BY CAROL S. FURCHNER
Are “weeds” under consideration for regulation in the proposed revision of the Los Alamos County Nuisance Ordinance (Chapter 18)? Or not? I noted a contradiction between the descriptive materials on the Los Alamos County web site and the content of the July 22 draft ordinance itself.
The introductory materials in the press release and on the County web site specifically mention “weeds” as being a part of the proposed revisions:
— From the press release: “The nuisance code specifically addresses weeds, outdoor storage, dilapidation, refuse and rubbish, and other threats to public health, safety, and welfare on private property.”
— From the Los Alamos County Chapter 18 Update page Overview: “The Chapter 18 Update will revise Los Alamos Code of Ordinance Chapter 18 Environment Article II Nuisances. This section addresses weeds, outdoor storage, dilapidation, refuse and rubbish, and other threats to public health, safety, and welfare occurring on private property.”
— From instructions for obtaining both the current Draft revision and the redlined version that tracks changes: “The nuisance code specifically addresses weeds, outdoor storage, dilapidation, refuse and rubbish, and other threats to public health, safety, and welfare on private property.”
In contradiction to the above statements, the word “weeds” has been removed from the draft update of the ordinance itself, although the word “weeds” can be found in redlined sections of the redlined version, suggesting that its removal was deliberate.
(July 22 draft update)
I believe it would be in everyone’s best interest if the Community Development Department and contractor staff would resolve this contradiction immediately and post a correction. In the past few years, the issue of “weeds” that have triggered a notice of violation has been a source of much anger and dissatisfaction among community residents. So we need to know: Is the intent to continue the practice of considering “weeds” a violation of the nuisance ordinance? Or is the intent to change the focus to “vegetation” that obstructs sidewalks, roadways, and line-of-sight, as the draft ordinance appears to do?
In my opinion, putting the focus on obstructive vegetation would be far more appropriate for a “nuisance ordinance”. If that is the intent, then I hope that the people responsible will not only remove the mention of “weeds” from the web sites’ descriptions of the draft ordinance, but also go further to call out specifically that “weeds” have been removed from the draft.