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Condemnations and Meth Affected Properties

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Properties Posted for Methamphetamine Contamination and Condemned Properties

 

Methamphetamine Affected Properties

What is a methamphetamine affected property?

  • Any property with a space where there is sufficient evidence of methamphetamine contamination resulting from the manufacturing, processing, disposal, or use of methamphetamine.

How are methamphetamine affected properties discovered?

  • Most methamphetamine affected properties are discovered through testing.Homeowners, tenants, or potential buyers of a property hire consultants licensed through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to take test samples following prescribed standards. If the lab results show an area where methamphetamine contamination exceeds .5 µg/100cm2 for habitable areas or 4 µg/100cm2 for non-habitable spaces, the consultant is required to report the property to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

  • In some cases, the Longmont Police Department may discover a methamphetamine lab or otherwise establish probable cause that a methamphetamine affected property exists somewhere in the City.

What happens when a methamphetamine affected property is discovered in the City of Longmont?

  • When a methamphetamine affected property is discovered, Code Enforcement will post a declaration of methamphetamine affected property in a visible location on the subject property and ensure that all occupants vacate the property immediately. After a property is posted, only licensed methamphetamine consultants and contractors may enter the property until it has been remediated and tested.

Can I appeal a Declaration of Methamphetamine Affected Property?

  • An aggrieved party may request a formal appeal in writing within ten days of the posting of a declaration of methamphetamine affected property. The notice of appeal must be submitted to the city clerk at 350 Kimbark St, Longmont, CO 80501 along with a $35.00 processing fee. A hearing officer will be appointed to conduct a hearing in accordance with chapter 2.98 of the Longmont Municipal Code. You may call the city clerk at 303-651-8649.

I was just forced to leave my home due to methamphetamine contamination.  Can the city provide housing?

  • The city generally does not have the resources to provide emergency housing for residents displaced by the posting of a methamphetamine affected property. We recommend that the first step for housing assistance be contacting family and friends. If you are unable to find somewhere to stay, you may reach out to the following organizations. Please note that there is no guarantee that any resources will be available.

    • Any individual facing homelessness may contact the OUR Center located at 220 Collyer St, Longmont, CO 80501. Phone: 303-772-5529
    • Senior citizens can contact the Longmont Senior Center located at 910 Longs Peak Ave, Longmont, CO 80501. Phone: 303-651-8411
    • Veterans can visit the Boulder County Veterans Services Office at 515 Coffman St, Longmont, CO 80501. Phone: 720-864-6663.
    • Veterans may also contact the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838 or the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

What do I need to do to clean up a methamphetamine affected property?

  • You will need to work with a consultant and an abatement contractor licensed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to get the property remediated. The consultant will test the unit and create a preliminary report showing the extent and location of contamination. The abatement contractor will then use the preliminary report to perform the abatement, which can vary from wiping down affected areas to having to remove all contaminated building and finish materials. Once the abatement contractor has completed the abatement, the consultant will re-test the unit to determine if additional remediation is necessary. Once all areas test below .5 µg/100cm2 for habitable areas and 4 µg/100cm2 for non-habitable space, the consultant will produce a clearance report. The report will then be reviewed for accuracy and the certificate of occupancy will be reinstated.

My home was just posted as a methamphetamine affected property. Why wasn’t I allowed to remove my possessions?  Will I be able to get them back?

  • Furniture and other personal belongings inside a methamphetamine affected property may be contaminated with methamphetamine and cannot be moved where they may expose you or other individuals to potentially hazardous substances. The licensed consultant testing the unit will determine what possessions may be removed under the Colorado Board of Health’s regulations and what possessions will need to be discarded during the clean-up process.

My neighbor’s apartment was posted as a methamphetamine affected property. Could my apartment be contaminated?

  • Building and fire codes generally create sufficient separation between units in an apartment building to prevent the movement of contamination, however, in rare cases it is possible that contamination may move between units via shared spaces such as attics or crawl spaces. The only way to ensure that your unit is free of methamphetamine contamination is to hire a licensed consultant to test the unit

I suspect that my rental may be contaminated with methamphetamine.  Can the City of Longmont test or force the owner to test?

  • No. The City does not have the ability to force landlords to test their rentals for methamphetamine and does not have the resources to pay for testing for residents. The city needs probable cause or to have confirmation of positive test results from a licensed consultant before it can address methamphetamine contamination inside a property.

