BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Councilors are holding a virtual special session Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss a resolution declaring the former Hilltop House a menace to the public comfort, health, peace, and safety and ordering the removal of the building along with associated ruins, rubbish, wreckage and debris from the County.
The proposed resolution follows the Oct. 18 declaration of Los Alamos Fire Marshal that the building is “a clear and inimical threat to human life, safety and health”. The building is owned by New Mexico Innovation Triangle, LLC. The Los Alamos Reporter reached out to John Rizzo, authorized agent of NMIT early Wednesday. He responded that he is traveling and was unaware of the proposed resolution.
The proposed resolution notes that the County is authorized by state law to address dangerous buildings and debris, and that the Hilltop House is “ruined, damaged and dilapidated from a lack of regular maintenance and damage that the structure is now unsafe and a threat to the public’s health, safety and welfare”. It says no timely action has been taken NMIT to remove the building, its ruins, rubbish, wreckage and debris from the County.
If the resolution passes, NMIT will be ordered to commence removing the Hilltop House and all associated debris within 10 days of service or the posting or publication of the resolution. The resolution would require the parcel to be left in a “clean, level, and safe condition suitable for further occupancy or construction with all excavations filled” by March 30, 2022.
NMIT would have the option within 10 days of being served of filing a written objection to the findings within and could request a hearing before Council. If the resolution is passed, and NMIT fails to commence removing the building and debris as outlined in the resolution, the County could obtain a District Court order and proceed to remove the building and debris at the expense of NMIT. The reasonable cost of the removal incurred by the County would constitute a lien against the property which could be foreclosed as provided in state law.
Other parties holding legal, equitable interest or security interest in the property such as Enterprise Bank & Trust could also file objections.
Members of the public can also join this meeting session to make public comment via Zoom by pasting into their browser the following:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82608912128 once the session has started.
or by Telephone:
US: +1 346 248 7799 or +1 720 707 2699 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 826 0891 2128