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ABQ Comp Plan Wins OK

ABQ Comp Plan Wins OK

Neighborhoods Complain They Had No Meaningful Input

Opponents of the city’s Albuwuerque Bernalillo County Zoning (ABC-Z) plan say their real battle has just begun with City Council approval of a massive rewrite of the city’s comprehensive plan.

That battle will play out over the two years as the city begins work on an integrated development ordinance that will eliminate local development plans and replace them with more uniform zoning and planning policies.

The council approved the rewrite and two related measures late Monday night on 6-2 vote. Councilors also considered more than two dozen amendments to the plan; they rejected requests to delay approval for up to 16 months.

“Now the real fight begins,” Pat Gallagher, president of the La Luz Homeowners Association said of the proposal sponsored by Councilor Isaac Benton.

Opponents argued the new urban plan shortchanges minority neighborhoods and that, overall, local neighborhoods were excluded from any meaningful participation in the rewrite. One resident of the San Jose neighborhood on Monday said the plan does nothing to alleviate that industrialized neighborhood’s pollution problems, which studies have found come from oil storage facilities, the nearby railroad and an asphalt plant.

Supporters of the plan said it will bring clarity and predictability to the development and zoning process and that it will improve protection for the city’s established neighborhoods.

Councilors Ken Sanchez and Klarissa Peña voted against the measure.

Additional reporting by Johnny Vizcaino

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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