Albuquerque man built on property that wasn’t actually his

Created: 07/10/2014 5:40 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

They say “close” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades – Frank Garcia learned the hard way it doesn’t count in real estate.

For twenty years Garcia thought he knew where his property line was on his one acre lot on Goff Road north of Bridge in Bernalillo County’s South Valley – and he was close. But after Garcia put up a barn-like structure for his son to live in on the north end of his lot, Frank learned he was just a few feet off. Most of the building is in unincorporated Bernalillo County, on Garcia’s property all right, but the northeast corner and the front steps are inside the city limits of Albuquerque, and appear to be on the city’s right of way property along Goff Road.

And both city and county zoning authorities say the building is a tool shed – not a residence.

Garcia has already been to court hearings and zoning meetings on other issues involving his property. At 71, the retired sheetrock worker says he is too tired to fight.

“I thought that was my property for 20 years,” Garcia said. “For 20 years I believed that was my property. They said my son was living in there and nobody was supposed to be living in there and I have to remove it. I said I will remove it, but I need a little more time.”

Garcia said it won’t be long. A little more digging, a lot more disappointment, but he’ll move the building. County and city zoning officials say they want to work with Garcia to get his property into compliance. They say that’s always their goal – not punitive action.

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