20 years. On top of collecting trash, Larry Barker investigations have also found pigs living in the house at one point.

The city has taken the owner, John Gallegos, to court numerous times for failing to maintain his home and still, nothing.

The city’s Planning & Zoning Department removed tons of trash and junk from the property this past summer. However, the city says the mess has returned.

“The last couple times code enforcement has been out, they’ve noticed both visually and through the odor, of rotten foods,” says Williams.

Now, the city says it’s had enough.

“We’re hoping that this proposal moves through the process and we’re able to clean that property and demolish that house,” says Williams.

A resolution will be introduced at city council Monday night to move forward with plans to condemn the property and then eventually, demolish it. The city says Gallegos had a year to bring the property back into livable conditions, with no success.

“What does John ever do? Collects trash,” says Jim Mondloch.

Neighbors like Mondloch have little hope that even a demolition will solve the problem.

“John is tricky. That property might turn into a vacant lot that he can fill full of junk now,” he says.

The city actually had to come back to the house in October to remove a few more tons of trash. Calls to Gallegos were not returned.

The city estimates it will cost $24,000 for the demolition and cleanup. The money is recovered by placing a lien on the property.

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