Decision deferred on Coors Pavilion signs

A January 16 hearing by the Planning Department  deferred a decision on signs for the Coors Pavilion until February.  The signs  — one on the corner and two north along Coors — are considerably larger than allowed under current codes. It appears that another facilitated meeting is in the cards, although opposition to the signs was unanimous at the previous meeting.

Josh Skarsgard, owner of  Retail Southwest Development,  had moderated his proposal in an email , saying, “I have decided to dramatically reduce the sign height from a proposed 26 feet down to 14 feet for the “corner” sign … (a 46% reduction in size)… and reduce the sign height down to 10 feet at the other two locations.”

Both exceed the height limit of nine feet allowed under the Coors Corridor Plan, and  the “46% reduction” refers only to the height of the corner sign, not the total area, which remains 133 square feet.

Continue reading Decision deferred on Coors Pavilion signs

KOB reports on shopping center blocking views

Rene’ Horvath explains neighborhood concerns about blocking the view on Coors.

The shopping center now under construction at Coors Boulevard and Montaño was the subject of a special report by KOB News on its January 15 6 o’clock broadcast.

Reporter Morgan Aguilar asked Rene’ Horvath, who manages land use issues for WSCONA, about an appeal to the City Planning Department. It contends that the center violates limitations intended to protect views and did not properly involve surrounding neighborhoods in the original approval process.



Among other concerns, the appeal charges that the Administrative Amendment that approved the North Andalucia development:

  • Did not allow neighboring communities the opportunity to provide input or review plans prior to construction.
  • Does not properly follow view regulations in the Coors Corridor Plan, despite the acknowledged high value of protecting those views.
  • Is based on “misinterpretations and lack of information” that could have been addressed had neighbors been notified to provide input.

Continue reading KOB reports on shopping center blocking views

Rep. Moe Maestes looks at budgets, crime, economic development

Antonio “Moe” Maestas, state representative for District 16, told a recent town hall meeting that the upcoming state legislative session — while focusing on the budget — may foster discussions about subjects ranging from penalties for murder to  early childhood programs and voting processes.

Maestas, in his sixth term, said revenue estimates for FY 19 are approximately $200 million over the current year, which would allow for some budget flexibility. He presented a proposed spending plan that includes increases for public schools and higher education, as well as the departments of public safety and corrections, and  children, youth and families. Continue reading Rep. Moe Maestes looks at budgets, crime, economic development

Admin costs a reason for failing schools?

A recent policy report asks a question that is on the minds of many New Mexicans. Why have student outcomes in our state remained stuck at the bottom of the nation even as our education spending has increased?

Citing trends over the last 20 years, the Think New Mexico report looks at graduation rates, students’ reading and math skills, and the availability of early childhood programs, all of which rank low in national standings. By contrast, spending per student is above average and at the very top when it comes to its percentage of the state budget. Continue reading Admin costs a reason for failing schools?

Sign variance request lives on

Despite zero local support for allowing a tall, wide sign to be erected  at the intersection of Coors and Ladera, the developer is continuing to make appeals at the Environmental Planning Commission and the City Planning Office .

During a during a facilitated meeting about the Coors Pavilion shopping center, nearby residents raised significant issues with proposed increases in the height and size of the sign — which the developer, Joshua Skarsgard, claims are needed to reach his business goals and attract tenants.

On December 19, after WSCONA members summarized community opposition, the Zoning Hearing Officer deferred a decision after the developer proposed another meeting to seek a compromise.  That meeting has not yet been scheduled.

The earlier meeting cited concerns over Coors becoming “another Montgomery, Menaul or Lomas Boulevard- type of corridor.” Residents added that allowing for a variance runs the risk of “setting a precedent whereby other competing businesses on Coors ask for the same signage consideration.”

Continue reading Sign variance request lives on

Meeting Tuesday to discuss huge sign on Coors

The developer of the Coors Pavilion shopping center at the corner of Coors and St. Josephs is seeking approval for a sign that would far exceed size limitations now placed on commercial signage along Coors.

The Coors Corridor Plan limits the size of commercial signs at 9 feet high and 75 square feet in area. Red Shamrock 4, LLC is asking for a variance to nearly double the size of the sign to 133 square fee, and increase its height to 26 feet.

You will have a chance to discuss the request  with the developer at a facilitated meeting Tuesday, from  6-8 p.m., at the Taylor Ranch Community Center, 4900 Kachina NW.

Continue reading Meeting Tuesday to discuss huge sign on Coors

Opinion piece, online form offered in IDO debate

In an opinion piece published in the Albuquerque Journal,  Dr. Joe Valles argues that—in its current form — the IDO will damage the ability of neighborhoods to have a say in future development across the city.

“One thing is extremely clear, ” he wrote,  “the real constituency the majority of the City Council answers to is the ‘industry,’ as one councilor referred to the development community!”

Meanwhile, the Highland Business and Neighborhood Association has crafted a form that allows city residents to send a note their Councilor asking for more time to consider the proposed ordinance, which will have far-reaching effects on how the city plans its development and whether citizens have a significant say in that process.


WSCONA president issues call to action on IDO

Jerry Worrall, president of WSCONA, citing Martin Salazarʼs article in the  Albuquerque Journal,  called on residents across the City to contact their Council representatives about the Integrated Development Ordinance, or IDO.

“Now is not the time to sit by and wait for others to stand against this overly rushed approval,” he says in a letter to the editor of the Journal. As voting, tax-paying, property-owning, renting or business-owning citizens of this city, he added, “this will have an impact in ways that citizens of Albuquerque cannot imagine.”

Continue reading WSCONA president issues call to action on IDO

A “lousy way” to redo an important plan

The City Council will consider the IDO today at 5 pm in the Council Chambers.

Rene’ Horvath, who oversees land-use issues for WSCONA, says, “This is a lousy way to redo such an important plan.” She asked people on the West Side to attend the hearing, or express concerns that the plan is not ready for adoption by calling or e-mailing all councilors (768-3100) to delay approving the plan until the public can review and address all the outstanding issues.

Continue reading A “lousy way” to redo an important plan