I am certain that my neighbor is using methamphetamine.  Can the city do anything about this?

  • Illegal activity should be reported to the Longmont Police Department at 303-651-8501. They can determine if and how to proceed with an investigation. Often neighbor’s suspicions of what is happening inside a home or apartment in their community is not enough evidence for any legal action to be taken by the city.

How long can a methamphetamine affected property remain in the city before it must be cleaned up?

  • Due to the high cost of remediating methamphetamine affected properties, it is difficult to force owners to remediate within any given timeframe. Often, insurance does not cover the cost and owners do not have the means to remediate when the properties are discovered. For this reason, the city requires that the properties be kept vacant and secure, but there is no deadline for remediation. The Longmont Municipal Code currently does not allow for fines or criminal penalties for failing to remediate a property.

What do I do if I see someone that is not licensed entering a methamphetamine affected property?

  • If you see someone that is not either a licensed consultant or contractor entering a property that is posted as a methamphetamine affected property, you should report it to the Longmont Police Department at 303-651-8501.

Properties Condemned Based on Building Code Violations

What does it mean when the City condemns a property?

  • A condemnation occurs when the city finds a structure that does not meet the minimum code requirements for safety or habitability. The City will post a notice of condemnation on or about the structure and mail a copy to the property owner. The notice will indicate what violations are present on the property and give a deadline for the owner to make corrections. If the owner fails to make the necessary corrections, the City will then post a placard prohibiting occupancy of the structure and require any inhabitants to vacate the structure.

  • When there is a condition that could cause serious or life-threatening injury or death at any time within a structure, the notification process above will not be followed and any occupants will be required to vacate the structure immediately.It will be posted with a placard prohibiting entry for anyone that is not securing the structure or remediating the dangerous condition.

For what violations can the City condemn a property?

  • Buildings may be condemned for many reasons. Some structures are condemned simply because they have had utilities disconnected and no longer have a source of heat or sanitary facilities that depend on running water. Others may be condemned for violating building codes addressing structural damage, lack of sufficient fire separation or warning systems, extensive deterioration, hoarding, or a number of other issues affecting the safety or habitability of the building. In addition, dwelling or commercial units constructed or subdivided illegally may also be condemned until the owner obtains certificates of occupancy for the additional units.

Can I appeal a notice of condemnation?

  • An aggrieved party may appeal a notice of condemnation by submitting a written request for appeal, stating the basis of the appealed matter, to the office of the city clerk at 350 Kimbark St, Longmont, CO 80501 within 14 days of the receipt of such determination. The hearing will be conducted by the Master Board of Appeals in accordance with chapter 16.30 of the Longmont Municipal Code. You may call the city clerk at 303-651-8649.

Who can enter a condemned property?

  • Once a property has been posted with a placard prohibiting occupancy, any individual wishing to enter the property must obtain written authorization from the code official prior to entering. To request entry, contact Code Enforcement at 303-651-8695.

     

    What do I do if I see someone entering or living in a condemned structure?

  • If you suspect someone of entering a condemned structure illegally, Contact Code Enforcement at 303-651-8695 to see if there is an authorization for someone to enter the condemned structure. If it is after hours or Code Enforcement is not available, you can contact the Longmont Police Department at 303-651-850

I was just forced to leave my home due to a building condemnation. Can the city provide housing?

  • The city generally does not have the resources to provide emergency housing for residents displaced by building condemnations. We recommend that the first step for housing assistance be contacting family and friends. If you are unable to find somewhere to stay, you may reach out to the following organizations to search for available resources. Please note that there is no guarantee that any resources will be available.
    • Any individual facing homelessness may contact the OUR Center located at 220 Collyer St, Longmont, CO 80501. Phone: 303-772-5529
    • Senior citizens can contact the Longmont Senior Center located at 910 Longs Peak Ave, Longmont, CO 80501. Phone: 303-651-8411
    • Veterans can visit the Boulder County Veterans Services Office at 515 Coffman St, Longmont, CO 80501. Phone: 720-864-6663.
    • Veterans may also contact the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838 or the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

There has been a condemned property in my neighborhood for years. Can the city do anything about this?

  • What the city can do to get a condemned property remediated depends on several factors, such as the condition of the building, how long it has been condemned, and the cost of the repair or demolition. If you would like to discuss the status of a particular condemned building, contact Code Enforcement at 303-651-8695.

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