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.

Nita Day, of the La Casitas Homeowners Association, wrote the appeal with input from Rene’ Horvath from Taylor Ranch and Pat Gallagher of La Luz. It will be heard by the Planning Department at its meeting February 12.

The appeal lists issues with placement of equipment on rooftops that blocks the view. It says that measurements were submitted only after construction had begun, and notes that the only facilitated meeting – to discuss issues related to a proposed drive-through – made no mention of possible view variations.

The issues have been known for a time, but were not addressed, Rene’ said. “We alerted the Planning Department to the problem early on, but no action was taken. We showed them the  Notice of Decision from the City Council in a 2005 Appeal case that states that the Coors Corridor Plan view regulations were to be honored.”

The  decision notice  says, in part, that, “In no event will the building height be permitted to penetrate above the view of the ridge line of the Sandia Mountains as seen from four feet above the east edge of the roadway.” It further states that, “Not more than 50% of the view area shall be obscured by the bulk of the building(s) placed on the parcel.”

Despite these specific requirements, Rene’ said, the Department took no action. “This type of treatment could continue and set precedence with more loss of views. Therefore, there was no option but to appeal.”

Preparing the appeal, she added, “took several weeks to gather and evaluate all the information to include into the submittal, and Nita did a lot of work writing it up.” An anonymous donor from La Luz provided the required $100 submission fee.