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District 2 Newsletter 2/13/2015

Hello Neighbors,

  • Homeless Camp: I have issued a press release regarding the homeless camp (attached).
  • Note:  City offices will be closed next Monday, February 16 for President’s Day.  The Council meeting next week will be held on Wednesday, February 18.

Legislation of Interest

  • Bosque Construction R-15-169: On Tuesday, the Administration commenced construction of a gravel trail in the Bosque on the east side of the Rio Grande between Central Avenue and I-40.  This occurred after two years of discussions with stakeholders and public meetings in which commitments were made to the completion of an environmental report prior to selection of final options for Bosque improvements.  I believe that it shows a lack of faith and a disruption of a process that had repeatedly been promised to those involved in the discussion of the Mayor’s plans.  Those citizens were in the process of finalizing an approach to proceeding with some construction. Now they feel betrayed, and I don’t blame them.  I am therefore introducing a bill FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION at the Council meeting next Wednesday, February 18 calling on the Administration to cease construction and reinstate the public process.  The bill also moves funding for the trail project to the Open Space Land Acquisition Fund.
  • PNM San Juan Agreement M-15-9: With the withdraw of additional supporters of PNM’s Stipulated Agreement for coal generated power at the San Juan generating station, I am introducing legislation once again calling upon the City’s PRC lobbyist to withdraw the City’s support for the Stipulated Agreement.  My intention is that the replacement power not include nuclear power, minimize the use of fossil fuels, and maximize the use of renewables.
  • The updated Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) R-14-99 (Benton, by request)  was discussed, amended and deferred to the City Council meeting on Wednesday, February 18 at 5:00 pm in the Vincent Griego Chambers in the basement of City Hall.  The amendments passed at the February 2 meeting are available on the NTMP web page.
  • Downtown Walkability R-15-152 (Benton) adopting recommendations of Jeff Speck’s September 2014 Downtown Walkability Analysis as a City policy for prioritizing multi-modal improvements in the downtown area was moved out of the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee (LUPZ) with a recommendation of “Do Pass.”  This bill will be on the agenda at the March 2, 2015 City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 5:00 PM and is in the Vincent E. Griego Chambers, basement of City Hall.
  • Bikeways and Trails Plan R-14-142 (Benton, by request) was moved out of LUPZ with a recommendation of “Do Pass” and will be on the agenda at the March 2, 2015 City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 5:00 PM and is in the Vincent E. Griego Chambers, basement of City Hall.
  • Secondary Dwelling Units O-14-20 (Benton) is scheduled for a second hearing at LUPZ on Wednesday, March 11 at 5:00 pm in the Council Committee Room, 9th floor of City Hall.  O-14-20 amends the Zoning Code to add a definition and regulations for secondary dwelling units.  The proposed amendment would make secondary dwelling units a conditional use in the R-1 and RO-1 zones and a permissive use in the R-G and R-2 zones.  It also establishes design, size, parking, and occupancy regulations for secondary dwelling units.

State Legislative Update

  • Sen. Jacob Candelaria has introduced a bill in the State Legislature that could enable more effective enforcement of issues like inoperative vehicles, accumulation of trash, weeds and other property maintenance problems in the City. Senate Bill 382 would add the option of civil enforcement and civil penalties to the Zoning Code. Currently, statutory requirements only allow penalties for repeat offenders to be imposed through the Metropolitan and District criminal court systems, a process that is time consuming, expensive for taxpayers and often leaves neighborhoods feeling as though their concerns are being ignored. SB 382 would allow municipalities the ability to impose fines and other civil penalties after other attempts to gain compliance have been exhausted, rather than send such cases through lengthy criminal proceedings.  I strongly support this bill and urge you to contact your legislators.  Find your legislators online.
  • Capital Outlay Funding – At the request of the respective neighborhoods, I have submitted the following capital project requests, which include City matching funds, to our senators and representatives:
      • North 4th Street Improvements and Alameda Drain Multi-Use Trail
      • Coronado Dog Park Improvements
      • Kirtland Dog Park
      • Rio Grande Boulevard Complete Street Plan (Central to I-40)
      • Santa Barbara (San Ignacio) Park Renovation

Project Updates

Upcoming Events & Meetings

Community Announcements


Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2

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