Enforcement Sweep Progresses On Unhitched Trailers

COUNTY News:

According to County officials, the enforcement sweep for finding unhitched has been making progress. Under new changes to the County code that took effect in February, local Code Enforcement Officers have been assisting LAPD with locating unhitched trailers and tagging or towing them if they are parked on streets, highways and public parking areas.

According to Code Enforcement:

  • 40 cases have been opened and resolved since the ordinance took effect Feb. 10;
  • 5 cases required citations for removal, which were resolved; and
  • For the month of May to date, 5 cases were opened, which were resolved.

An unhitched trailer is defined by Code as a trailer not physically connected to an operable vehicle. The sweep began after the County Council approved a change in wording to Chapter 38 of the Traffic & Vehicles Section of the Code (Section 38-367), to address inadequate parking regulations that have in the past allowed trailers in these public areas as long as the trailer was hitched to a vehicle for at least 24 hours. The amended ordinance removed the 24-hour “grace period.”

“I am pleased with our progress to date,” Community Development Director Paul Andrus said. “This is a positive step in working toward meeting our community goals to eliminate blight in Los Alamos and White Rock.”

Citizens wishing to register a complaint about an unhitched trailer in their neighborhood are asked to fill out an on-line form and include the address or location along with a photo (preferably showing a license plate and/or VIN number on the trailer). The form can be found at www.losalamosnm.us/cdd/Pages/CodeEnforcement.aspx

“The community has been very responsive in voluntarily complying with the new code,” Andrus said, adding that the main focus over the last few months has been on public education and working with owners to resolve the issues, in an effort to avoid reaching the step of an LAPD citation.

Options are available to owners – they can move the trailer onto their private property, although depending upon lot size and shape, the trailer must be parked in a back yard or side yard if space permits; otherwise, it can be stored in a front yard. There are also storage rental lots set aside for this purpose, such as the lot on North Mesa. Lots in nearby communities also offer storage space for rent.

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