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Code Enforcement FAQs

Find answers to your Code Enforcement and zoning questions.

How do I report a zoning or weed ordinance violation?

To report a violation for zoning, weeds or litter, call 311. You will have the option to remain anonymous.

How do I find out how a particular property is zoned?

  • You may do an online search to find out how a particular property is zoned on our Planning Department website. You'll need the address of the property you are researching. Then enter that address in the Address Report search.
  • You can also enter your address in the search bar at the top of this interactive IDO Zoning Look-up Map or pan and zoom to find your property.

What does a particular zone designation mean?

  • If you use the IDO Zoning Look-up Map, you can click on your property to see a pop-up box. Click the link "More info" to see a PDF with a summary of your zone district and a table of uses allowed in that zone.
  • Read more about a particular zone district in the Integrated Development Ordinance.

Which Ordinances or Codes does the Code Enforcement Division enforce?

The Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division is responsible for enforcing the following codes and ordinances on private property:

Is there a limit to how many garage sales my neighbor can hold?

  • Yes. Garage or yard sales are only allowed twice per calendar year at a given home with low-density residential development (i.e. single-family detached, duplex, or townhouse). Garage or yard sales are only allowed four times per calendar year at a property with multi-family development.
  • Each sale may not exceed three days in length, and only typical household goods may be sold. Advertising signs are not allowed on medians or other City property.

Can an RV be parked on private property in an R-1 zone?

RVs, boats and boat trailers may be parked inside or outside in a side yard or rear yard, provided that no part of the unit extends over the public sidewalk. The unit can only be used for dwelling purposes for a maximum of 14 days. Cooking is not allowed, and there can be no permanent connection for water, sewer, or electricity.

Can a group home be located in an R-1 zone?

  • A Community Residential Facility (excluding community residential corrections programs and community residential programs for substance abuse rehabilitation) with up to 8 client residents can be located in an R-1 zone provided that the standards of Section 14-16-4-3(B)(8) of the Integrated Development Ordinance are met.
  • A Group Home (for individuals that are not considered part of a federally protected class) is not allowed in R-1.

Do I need a wall permit to raise the wall around my yard to 6ft?

  • Yes, to raise a wall to up to 6 feet high or install a new wall, you do need a wall permit. Permits can be purchased at the Permit Counter. See the General Fee Schedule for fees. You'll need a detailed drawing of what you'd like to do, with measurements. In addition, it's always a good idea to know where your property line is before applying for a wall/fence permit. If you are looking to raise or build a wall that is higher than 6 feet tall, then you would get your permit from the Building Safety Division also located in the Planning Department building.
  • If you want a wall higher than 3 feet in your front yard, you will need a variance from the Zoning Hearing Examiner.

When is a weed in violation of the Weed and Anti-Litter Ordinance?

Any growth of weeds to a height or width of greater than four inches is prohibited on occupied and unoccupied land within the City. This includes the area between the property line and the curb. In addition, the weed(s) in question must be one of those types identified as nuisance weeds.

Where can I learn more about nuisance weed removal?

The Code Enforcement Division has a web page about Nuisance Weed Removal devoted to explaining details about nuisance weed removal and how the division works to correct issues. 

I live in a poorly maintained apartment. What can I do?

Call 311 to report the issue and it will be sent to Code Enforcement for investigation and/or inspection. Code enforcement needs a name and address with the complaint in order to look into the matter. If an inspection is required, we will also need you to sign a waiver permitting us to enter the private property to inspect the living conditions.

Can the City put a lien on my property?

Code Enforcement occasionally creates and files liens on vacant properties when they have been found to be in violation of the Anti-Weed and Litter Ordinance or the Uniform Housing Code Ordinance. In both cases, property owners are notified that their property is in violation and are given time to resolve the violation(s). If the violation is not corrected in the time given, a work order is created to have the work completed and a lien is filed against the property for the cost of the work performed. All liens are filed with the County Clerk's Office. The County Clerk can be reached at 505-468-1294. Should you wish to pay a lien placed by the City's Code Enforcement Division on your property, please contact 505-924-3450.

How do I get a lien payoff amount for a Code Enforcement lien placed on my property? How do I pay the lien off to release it?

You may secure a lien payoff amount and make arrangements to pay a lien from our Code Enforcement Division by (be sure to include exact property address) emailing the Code Enforcement Division at [email protected].

How do I get a copy of a lien placed on a property?

Requesting a copy of a lien placed on a property within the city limits of Albuquerque is considered a public records request. You may submit your request, including exact address and date range for liens online at the City Clerk's Office.

How do I find out if a property has any open violations from Code Enforcement?

