Letter To The Editor: Regarding Apparent Harassment Of Business

Los Alamos

I am sure many of our residents have been anxiously awaiting all spring for the arrival of Palisade peaches from the wonderful vendor that comes down from Colorado and puts his tent up at the intersection of Sandia and Diamond.

We too have been waiting especially since we hadn’t had a chance to plant our vegetable garden because of the very cold spring and was depending upon his arrival. June passed, then much of July and he did not show. Discussions with many other people in the community also indicated that they were upset about his late arrival. A call to him informed us that the County was holding up the permitting of his operation. We started trying to find out what was taking so long for the Permit. A visit to the County Community Development office was unsuccessful as no one was available to answer our questions.

After we were finally able to get a phone response from the County Community Development office and asked about the process that is necessary to get a Permit for a food truck or vegetable/fruit/food stand, we were  amazed about the process that is required by the County, especially if someone already had a permit for at least the last two years that had previously only required two days to get that permit. Even Santa Fe, a much larger city, only required two days to get the same permit this year. Now Los Alamos requires a Complete Permit Packet to include: having a Business license, Written Permission from property owner to use property, Building Permit for putting up a tent, Layout diagram and Parking plan with markings, Listed hours of operation, Environmental License from the state, Review by the Planning and Building Committee, Final Fire Marshal inspection approval, and a $50 fee.

This Process was started in May and it is now late July, more than 2 months. and he was only able to open on last Friday.

We may have left other requirements out as this information was obtained over the phone from the CMO.  We asked if something had changed from the previous years and were told that the Chapter 16 Code (The Development Code for Los Alamos) was updated on January 2023. We are curious what the “Old Code” entailed. Are we trying to keep business out of Los Alamos? Is there some kind of conflict of interest with people on the County Council or the Community Development office? Our residents have been waiting for the arrival of Palisade peaches and melons and wonderful sweet corn all spring. Last I heard some residents were ready to picket the Council if necessary. We think the County Council needs to look into the apparent harassment of this wonderful business and we look forward to an explanation or investigation into this egregious behavior of our County government.

Thank you.


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