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District 2 Newsletter January 29, 2016

Hello Neighbors,

Legislation of Interest

  • Secondary Dwelling Units O-14-20 will be on the agenda for Monday’s meeting, February 1.  At its November hearing the EPC voted to send the legislation back to City Council, with a recommendation that the Council consider adding back a conditional use to the R-1 zone.  I do not believe that there is Council support for this recommendation.  However, as sponsor of the legislation, I do remain strongly supportive of the bill as it is presently written.  At the January 13 LUPZ meeting, the committee sent the bill to full Council without recommendation. 
  • Open Space Acquisition R-16-12: Over the past year, the Council has been taking a strong look at our Open Space system including its oversight and use of available resources.  This bill is part of that effort, which also includes a state legislative capital request.  Please encourage your representative and senator to support Open Space purchases to protect the Petroglyph National Monument.  Read the Albuquerque Journal article and editorial on R-16-12.  The first hearing for this legislation is at the LUPZ committee on Wednesday, February 10.
  • Downtown Arts & Cultural District R-16-10 will have a hearing at the February 10 LUPZ meeting.  This legislation adopts a Downtown Arts & Cultural District Plan and boundary. The purpose of adopting the plan and boundary is to identify areas of improvement and cultural opportunities within the downtown area. With a formal boundary adopted, funding for improvements downtown will be more accessible.  This plan is a potential great addition to downtown, which I support.

Upcoming Events and Meetings

  • Albuquerque Bernalillo County Government Commission (ABCGC) will meet Thursday, February 4 at 5:00 pm in the Vincent Griego Chambers, basement level of City Hall (1 Civic Plaza NW).  The agenda includes an ongoing discussion of behavioral health services and the use of the County’s new tax and the City’s existing resources.  As a member of the commission, I’m encouraged by the collaborative effort between City and County to help establish a coordinated and comprehensive system of behavioral health care and supportive housing. 
  • Cultural Services Events
  • Chatter Pay What You Wish Concert:  February 14, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm 
  • Free Downtown Walking Tours: Every Saturday from 10 – 11:30 am. Tour begins at 1st & Central SW in front of the movie theater and walks to 8th & Central.

Community Announcements

  • Bosque Trail:  The City recently hosted a public meeting of over 150 people in which only 3 individuals spoke in favor of extending the developed trail.  I will continue to monitor proposals for new work in the Bosque and I encourage you to do the same and to participate in public meetings about the project.

Project Updates

  • Projects List
  • Rio Grande & Candelaria Roundabout:  This project continues to move forward.  However, as previously reported, the bidding and construction of this project have been postponed due to delays in the federal right-of-way (ROW) process. All local governments are being forced to “federalize” their internal ROW process, which adds another layer of intricacy.  The city can’t move forward with the project until all certifications have been obtained. Meanwhile, per a request from the NMDOT to help them balance over programming of the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), this funding was moved out to Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2018 by the MRCOG, who administers the federal funds. The City’s Department of Municipal Development, who is managing the project for the City, requested to advance construct this project upon completion of the lengthy ROW process.   This will allow the City to construct the project earlier than FFY 2018 and hopefully allow the project to advertise for bids by January 2017.
  • Rio Grande Blvd Complete Street Test Project:  The re-striping of the roadway is expected to proceed as planned within the next few months.

Sincerely,
Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2

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