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Downtown Neighborhoods Association
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Monthly Meeting
July 6, 2011

The July 2011 regular monthly meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Harwood Art Center, pursuant to prior approval.
Board members in attendance: Dick Deichsel, Holly Seibert, Robert Bello, Miriam Ortiz y Pino, Ric Higginbotham, Jacque Wright, Lindi Anderson, Jennifer deGarmo and David McCain. Four board members were not in attendance. Eight other neighbors and two guests (for a presentation) also attended. Sign-in sheets are on file.
Acting Board Chair Ric Higginbotham called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Introductions were made. The agenda was approved. The June minutes were approved.
Jacque Wright gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of June, there was one $15 membership and $500 in expenses (website development and maintenance) for an ending balance of $16,870.02. The treasurer’s report was approved.
APD Sergeant Art Sanchez gave the Police Report: The motel at 10th and Central is being demolished. Robert Bello asked about traffic control for the Twinkle Light Parade. Sergeant Sanchez said he could honestly make no promises about better traffic control. Lindi Anderson asked about traffic changes for DNA special events and Sergeant Sanchez said we should call Traffic Engineering. Jennifer deGarmo commented that recently there has been more undesirable activity in the long alley behind her house. Jacqueline Guilbault asked about possible criminal activity in the apartments at the corner of 14th and Fruit. There were then brief discussions of inoperative streetlights on Lomas between 7th and 19th and the closing of the bosque due to fire concerns. Sergeant Sanchez said that the bosque would probably remain closed “until it rains again”.
Miriam Ortiz y Pino read a letter from Patrick Montoya of the City Office of Neighborhood Coordination. Mr. Montoya sent regrets that he could not attend the meeting and said that he was available if DNA needed assistance in some matter.

Committee Reports
Holly Siebert reported on plans for the National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. DNA will host a potluck event at Mary Fox Park. Holly is looking into blocking off some streets as a test run for the crowds and food vendors at the May 2012 Historic Homes Tour. Anna Muller volunteered to arrange for a Porta-Potty for the National Night Out. Holly requested a budget of $200 for expenses related to the National Night Out. Miriam Ortiz y Pino moved and Robert Bello seconded a motion to approve the expenditure. The motion passed.

Robert Bello began the Zoning Report by introducing two guests who are proposing to adapt the abandoned motel on the north side of Central (at 11th) for a permanent affordable residential facility for low income AIDS victims. Tom Gifford represented Calott and Gifford, Architects and Jessica Molzen represented New Mexico AIDS Services. Ms. Molzen said that the building was used for this purpose from 1997 until 2007, when a major plumbing problem forced the abandonment of the building. The proposed renovation requires approval from the State Historic Preservation Office since Community Development Block Grant money is being proposed for a project on Historic Route 66. The facility will have ten units of approximately 600 square feet each. It will not be a hospice. Residents will typically be over 40 and the facility will have a zero tolerance policy for any illegal activity.
Tom Gifford gave more detail on the proposal. The older part of the existing motel (on Kent St.) will be preserved and have four units. Six units will be in a historically appropriate new construction on the east side of the property. Mr. Gifford showed drawings and a model. The only variance required for the project is parking, but Ms. Molzen said that few if any of the residents will have cars. There will be no signage. Mr. Gifford is proposing a 6-foot tall wall on the Central Avenue side to protect residents from possible harassment. Ms. Molzen said that a tentative schedule calls for funding by September 2011 and completion by the summer of 2012.
Ms. Molzen and Mr. Gifford left and the board discussed the project. No vote was taken. Robert Bello will send out an e-mail calling for comments, a vote on the parking variance and a vote on overall support of the proposal. Robert has kept a copy of the plans.

Robert Bello gave the rest of the zoning report. The hearings for Ann Gately’s and Lee Gamelsky’s proposals are scheduled for Tuesday, July 14. Gamelsky says that for his townhouse project on 8th Street, he now only needs one variance instead of the five variances he was previously requesting.

Robert then distributed copies of a document he wrote, showing the major changes between the current (1976) Sector Development Plan and the proposed SDP which will go before the Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee of the City Council on August 10.

Jennifer commented that the draft version of the SDP (approved by the Environmental Planning Commission) allows more office use on Lomas, Mountain and Tijeras (between 10th and 12th) than our SDP Committee proposed. Jennifer will draft and circulate her comments as proposed DNA comments.

Robert asked to be reimbursed if he buys a zoning map and a white board for DNA. Holly Seibert moved and Miriam Ortiz y Pino seconded a motion to approve the expenditure. The motion passed.

Lindi Anderson reported on plans for the May 2012 historic homes tour. She asked for suggestions for homes to put on tour (with exact addresses) and asked for people to help on the tour committee. The next meeting is Tuesday, July 19 at 6:30 pm at Holly Seibert’s house, 408 11th NW. Meetings are potlucks.

Lindi reported that she is aiming for July 18 to have newsletters ready for distribution, in time to announce the August 2 National Night Out. Jacque Wright asked about a “realtor type box” for Mary Fox Park as a place for neighbors to be able to get newsletters. Jacque also reported that there are now 127 names on the DNA e-mail list.

Jacque reported that DNA will probably get the $3000 County grant for trees.

Holly Seibert will get note cards for the Hospitality Committee to enclose with the dishes for new neighbors.

Dick Deichsel reported on Curb Appeal and Miriam Ortiz y Pino reported on Neighborhood Projects.

Robert Bello suggested that David McCain should take the Harwood keys while the rotating chair system is in effect. David agreed.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
David McCain