BY JAMES WERNICKE
Libertarian Candidate for
Los Alamos County Council
The nuisance code update purports to ”promote the public’s health, safety, and welfare”. It reads like a laundry list of ways Los Alamos County can punish you for not keeping your yard looking a certain way. I can’t see how this promotes safety, but I can see how this keeps property values high and the working class from living here. Working people are too busy in the evening making dinner for their families to fight the monsoon-fueled jungle encroaching on their yard and too broke paying for their housing and groceries to hire a gardener to do it. If Los Alamos County really wants to make it better to live here, then they should be eliminating nuisance codes and other regulatory barriers that make it extraordinarily difficult, expensive, and slow to build and renovate housing.
Article I tells us how we have to keep our property looking under threat of lien. That means the county can fine you ”the reasonable cost of abatement + 12% APR” (Sec 18-75) for things like leaving a basketball in your driveway (Sec 18-30), working on your car in your driveway (Sec 18-38), having building materials (Sec 18-34), furniture (Sec 18-33), or even puddles (Sec 18-35) in your yard. It also gives Code Compliance Officers broad authority to enter our property. (Sec 18-74) I have a better proposition: If you don’t like the way somebody’s property looks, you don’t have to look at it.
Article II specifically prohibits noise over 65 dBa during the day and 53 dBa at night, but it doesn’t require code compliance officers to actually measure noise levels to issue a violation. (Sec 18-92) I’d rather hear kids playing in the backyard than for them to be on screens. I’d rather hear dogs barking while people are at work than bears raiding trash cans. (Sec 18-93) If this code update passes, that’ll be up to a $50 fine. (Sec 18-97)
Article III tells us where we can smoke. Why is Los Alamos County wasting our time and money on something that was already done?
If this code doesn’t represent your interests, then show up to the Council Chambers (1000 Central Ave) at 6pm on August 30 to tell the Council to oppose it. If you can’t show up in person, email them instead.