Created in 1994 to encourage communication between the applicants proposing land use projects and residents that would be impacted by proposed projects. The Facilitation process provides an opportunity for residents and applicants to exchange information, ask questions, and discuss concerns about proposed projects. Residents and applicants have expressed increased satisfaction with the land use process.
What is Facilitation?
Facilitation is a collaborative voluntary process used to help parties discuss issues, identify and achieve goals and complete tasks in a mutually-satisfactory manner. This process uses a facilitator, who focuses on the processes and assists and guides the participants in procedures of dispute resolution and decision-making. The facilitator is impartial to the issues being discussed, has no advisory role on the content of the meeting, and no interest in the outcome of the meeting.
Types of Cases Referred to the Land Use Program
In general, any application in which residents may have questions or concerns about the proposed project or the applicant feels that a facilitated meeting may be beneficial. Experience has shown that these cases fall into three general areas:
- Infill Projects – projects that affect the following:
- The population density of an area (Including apartment buildings);
- Resulting in a concern about overcrowding of local schools; and
- An increase in traffic that leads to road modifications such as road expansion or addition of lights.
- Projects offering services that differ from traditional services or uses in the area such as the following:
- Businesses seeking liquor licenses;
- Adult services; or
- Assisted living programs.
- Projects that affect major infrastructure systems:
General Process of the Land Use Facilitation Program
Step 1: Referral
The project is referred to the ADR Office by various means:
- The Office of Neighborhood Coordination;
- A division of the Planning Department; or
- An applicant, or a citizen expressing interest in a facilitated meeting.
Step 2: Facilitator Assignment
The ADR Office contacts the Facilitator Manager to assign a facilitator.
- The Facilitator Manager is a neutral contracted with the City of Albuquerque and is not a City Employee.
Step 3: Initiation of Process
- The Facilitator calls the Applicant and Neighborhood Associations to determine interest in a meeting;
- If there is no interest, the Facilitator generates a “No Facilitated Meeting Held” Report;
- If there is interest the Facilitator schedules the time, date, and location of the meeting.
Step 4: Facilitated Meeting
- Applicant presents proposed project;
- Interactive discussion follows applicant presentation;
- Facilitator records comments, questions, concerns, and areas of agreement.
Step 5: Report Generation and Distribution
- Facilitator generates a neutral compilation of the facts presented at the meeting;
- Report is distributed to the appropriate Planning Division, the ADR Office, the Office of Neighborhood Coordination, meeting participants, and the official neighborhood contacts provided by the office of neighborhood coordination.