A house at 815B Calle Olivas was demolished without a permit and the debris has not yet been cleared, leaving a public nuisance and encouraging residents to dump other household wastes on the lot.
According to area resident Angie Garcia, the building was demolished about six months ago and little was done to haul off the waste. With the spring winds, trash and other homebuilding debris has been blowing into Garcia and other neighbors’ yards, and into El Llano Road to the south of the lot.
“They came and demolished it and now it seems like nobody cares,” she said.
She also pointed out piles of trash that have appeared more recently, indicating some illegal dumping.
The property was first noticed in its current state by staff at the Planning and Land Use Department in December of last year, but action was not taken at that time because the jurisdiction over the land, which is directly adjacent to Okhay Owingeh land, was unclear. The lot is also tucked away from the road and behind some other houses, making it hard to see. Following Garcia’s complaint, the Department will be issuing a notice of code violation, according to Planning and Land Use Director Richard Hubler.
“We’re actively pursuing aggressive action now,” he said.
According to Hubler, the property was bought during a tax sale in 2019 by James Erbes, whose address is listed in the tax records as a P.O. box in Alamogordo. The city lacks any other contact information for the individual.
“We did not issue a permit for that (demolition), we’ve not had any interaction with him as a property owner as far as I can tell,” Hubler said. “We help facilitate orderly development, redevelopment, demolition, and all that kind of stuff in the city, so we don’t end up with something like this, where we don’t even have good contact info for the guy. If we have a conversation with somebody before they start a project, it makes it a lot easier to follow up when things don’t go according to plan.”
If the property owner doesn’t respond to the notice of violation and address the nuisance, the property will be considered for inclusion in the city’s Clean & Lien program, Hubler said.
For Garcia’s part, she just hopes to keep her own manicured garden, now beginning to burst into bloom, from being covered in litter.
“It looks so messy, and with it (the trash) blowing into the road like that I’d think the city would want to do something,” she said.