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February 1, 2012

The February 2012 regular monthly meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Harwood Art Center, pursuant to prior approval.
Board members in attendance: Robert Bello, Miriam Ortiz y Pino, Ric Higginbotham, Jacque Wright, Lindi Anderson, David McCain, Sue Brych, Bob Yuhas, Dick Deichsel, Holly Siebert and Reba Eagles. One board member was absent. Eleven other neighbors also attended. Sign-in sheets are on file.
Acting Board Chair Jacque Wright called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Introductions were made. The agenda was approved with the addition of a discussion of arrangements for the upcoming Annual Meeting. The January 4 minutes were approved.

Jacque Wright gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of January there was $100 received in dues and $1500 received from the County as the second half of the tree grant. Expenses were $500 to Albuquerque Trolley (for the shuttle service at the upcoming home tour) and $565 to Downtown Printing (for the Winter newsletter). We had an ending balance of $15,957.08. The report was approved and is on file.
Jacque then pointed out that we need to approve a budget for the newsletter for the next year. After some discussion, it was moved that we approve $1800 and the motion passed.
Lindi Anderson asked that we approve a budget for up front expenses for the 2012 home tour. After some discussion, Lindi moved and Miriam Ortiz y Pino seconded a motion to authorize $3200 for flyers, the tour program, a permit to block a street at Mary Fox Park, port-a-lets and other unanticipated expenses.

Melanie Lewis then introduced Gloria Brooks, principal of Lew Wallace Elementary School. Ms. Brooks thanked DNA for our efforts in 1992, which led to the reopening of the school after the building had been used for many years as an APS administrative office. She reported that enrollment is now 312 students, up from 286 in the previous school year. She then volunteered the school building for some role in the Home Tour, but after a discussion there was no consensus for an appropriate use, especially considering that the school is several blocks away from the homes on tour this year. Ric Higginbotham suggested that the students could draw pictures of the tour homes. Jacque Wright said that DNA would like to support Lew Wallace in some way and suggested that Ms. Brooks make a proposal. Ms. Brooks directed us to, which has a link to Lew Wallace.

Robert Bello opened the zoning report by reporting that Cocina Azul still wants a drive-up window. The City will perform a traffic impact study.
The City Zoning Hearing Examiner has denied the Gentrys’ application for 100% office use of their property at 1100 Tijeras NW. DNA’s previous letter in opposition is part of the record. The Gentrys are planning to appeal. In his presentation to the ZHE, Nate Gentry said it was difficult to find tenants and admitted that there has been no residential use of the building for most of the last 15 years; so the owners have been out of compliance with the current 50/50 home/office zoning requirement.
Pasion Latina, the restaurant at 8th and Lomas, is continuing their application for a beer and wine license. Robert will send a letter, reaffirming DNA’s previous vote in support.
The Board took no position on a full liquor license for Happy’s Fun Lounge on the north side of Central between 5th and 6th. This is the same space that was the site of the much publicized police raid several years ago for underage drug use in an all ages nightclub.
Robert reported that the Huning Castle Association is in favor of a two-storey bank building proposed for the corner of 15th and Central.
The last zoning item was a complaint from residents on 16th just south of Lomas. They say that employees of Monroe’s Restaurant are parking on that section of 16th. Robert suggested that board members have lunch at Monroe’s on Saturday, February 11 and look at the situation.

For the Nominating Committee, Sue Brych announced that the following board terms would expire in March: Robert Bello, Rick Miera, Sue Brych, Jacque Wright, and Holly Siebert. Jennifer deGarmo has also resigned so there are only twelve active board members now instead of the allowed 15. Sue encouraged the five members with expiring terms to stay on the board and said she will try to recruit qualified people for the other positions.
Lindi Anderson reported that the Tour Committee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 at Lindi’s house, 421 11th St. NW. Potluck. Lindi said the tour pamphlet will cost between $900 and $1000, which she hopes will be covered by the paid ads. DNA’s website has information on ticket prices, advance purchases and parking. But the website has no addresses for the homes on tour because a ticket is required to get the pamphlet with that information. BRGR Restaurant at Third and Central will donate a $6.00 burger with every ticket sold.
Lindi reported that newsletters are all delivered. There was a discussion of a new name for the newsletter and deleting “quarterly” from the masthead. Dick Deichsel said that the Post Office offers a program for $95 that would allow a newsletter to be delivered to every stop on an individual route. He did not know how many routes are within DNA’s boundaries, so we’re not sure how many fees of $95 would be involved or how many routes also include deliveries outside DNA.
Jacque Wright reported that DNA has received the second (and last) $1500 installment on the County tree grant. There are requests now for six more trees. There was a brief discussion of copying extra USDA tree manuals for the recipients.
Bob Yuhas has met with the City Crime Prevention Department for the Safety Committee. There was a good response at the 11/29 meeting and he will send out the next steps for organizing block captains.
Holly Siebert reported that the Care Committee does not have a meeting scheduled.
Dick Deichsel announced that 933 11th NW received the latest Curb Appeal Award. It turned out that the property is a rental, owned and maintained by someone who formerly lived there. There were several suggestions for future nominees.
For the Projects Committee, Miriam Ortiz y Pino reported that there would be no new signs by the time of the annual meeting. Reba Eagles volunteered to order the signs. There was a discussion of encouraging homeowners to clean up their alleys by delivering a tactful notice, including a list of public resources available to assist in maintaining alleys.
Susan Deichsel said that someone at an urban@abq meeting said that some grandfathered property uses and zonings would expire on March 27, 2012. There was a discussion of the impact of the new sector development plan on these properties but there was no consensus regarding the effect.
Ric Higginbotham reported that the City has denied DNA’s request for a Rapid Ride stop on Central between 10th and Rio Grande. The Raynolds Association supported us but Huning Castle did not. Ric will try again, with more business support and another attempt for Hunung Castle’s support.
Curtis Hunt said the Traffic Calming Committee has succeeded in getting a City traffic study, which has not started yet.
Susan Deichsel will write a grant proposal for beautification, from the City Solid Waste Department.
The Annual Meeting was discussed. It will take place on Wednesday, March 7, 7;00 p.m. at Hotel Blue, 8th and Central. Holly Siebert said that there are sodas and bottled water left over from the Safety Committee meeting. We will get more snacks. Lindi Anderson solicited door prizes.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
David McCain