Sept. 18 – The city of Santa Fe is taking legal action against the owners of a home on Alamosa Drive that was the scene of a fatal shooting two years ago and is described by neighbors as an eyesore.
The city filed a complaint Friday in the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, asking that the home on the 2700 block of Alamosa Drive be declared a public nuisance. It also asked the court to order that the property be brought up to code, possibly by demolishing the house, and to impose a temporary restraining order preventing defendants from “returning to, residing or littering or to deposit rubble” on the site.
The owners of the house are Jose and Frances Ortiz, who are deceased. Their son, Andrew Ortiz, is believed to have lived on the property in recent years. Court documents show that the home has been seized. Other heirs of Jose and Frances Ortiz, along with Loan Servicing LLC and Bank of America, who hold mortgages on the property, are also listed as defendants.
The complaint, which included photos of the disorderly property, said the city has received many disturbing messages from neighbors, and that police and fire departments there have received more than 50 calls for service in the past year.
“The calls included complaints of assault, narcotics violations, disorderly conduct, suspicious people and cars, illegally parked cars, a stolen car, a brush fire, burglaries and welfare checks,” the complaint said.
The house has a car parked in the driveway, several broken and boarded up windows and lots of graffiti and litter. Utilities have been shut off and the home poses “a danger to the life, health and safety of the public,” the complaint said.
Residents of the area say they have been frustrated with the condition of the property since 2018 and are concerned about certain activities that may be taking place inside.
In the early hours of October 4, 2021, 39-year-old Joseph Aiello was shot dead during a small party at the house. Police have also responded to three domestic violence calls and numerous other alleged crimes at the property in the past two years.
City Clerk Kristine Bustos-Mihelcic previously said the property has been on the city’s radar for several years, but has been difficult to deal with as it repeatedly falls in and out of compliance.
The complaint stated that the city sent multiple violation notices to the owners, and in June sent an order informing them that the building’s certificate of occupancy was being revoked due to unsafe conditions.
If the court grants the motion, it will allow the city to remove trespassers and squatters from the site, as well as remove trash, vehicles and hazardous structures. It also gives the city the ability to file a lien on the property for abatement costs, fines and attorney fees.
The city is also in the process of declaring a building at Calle Feliz 1004 a public nuisance. A resolution introduced at Monday’s City Council Finance Committee meeting by City Council Member Jamie Cassutt orders the property owner to remove a trailer and trash on the property or the city will do its own abatement and place a lien .
According to city documents, the home has been vacant for three years and has had numerous complaints and code violations.
The majority of the street’s residents have requested that the city declare the building a nuisance property, according to a memo from a municipal services manager. The home was abandoned and repossessed by a mortgage holder, who has not responded to messages from the city. The occupancy certificate was recently revoked by a city building inspector.
The resolution is expected to go before the City Council on September 27.