Letter To The Editor: Doubts About County Property Clean-Up Effort

By CHRISTINE WEAVER
Los Alamos
 
I love the optimistic article about county clean-up and the idea that code enforcement will actually make people comply.
 
I had a friend in town last summer for a class reunion and we drove down a street where he used to live in the 60s. It was 41st Street between Urban and Sycamore. I watched his face fall as we drove past his former home and he commented that the entire street resembled a shanty town. There are houses with untamed yards, trash (obviously treasure to some) sitting on front yards, and unattended dead trees down the entire block – front and back yards. There’s a home with cars and a basketball goal blocking pedestrian access to the sidewalk, which has been there for several years.  
 
Coming around the corner to 42nd Street from Sycamore, there’s a home with a toilet sitting in the front yard. Fortunately the summer weeds are now hiding that unique lawn figurine.
 
He felt as though a good portion of the town has been downgraded to decrepitude because people are either too apathetic or too lazy to take items to the dump, or feel that storing them in the front yard hurts no one. Such a sad attitude because it does hurt the entire town. When buying property realtors always say location is everything. Who would want to purchase a home on a shabby street? Even if the home is nice and the owner maintains it, the neighbors don’t always do the same.
 
I wish we could do what a friend said was done in her home town years ago. Every week, a photo of the “House of Shame” was posted in the local paper. Now wouldn’t that be fun to see! We could run pictures every week for a year and still not cover all the personal junk yards in town.
 
I hope the county can enforce their codes, but I’m doubtful that they’ll make the effort.
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