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City Councilor Cynthia D. Borrego and Council Vice President Diane Gibson Proposing Legislation to Allow City Wide Outdoor Retail

This legislation will be voted on at tonight’s City Council Meeting.

June 15, 2020

City Councilor Cynthia D. Borrego and Council Vice-President Diane Gibson will put to Albuquerque City Council’s vote Ordinance 20-23 today, Monday, June 15, 2020.  Proposed O-20-23 authorizes the City of Albuquerque to generate TORAs or ‘Temporary Outdoor Retail Area’ Permits to allow safe outdoor retail sales in City parking lots while New Mexico State Health COVID-19 health orders are in effect. 

“This bill is an important step for retailers to be able to serve their customers while offering adequate space for distancing” said Councilor Gibson “I believe it will appeal to shoppers who wish to both shop locally and stay safely distanced.”

TORA’s allow retail businesses to expand into on-site, out-door parking lots. As proposed, TORA’s require a scaled site plan, zero fee, and the approval of both the property and retail establishment owners.  Outdoor retail in parking lots would be safely fenced from parking lot traffic.  Shade structures would be allowed in TORA permitted areas. 

“The City of Albuquerque is promoting all available tools to aid our small businesses’ resurgence during these difficult times.” stated Councilor Borrego.

Councilor Borrego and Council Vice-President Gibson believe additional outdoor areas of operation will provide retail establishments’ flexibility and visibility. Retail curb-side pick-up in parking lots will allow more customers to purchase from Albuquerque businesses while maintaining social distancing. Additionally, outdoor retail displays may invite Albuquerque to enjoy safe, outdoor shopping fairs.