Ask Joe: Code Enforcement can't force clean-up of Sun Valley neighborhood


Monday's Ask Joe question: We are following up on a question from a viewer in Sun Valley who wants to know what can be done about old cars and motohomes that have been abandoned in his neighborhood on Quartz Lane?

Here's what I found out:

I checked with Bob Webb with Washoe County's Community Services Department. He did some investigating and there's a big problem when it comes to getting this area cleaned up. The property owners were a couple named the Finks and it turns out they are no longer alive but the property is still in their names.

The Finks have a daughter who has told the county she is not interested in taking over the property so no one is paying the property taxes. And the property is probably not worth enough for the County to take it over.

Webb says that means the case is at a standstill as far as code enforcement goes because there is no living property owner that they can order to clean up the mess. So unfortunately nothing is likely to change out there for a while.

Really the only avenue at this point is for a resident to file a public nuisance complaint with the Washoe County Commission. If that happens there would be a hearing and the commission does have certain powers it can use to order a clean up of the property. But Webb also said anyone wishing to take this route would probably need to hire an attorney so there are costs involved when it comes to filing a public nuisance complaint.

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