ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a push in the city council to deal with all the nuisance properties in Albuquerque more quickly. City Councilor Pat Davis is introducing legislation that amends existing ordinances regarding nuisance properties. 

If passed, everything will be done under the city’s planning department’s code enforcement division. Davis explains, “when the code enforcement officer goes out they don’t have to call somebody else to deal with another problem. We’re going to deal with all the problems right then and there with the applicant or with the property owner so we can get ahead of those a lot quicker.”

The legislation expands the definition of public nuisance, adds civil fines, and changes the hearing and administrative appeals process. “This lets us intervene earlier with someone who’s just starting to have a problem, but more importantly you can rack up a lot of fines really quickly under this if you are totally ignoring it. And we can still take you to court criminally if you’re ignoring us,” said Davis. 

Before the COVID pandemic, the city did an evaluation and found more than 1,200 properties that have been abandoned or have become an unattractive nuisance. According to Councilor Davis, one of the issues with the current nuisance ordinance is that when an officer writes a citation it has to go to court. He says, “a city hearing officer can hear a case, propose some resolutions, and help to solve your problem within 30 or 60 days as opposed to 90 or 180 it used to take in court. And that’s a big difference if you’re the neighbor waiting.”

The legislation is being introduced to the city council on Monday night, Mar. 6. According to Councilor Davis, the goal is to get this nuisance property ordinance passed as the city budget is crafted over the next few months in case more money is needed to hire extra code enforcement and hearing officers.