At OWN meeting: Code Enforcement officer says she enjoys working with Westsiders

       For the most part, Mary Jane “M.J.” Lujan, the City Code Enforcement officer assigned to this area, describes Westsiders as “easy-going people who like to keep their neighborhoods up.” With this in mind, she said she typically gives a two-week notice instead of a summons when she encounters a code violation, finding that problems usually will get addressed once people are made aware of them.
       It also helps, she said, that Westsiders aren't as demanding as, say, some people in the Broadmoor who become indignant at code violations and want them addressed immediately.
       Lujan, as well as animal control officer Vicki Cheney, gave presentations at the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) meeting March 18. Cheney, who works for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, explained a little-known fact about cat ownership. For those who feel compassionate about stray cats in the neighborhood, she pointed out that under the law, “If you feed a cat, you own it.”
       Lujan also provided information about current Westside code issues. With part of her job involving checking out alleys, she said its been “kind of disturbing” of late to see gang grafitti in the alleys. Other problems she's seeing are “a lot of unlicensed vehicles,” myrtle spurge (a noxious weed that once was sold as a deer deterrent) and dog feces.
       Lujan does not know of any active meth houses, but said there are “four or five that have been condemned” from past busts. A sticker is put on the house that she as code officer will not take down until there is a biohazard certification that no meth dust remains, she said.
       The Code Enforcement number is 444-7890.
       Cheney spoke on different animal issues:
       If cruelty to an animal is observed, it can be reported anonymously. Cruelty can involve more than beating - it can also be a dog left outside without shelter or water.
       She recommended that people taking their dog to the County Dog Park be up on all their shots, particularly for giardia, because of the creek flowing through the park.
       Loose animals can be phoned in 24/7. Cheney said to call the Humane Society's main number (473-1741), then zero. If it's between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., dial 7 after the main number. Callers should provide a description, where the animal was seen and, if possible, its address.
       Another all-the-time service is turning in a trapped cat. Traps (which can also be rented from the Humane Society) can be left in a drop box at the facility, located on the Westside at 610 Abbot Lane, “even in the middle of the night,” Cheney said.

Westside Pioneer article