SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some Santa Fe homeowners were hoping they could spend evenings relaxing in their backyards, enjoying the view of a beautiful park. But they said they’re being robbed of that luxury, and now they’re asking the city council for help.
“As you can see, my wife and I put in a lot of effort into this place,” said Santa Fe homeowner Jerry Joyce, describing his backyard. “It’s a shame not to be able to enjoy it.”
Joyce’s house overlooks Santa Fe’s Swan Park near I-25 and the airport. He said the view is stunning from his backyard and they consider it a mini getaway. But it’s not as peaceful as you’d think.
“At one point last year, there wasn’t one weekend or one weeknight that you could enjoy your backyard,” said Joyce.
He blames it all on ATV drivers trespassing into Swan Park.
“Then they’ll run back and forth, back and forth and then end up down here by the basketball court,” said Joyce.
For the past ten years, Joyce said people on ATVs have been a menace to his neighbors and park goers.
“Each weekend or weeknight after school, they make a lot of noise, a lot of dust and they also imperil the public,” said Joyce. “They’re doing wheelies, dust up, ruining parties.”
“It has torn up the terrain, it’s torn up the turf which is very expensive,” said Santa Fe Parks and Rec Director John Munoz.
The Parks Department said it’s tired of the problem and wants city council to build a fence around Swan Park, including parts that aren’t even developed yet.
“It’s a barrier and it’s not evasive,” said Munoz. “It will look really nice with our natural terrain here, but it is going to prevent vehicles whether they’re ATVs or motorcycles coming in.”
For these neighbors, they believe the fence will stop ATV drivers from coming into the park and will finally give them some peace and quiet.
“I’ll be looking forward to that fence going in,” said Joyce.
People could be cited for driving an ATV in the park, however, the city said it hasn’t been able to catch them. Police are even training right now on how to stop them.
The total cost to fence off Swan Park will be $120,000. City council will have to sign off on the plan.