Board Of Appeals Meets Today To Set Date, Process For Unquarked Appeal Of Stop Work Order



A Los Alamos County Board of Appeals is scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to set a date for a hearing on a stop work order issued in November for the future Unquarked location at 813 Central Avenue.

Pursuant to the Los Alamos County Code, the members of the board are Council Chair Sara Scott, County Manager Harry Burgess and Planning & Zoning Board Chair Terry Priestley.

The subject matter of the appeal is whether the issuance of the stop-work order by the County’s Chief Building Official Michael Arellano for the premises was lawful under the County Code, the state building code and the New Mexico Administrative Code.

As this is the first time in recent history that a board of appeals has been requested, the Board is expected to approve a process for the appeal. If that process is approved, the parties will be required to file a brief on the issue with the County Clerk by close of business Mar. 6 and a list of up to three witnesses for the hearing.

Following the issuance of the November stop work order, Jain sent a letter to Arellano which he later claimed was a request for an appeal pursuant to County Code. The appeal was granted by Burgess despite his disagreement that the letter was a request for an appeal.

Jain’s November letter states that the stop work order noted, “No permit for work. Bldg, Plumb, Elect. Mech, and Fire,”.

His letter says, “No such work has been undertaken. No structural changes made, no electrical, no mechanical and no fire.”

“Moreover I have communication with you and your office regarding the fact that no such work has been done, my intention to file plumbing permits with the state of New Mexico when we are ready for such work, and the fact that no electrical/mechanical work will be done, full stop, because the current set-up meets our needs. I do not understand how a stop work order could be issued for work not being done,” the letter says.

Jain requested records of the Arellano’s inspection because he said he was not contacted to let Arellano into the premises and that no one else is authorized to do so. He requested that if the inspection did not occur the day the stop work order was posted, that it be removed as an invalid document.

“I am also requesting your evidence of such work being done as alleged on the stop work order. If none exists, I reiterate my statement above that a stop work order cannot be issued on work that has not been attempted and I would therefore request its immediate removal from the business,” the letter states.

The process/scheduling meeting will take place in Room 110 of the Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave.