Codes Enforcement & Animal Control
What is Codes Enforcement?
The Las Cruces Police Department’s Codes Enforcement Section enforces codes and regulations that promote the health, safety and welfare of all citizens. The mission is to preserve the environment and beauty of our city.
Codes Enforcement officers work with the residents, businesses and other organizations to:
- Empower our community through education and awareness of city ordinances
- Facilitate compliance with city ordinances
- Develop outreach programs
- Initiate special programs targeting specific problems
The officers do this by checking residences & business's for environmental issues (weeds, trash etc.), zoning issues (excessive storage, proper use of signs, etc.) parking issues, checking business license's, and ensuring the proper building permits have been issued. Other situations that the Codes Enforcement officers are called upon may include the vagrancy issues, panhandling and graffiti.
Codes officers have outreach programs to educate the public in a variety of ways. Bicycle Rodeos, teaching the youth safe bicycle riding. You might see Codes Officer's at the Farmer's Market at a booth to give information and to hear what you have to say. Programs are taken to the schools to educate the youth as well.
The Codes Enforcement Officers work with the various departments in the City of Las Cruces to strive for a clean, safe & healthy community.
For information reference information with the Landlord/Tenant relationships and how they may apply to you, please visit the Landlord/Tenant Relations section for a useful guide for both renters and landlords to know their rights and responsibilities under the New Mexico Uniform Owner-Residents Relations Act, more commonly known as the “Landlord-Tenant Law.”
UPCOMING EVENTS and Recent News
Read below about more information about mosquito control, the reasons why and for more information about the ZIKA Virus.
Help the City Keep Residents Safe from Zika Virus
By Jamey L. Rickman, Council and Constituent Services Coordinator
Fight the Bite never has been more important than it is today as we face the uncertainties that the Zika Virus presents. Not all mosquitos carry the Zika Virus, but the two that do have been reported in Doña Ana County.
Their threat is real and everyone has a role in protecting themselves and keeping mosquito populations under control during March through November.
City Codes Enforcement, Parks and Recreation, and Street and Traffic Operations continuously coordinate and work hard to ensure the safety of residents in the work they do on a daily basis. The City government also has ongoing and long-standing coordination with other agencies to have the best information to effectively address the threat.
Most mosquito problems in the estimated 79 square miles that make up Las Cruces occur on private property. In 2015, Codes received 9,873 weeds related calls and issued 487 citations. Every citation clearly represents an opportunity mosquitoes had to infest and breed in an area. The Street and Traffic Operations (STO) section maintains 59 drainage ponds, 136 alleys, about 2,000 storm drain drop inlets, and some 25 miles weekly of right-of-way areas for weeds, which pose a significant challenge to available resources during wet years when mosquitos can thrive. STO and the Parks and Recreation Department coordinate with licensed professions in the area of service for information about the mosquito life cycle to make sure the City Vector Control program is as effective and safe as possible. The program attacks mosquito adult and larval stages and their breeding grounds.
Residents can do their part by removing weeds or reporting City or other property that has weeds. Plants and standing water are the biggest sources for mosquitos to live in and lay their eggs. These sources include any weeds, potted plants indoors and outdoors, and standing water collected in crevices or anything that can hold water. More sources are listed on the City’s website at the link listed in the Resources section. The key to prevent mosquito breeding is to eradicate weeds to the fullest extent possible, avoid chronic moisture in potted plants, and eliminate standing water that collects in containers that could include old tires, bird baths and animal water containers that aren’t changed daily, or other items that allow water to pool and sit for days.
Click HERE for a Back Yard checklist of items you can check around your residence or business to help reduce mosquitos. It will also give you tips for Personal Protection from Mosquitos.
Finally, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDoH) suggests that people pro-actively wear mosquito or insect repellant that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More information on repellant may be found on the NMDoH website listed in the Resources section.
Mosquito Hotline numbers (call for help in determining if you have a problem or are reporting a mosquito problem):
- City of Las Cruces: (575) 541-2547
- Doña Ana County: (575) 526-8150
- Town of Mesilla: (575) 524-3262
- Village of Hatch: (575) 267-5216
Use the links below for more information provided by the City of Las Cruces, the New Mexico Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
City of Las Cruces website for an extensive list of sources of standing water.
Important Facts of the Zika Virus publication:
Related City of Las Cruces Ordinances
Sec. 18-2 (12) - Prohibited Nuisance.
The maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving or permitting to be or remain on any public or private property of any of the following items, conditions or actions is declared to be and constitute a nuisance, provided that this enumeration shall not be deemed or construed to be conclusive, limiting or restrictive: Any accumulation of stagnant water permitted or maintained on any lot or piece of ground.
Sec. 25-5. - Unsanitary premises.
It shall be unlawful for any person to permit or cause to remain in or about his premises any solid waste, weeds, automobiles not in operating condition, wastewater or any conglomeration or residue thereof, which emits odors or serves as a feeding or breeding place for flies, insects or rodents and which in the opinion of the city manager is unsanitary or injurious to public health.
7-10 (b) Livestock well-being. In addition to the requirements stated above under section 7-10, a person owning or having care, custody, or control over a livestock animal shall also provide the following: (3) All areas adjacent to any pen, coop, stable, stall, barn, corral; grazing, workout, or training areas; or other building structures and areas where animals are kept and maintained, shall be graded to drain water away from such facilities so as to prevent ponding and reduce insect harborage.
The Public Information Office produced a short video with an epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health regarding the threat Zika Virus poses in Las Cruces. The video will air in an upcoming episode of the City’s TV newsmagazine, "City Beat," but you can view it now.
WHY WEED CONTROL?
The question has arisen from time to time, especially during summer time of the year, why worry about controlling the weeds. Certainly with the monsoon season upon us, the weeds appear to be taking over any spare piece of dirt and even the areas with vegetation already growing. Some of the larger problems with the additional weed growth consist of increased allergies, more camouflage for rodents, snakes and insects (to include mosquitos) and of course simply, unsightly. Additionally, the weed growth will reduce the area for native vegetation to grow, including that lawn that you’ve paid good money to water, cultivate and maintain.
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture as well as the New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental have identified over forty (40) different types of weeds in our area. With the amount of different species in the area, it is easy to understand the reason for the concern.
The City of Las Cruces Municipal Code has defined the word “Nuisance” as Nuisance means any person doing an unlawful act, omitting to perform a duty, or suffering or permitting any condition or thing to be or exist, which act, omission, condition or thing either:
Injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others;
Is offensive to the senses;
Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct or renders dangerous for passage any public or private street, highway, sidewalk, stream, ditch or drainage;
In any way renders other persons insecure in life or the use of property; or
Essentially interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property, or tends to depreciate the value of the property of others.
The City of Las Cruces Municipal Code states; Section 18-2. - Illustrative enumeration. The maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving or permitting to be or remain on any public or private property of any of the following items, conditions or actions is declared to be and constitute a nuisance, provided that this enumeration shall not be deemed or construed to be conclusive, limiting or restrictive:
- Noxious weeds and other rank vegetation.
Except as otherwise provided, a person convicted of a violation of this Code shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. For violations of this Code that are continuous with respect to time, each day the violation continues is a separate offense.
Occasionally, Codes Officers are asked “How tall do the weeds have to be before we get a ticket?” Look at the photographs below and ask yourself “which would require a citation or need to be addressed?”
Truth is both needs to be addressed. Figure #1 you see small weeds growing but they are overtaking the ground covering area. Obviously the weeds in Figure #2 are extremely overgrown. And yes, those are tumbleweeds next to Codes Officer J. Ontiveros.
Go to the CLCTV 20 YouTube page for a video "What do Las Cruces Codes officers look for when they write citations for weeds violations".
The City of Las Cruces is our city and keeping the weeds maintained as best as possible is important. For our health, our safety and it is simply more appeasing. Please do your part to Keep Las Cruces Beautiful!
For frequently asked questions please visit our FAQ'S page.
To Report On Line
Go to ASK THE CITY and complete the form.
Ordinances that we enforce include, but are not limited to:
For information on other ordinances refer to the Municipal Codes
Related City ResourcesBusiness RegistrationPermitting and Inspections Development ServicesPlanning and RevitalizationZoning Codes
Codes Officer District Map
Who's your Codes Officer? Click here to see who your Codes Officer is assigned to your area.