A small piece of taxpayer-owned property is causing a big headache that the city is trying to get rid of.
Tucked away behind several warehouse-style businesses near the city’s Menual Detention Reservoir is a 0.4-acre piece of land that the city is now trying to sell off.
The property is just a sliver of land on the northside of the massive stormwater pond near Candelaria and Edith.
“That little sliver ended up being non-usable because of the way the way the storm drainage was designed around that corner,” said Lawrence Rael, chief operating officer for the city of Albuquerque.
The stormwater basin, which was built in the ’80s, still does the job in handling flood control. However, the city-owned sliver on the northside has become a more recent problem.
The so-called non-usable triangular piece of land has become a weed and trash magnet that’s also attracting other issues.
“There has also been calls for a homeless camp that we had to clear,” said Carmelina Hart, a spokeswoman for the city’s Planning and Zoning Department.
Albuquerque City Council recently approved a measure allowing for the Planning Department to proceed with selling the property. The city is hoping for $13,000 for the land, which is currently covered with trash, tumbleweeds and construction materials.
“If we are spending our time taking care of that property, then we can’t focus on other properties,” said Hart.
In past years, the city had been leasing the land out to a neighboring contractor that used it for storage. According to the city, that lease has expired.
There are at least six other city-owned properties that the city’s Real Properties Division is trying to sell. Those include an empty lot at Ouray and Corona, near the Coors and I-40 Walmart. That lot is currently covered with trash, as well.
Kimo Park near San Mateo and I-40 is another city-owned property up for sale. For the last year, the city has been paying for the upkeep of fencing and landscaping around the park, which is closed to public access.
The city says municipal rules keep them from simply selling off properties for less than their value.
No matter the potential drain on city resources, according to the Planning Department, the city will not sell a property for anything less than 90 percent of its appraised value.
“We do want to be responsible with properties, we don’t want to just give them away,” said Hart.