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Downtown Neighborhoods Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Monthly Meeting

September 7, 2016 

The September 2016 meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held in the Library of Lew Wallace Elementary School, pursuant to prior approval.

Board Chair Reba Eagles called the meeting to order at 6:50 p.m. Board members in attendance: Reba Eagles, David McCain, Dick Deichsel, Margaret Connealy, Noelle Baroody, Israel Chavez, Rowan Wymark, Gabe Campos, Ric Higginbotham, Holly Siebert, Rick Miera and Chan Graham. Two board members were absent. (The board currently has only 14 members.) Twelve other neighbors and guest speakers also attended. Sign in sheets are on file.

Introductions were made. The agenda was approved. The July 6 minutes were approved. (There was no meeting in August.)

Dick Deichsel gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of August, there was $16,206.53 in income, including $16,000 from the PNM tree grant. Expenses totaled $3031.56, including $1528.14 for the National Night Out, $822.67 for the rededication of Mary Fox Park, and $619.92 for the printing and postage of the newsletter. The August 31 balance was $47,514.53.  The Treasurer’s Report was approved and is on file.

NINTH AND TIJERAS PROPOSAL

            Jackie Fishman (with Consensus Planning) presented a proposal from Evergreen Development to construct a residential development on the vacant lot at the corner of 9th and Tijeras. The board had previously expressed no objections to preliminary plans. The eventual plan is to build six owner-occupied townhomes, all fronting on Tijeras with garages facing Kent. Karl Smith (with Evergreen) said that all six units might not be built at one time. Israel Chavez asked about trees on the west (9th St.) side. Jackie Fishman said there will be trees but made no commitment about the number, size or species. Jackie also said there may be “secondary dwelling units” (small apartments) above the garages.

Jackie said that the project would require a variance that involves glazing (windows and doors) on both the 9th Street side and the garages facing Kent. Code would require 30% glazing on the 9th St. side but current plans call for only 11%. (Jackie emphasized that the property is unusual in that it faces three public rights-of-way.)

Jackie will email DNA the plans, elevations and a description of the required variance. There is a hearing scheduled with the Zoning Hearing Examiner on September 20. DNA will conduct an email vote once we have the information from Jackie.

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

            Brian Reilly (with the City of Albuquerque) described the proposed IDO, which is intended to create a zoning code that is easier to understand, and remove or update outdated design standards. The City Planning Department is hosting an event on Wednesday, September 21 at which neighborhood people, developers and planners will examine hypothetical proposals for “problematic sites”. The participants will see how the IDO would apply to these hypotheticals. Several board members volunteered to participate. Susan Deichsel proposed three vacant sites as “problematic”: 12th and Lomas, 10th and Central, and 13th and Lomas.

ALBUQUERQUE RAPID TRANSIT (ART)

            Katherine Cordova (ART Community Liaison) can be reached at Katherine.artabq@gmail.com or 724-3148. She announced that construction contracts have been signed with Bradbury-Stamm. She described the community events section of the ART website (abqbrt.com) and solicited announcements from DNA. She also discussed ART’s efforts (including forgivable loans) to help businesses that are adversely affected by construction.

217 THIRTEENTH N W

            This address is the house at 13th and Marquette that has been vacant and boarded up for several years. Minerva Camp has bought the property and wants to “fully renovate” the house as a residence for herself, her husband and their three small children. But she also wants to run her law practice (with two employees) at the property. She asked DNA to support the use. No one spoke in favor. Gabe Campos and Anna Muller spoke in opposition. Reba Eagles asked Ms. Camp to discuss the issue again at our October meeting since she had not even been on the agenda for this meeting.

COMMITTEES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

            Dick Deichsel solicited poll workers for the upcoming election. He will email a flier to the board.

Dick also announced that his term on the Citizens Policing Council would end soon. Rowan Wymark volunteered to serve on the CPC. Dick also said that he wants bicycle patrols to resume.

Chan Graham distributed a written update on the tree project. DNA needs to sign up twenty more homes for trees.

Rowan Wymark said that there should be a board for community announcements at the Lowe’s Grocery. She also asked the board to consider returning to the practice of mailing hard copies of the newsletter.

Susan Deichsel announced that she would no longer chair the Projects Committee. The committee currently has 14 proposals under consideration.

Gabe Campos solicited nominations for the state and national historic registers.

Fernando Pizarro has been absent from at least eight consecutive monthly meetings. DNA bylaws say that any board member who has two successive absences may be replaced. Reba Eagles moved and Dick Deichsel seconded a motion to remove Fernando from the board. The motion passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

David McCain

Secretary