Sep. 18—The city of Santa Fe is taking legal action against the owners of a house on Alamosa Drive that was the scene of a fatal shooting two years ago and has been described by neighbors as an eyesore.
The city filed a complaint Friday in First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe asking the residence on the 2700 block of Alamosa Drive to be declared a public nuisance. It also requested the court to order the property be brought up to code, potentially through demolishing the house, and to impose a temporary restraining order preventing defendants from “returning to, residing, or depositing litter or debris” on the property.
The owners of the home are Jose and Frances Ortiz, who are deceased. Their son, Andrew Ortiz, is believed to have been living on the property for the past several years. Court documents show the home is in foreclosure. Other heirs of Jose and Frances Ortiz, along with Loan Servicing LLC and Bank of America, which hold mortgages for the property, also are listed as defendants.
The complaint, which included photos of the property in disarray, said the city has received many notices of concern from neighbors, adding the police and fire departments have received more than 50 calls for service there in the last year.
“The calls include complaints about assaults, 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 junked vehicle parked in the driveway, several broken and boarded-up windows, and significant graffiti and litter. The utilities are disconnected and the residence is “a danger to life, health and the safety of the public,” the complaint said.
Residents of the neighborhood have said they have been frustrated by the state of the property since at least 2018 and are concerned about some of the activities that might be going on inside.
In the early hours of Oct. 4, 2021, 39-year-old Joseph Aiello was shot and killed during a small party at the home. 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 a number of years but has been difficult to deal with because it has repeatedly fallen in and out of compliance.
The complaint said the city sent multiple violation notices to the owners, and in June sent an order informing them the certificate of occupancy for the building was being revoked due to unsafe conditions.
If the court grants the motion, it will allow the city to remove trespassers and squatters on the property, plus rid it of litter, vehicles and dangerous structures. It will also allow the city to file a lien against the property for the cost of abatement, fines and attorney fees.
The city also is in the process of declaring a property at 1004 Calle Feliz a public nuisance. A resolution introduced at Monday’s City Council Finance Committee meeting by City Councilor Jamie Cassutt orders the owner of the residence to remove a trailer and rubbish on the property or the city will do its own abatement and place a lien.
City documents say the residence has been unoccupied for three years, and has been the subject of numerous complaints and code violations.
The majority of residents on the street have petitioned the city to declare it a nuisance property, according to a memo from a constituent services manager. The house was abandoned and repossessed by a mortgage holder, which has not responded to communications from the city. Its certificate of occupancy was recently revoked by a city building inspector.
The resolution is scheduled to go before City Council on Sept. 27.
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