  • You may find out if our Enforcement Division has any open violations on a specific property within the city limited by(be sure to include exact property address):

How do I get a copy of open or closed violations on a specific property?

Requesting a copy of open or closed violations from the Code Enforcement Division for a specific property within the city limits of Albuquerque is considered a public records request. You may submit your request, including exact address, for copies of open violations online at the City Clerk's Office.

How do I get an copy of all Code Enforcement actions placed upon a property?

Requesting a copy of all Code Enforcement Division actions placed on a property within the city limits of Albuquerque is considered a public records request. You may submit your request, including exact address and date range for the actions online at the City Clerk's Office.

How do I get a copy of a specific document housed within the Code Enforcement Division?

Requesting a copy of any document housed within the Code Enforcement Division is considered a public records request. You may submit your request, including exact address, necessary date range and description for the type of document online at the City Clerk's Office.

Does the Code Enforcement Division have regulations that cover billboards?

Yes. Billboards are considered Off-Premise Signs per the City's Comprehensive Zoning Code. We have regulations that govern things like placement, size and illumination level. To read the full regulations visit the General Sign Regulations portion of the Comprehensive City Zoning Code at 14-16-3-5

Can the Code Enforcement Division regulate the content of billboard ads?

No. The City's Code Enforcement Division is not able to regulate sign content. For issues with billboard content, you would need to contact the billboard owner. The owner name is typically noted at the bottom center of the billboard or bottom right side of the billboard. 

How long is a dumpster allowed to sit in a driveway or on private property?

Construction dumpsters and/or temporary storage units (i.e. "pods," "mobile minis," etc.) are allowed by Code Enforcement to be placed on private property in conjunction with a city-permitted construction project for the duration of the work. For projects that do not require a city permit, Code Enforcement typically allows a property owner to place them on their lot for up to 180 days. Dumpsters or units that are placed in the street are not regulated by the Code Enforcement Division, but the homeowner does need to obtain a barricading permit from the Department of Municipal Development for dumpsters placed in the street. 

What businesses are allowed in single-family residential neighborhoods (R-1 Zones)?

Home businesses or "home occupations" are allowed but are limited to telephone or mailing services or low-key businesses. Manufacturing, which includes baking, small machine repair, and automotive work are not allowed. For more information, contact the Code Enforcement Division at 505-924-3850.

A neighbor is running a general contractor business or other type of business out of their home. Do they need to have a permit to do this?

A home-based business is allowed from any residential location within the city. However, there are some limitations on the intensity of activity and the area of the home that can be used in conjunction with the business. A permit is not mandatory for a home-based business, but a City of Albuquerque business registration is required through the Planning Department's Business Registration Section.

Can a "Chicken Business" be run out of a residential home?  

In most residential zones, the non-commercial keeping of poultry is allowed without a restriction. Concerns about an excess of chickens in a residential back yard or yard, may be addressed by the Animal Control/Animal Welfare Department.

Are goats allowed in residential areas and zones?

For most areas with a residential zone designation that are at least half-acre in area, the keeping of goats for non-commercial purposes is allowed provided the number of goats does not exceed (1) for each 4,000 square feet of open lot area.

Does Code Enforcement handle graffiti calls for service?

No. The Code Enforcement Division does not handle calls about graffiti clean-up. Those calls are handled by the Clean Cities Division of the Solid Waste Department. 

Can the Code Enforcement Division do anything about cars, RVs or boats parked in the street for an extended length of time?

No. The parking of any type of vehicle on the street is governed by the City's traffic code. The Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division does not enforce traffic code. You may work with APD or the Department of Municipal Development's Parking Division on those matters. 

I'm getting an error message when I try to pay online for my application/permit. What do I do?

  • It has come to our attention, that some customers may experience technical difficulties completing the payment process for their applications or permits online. If you experience issues while making a payment, you may see an error message like the one below. Our IT team is working on correcting this error. We appreciate your patience while we work out a solution to the issue.    A screen capture of an error message that could show up when making a payment through the Planning Online Services System.

  • If this happens to you, please do the following:

    • Contact the City of Albuquerque Planning Department and be prepared to provide the permit/registration number and the approximate time of when the transaction was attempted. Building Safety Division: (505)924-3320, Code Enforcement/Zoning: 505-924-3450 or Business Registration: 505-924-3890.

    • DO NOT ATTEMPT THE TRANSACTION AGAIN OR HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON MORE THAN ONCE. Doing so will likely result in your credit card being charged twice for the same transaction.

My credit card payment failed online, what did I do wrong?

If your credit card payment fails, please check the address information you entered on the payment acceptance site matches the address where you receive your billing or account statements.  If the address does not match, your transaction will fail.