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Downtown Neighborhoods Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Monthly Meeting

April 6, 2016 

The April 2016 meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Harwood Art Center, pursuant to prior approval. Before the meeting was called to order, there was a brief demonstration of a microphone and speakers by R. C. Casias. There was a consensus to not use the system for this meeting.

Board Chair Reba Eagles called the meeting to order at 7:05. Board members in attendance: Reba Eagles, David McCain, Dick Deichsel, Chan Graham, Margaret Connealy, Noelle Baroody, Alice Bergman, Robert Bello, Gabe Campos, Ric Higginbotham and Holly Siebert. Four board members were absent. Nine other neighbors also attended. Sign in sheets are on file.

Introductions were made. There was a motion and a second to approve the agenda. Robert Bello asked why an issue of permit parking was not scheduled as part of the Zoning Committee report. The agenda was approved without amendment. The March 2 minutes were approved.

Dick Deichsel gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of March 2016, there was $1115 in income, including $630 in memberships. Expenses totaled $2833.01, including $2500 for two previously approved donations to Harwood. The March 31 balance was $21,117.65. The Treasurer’s Report was approved and is on file.


            Sam Lopez lives at 918 Kent N W. Sam described the multi-faceted garden that he and his family started in 2013 on just 1/10 of an acre next to their home. He described the variety of fruits and vegetables, the eight laying hens, their bee colony and their drought-tolerant lawn. Sam is also a Master Composter and answered many questions about neighbors’ composting. They are on facebook as “7 Heavenly Hens Garden” and can be emailed at


Mary Dezember lives on Orchard Place near 12th. Pigeons roost on Mary’s roof and the roof of her neighbor’s home. She described the extensive damage the pigeons have done. She stated she believes, from talking with Dr. Paul Smith of the city’s Urban Biology Division, that if pigeons are not fed in the area, their population would diminish.  There is an ordinance against feeding pigeons, with a $50 fine. However, Mary stated that she didn’t know about this ordinance until talking with a DNA member after the March DNA meeting, so she thinks neighbors may not know about this ordinance. She asked the DNA to consider ways to inform the neighborhood residents that there is this ordinance and to educate neighbors on the problem with pigeon feeding. As an example of what the DNA might consider doing, Mary distributed a draft of a flier that describes the problems created by pigeons and states the ordinance. The DNA board said they would discuss if they want to proceed with Mary’s request and how best to do this. Many people shared their experiences with the problem and suggested remedies.


            David Silverman represents this organization, which advocates for downtown revitalization. They started the Bike Share program and became the fiscal agent for the Growers Market after the Downtown Action Team was unable to continue the responsibility. The organization has one staff member and many volunteers. David described planned projects, including the repurposing of vacant commercial spaces and an initiative to better manage existing parking lots.


            Noelle Baroody described the weekday parking situation on her block of Slate, between Seventh and Eighth. All on-street parking is regularly taken up by people who work in nearby office buildings. There is not even space available for trash containers. Noelle asked DNA for a letter of support for permit parking on that block. Robert Bello said that a more comprehensive solution is needed: permit parking for that block alone will merely move the problem to the next block and so on. After some discussion, a consensus was reached that Robert will contact the City about a neighborhood-wide solution.


            At the January 2014 DNA meeting the board approved a renewable one-year conditional use for a part-time (one practitioner, two days a week) acupuncture practice at 1419 Roma N W. At the January 2015 meeting the variance was supported for another year since there were no complaints from nearby residents. At tonight’s meeting (April 2016) Robert Bello reported that the practice has grown to multiple practitioners working five days a week. Gabe Campos said that DNA needs a “tickler” mechanism for issues like this. There was a consensus for an email conversation among the board.

Robert also reported that there are still no sidewalks on 15th between Roma and Fruit.


            Chan Graham complained about the acoustics in the Harwood south meeting room. He asked how we can get the newsletter to people who do not have email. He is not yet sure of the status of the tree grant application to PNM.

Ric Higginbotham updated the meeting on plans for the 2016 house tour. Water bill inserts promoting the tour have been sent to 205,000 water customers. County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley authorized funding the cost of the inserts from Commission discretionary funds. Ric had fliers available for distribution. We still need more docents. The tour committee voted to recognize homeowners this year with a group dinner at Cellar just after the tour.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50.

Respectfully submitted,

David McCain