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.”
The Council will meet Monday at 5 pm in a special session devoted entirely to the IDO discussion. Salazar’s article implies that the meeting will vote to approve the measure.
Worrall said Albuquerque residents should ask their Councilor for one simple thing — extend voting on this for 90 days to allow the press and dedicated neighborhood activists to bring to light things we do not want to live with forever.
“This is about taking more time to correctly identify the concerns” of neighborhood associations, he said, “yet we are apparently only days away from when the Council will approve the IDO, an act that will forever alter the City.”
The Inter-coalition of Neighborhood Associations had earlier submitted a formal resolution on the IDO to the City to postpone approval to “get the initiative right.”
Saying it is “judicious and reasonable” to postpone the final decision, the Coalition cited several areas that are of serious concern to neighborhoods and residents across the city. Under the new guidelines, they say:
- The Environmental Planning Commission will not hold hearings on site plans (staff will review) and there are no facilitated meetings
- Neighborhood associations have reduced rights to appeal land-use decisions
- The Board of Appeals is eliminated
- The Sector and Area Plan Policy no longer exists
The Coalition contends that Planning staff have intentionally limited and controlled meaningful participation on the part of neighborhoods. They also say that Planning staff and the City Council have expressed that the IDO must be approved prior to Mayor Berry leaving office, but note that Mayor Berry informed the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Associations the he is not “in any particular hurry” to get this initiative passed.
In addition, they say, the Comprehensive Plan that preceded the IDO was adopted by both the City and Bernalillo County, so that both jurisdictions need to approve any amendments to the Plan, rather than have it go only through the City Planning office.
There are zoning areas, the Coalition says, whose boundaries are mutually adjacent to properties under the authority of both the City and County.
The IDO, the Coalition says, “remains a work in progress” and needs more discussion before being considered in its final form.