BY MAYOR O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Councilors hold a special virtual session Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss a resolution declaring the former Hilltop House a threat to public comfort, health, peace and safety and ordering the removal of the building as well as county ruins, garbage, wreckage and debris.
The proposed resolution follows an Oct. 18 statement by the Los Alamos Fire Commissioner that the building is “a clear and hostile threat to human life, safety and health”. The building is owned by New Mexico Innovation Triangle, LLC. The Los Alamos Reporter contacted John Rizzo, authorized agent for NMIT early Wednesday. He replied that he was traveling and was not aware of the proposed resolution.
The proposed resolution notes that the county is authorized by state law to deal with hazardous buildings and debris, and that the Hilltop House is “ruined, damaged and dilapidated due to lack of regular maintenance and damage that the structure is now dangerous and a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public ”. He says no timely action was taken by the NMIT to remove the building, its ruins, garbage, wreckage and debris from the county.
If the resolution passes, NMIT will be ordered to begin removing the Hilltop House and all associated debris within 10 days of service or posting or publication of the resolution. The resolution would require the parcel to be left in a “clean, level and safe condition suitable for occupancy or subsequent construction with all excavations completed” by March 30, 2022.
The NMIT would have the opportunity, within 10 days of service, to file a written objection to the findings and could request a hearing before the Commission. If the resolution passes and the NMIT does not begin removing the building and debris as outlined in the resolution, the county could obtain an order from the district court and proceed with the removal of the building and debris at NMIT’s expense. The reasonable cost of the move incurred by the county would constitute a lien on the property which could be seized under state law.
Other parties with a legal, equitable or security interest in the property, such as Enterprise Bank & Trust, could also file objections.
Members of the public can also join this meeting session to make public comments via Zoom by pasting into their browser the following:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82608912128 once the session has started.
or by phone:
United States: +1 346 248 7799 or +1 720 707 2699 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592
Webinar number: 826 0891 2128