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Sponsored Legislation

Sponsored Legislation for District 2.

Councilor Benton has a proven record of working with others to get important legislation adopted. He has researched, developed, and carried new initiatives and reforms of existing policies and ordinances, and has worked in partnership with every other member of the Council to see resolutions and ordinances through the legislative process, including in these areas:

Planning and Zoning

Integrated Development Ordinance

O-17-49 (Jones, Benton) – This Ordinance adopted the Integrated Development Ordinance, updating and modernizing the City’s Zoning Code, simplifying the development process, and making it easier for property owners, developers, and neighbors to understand.  The consolidation of many layers of regulation also make the IDO more enforceable.  Importantly, and unlike the previous outdated zoning system, the IDO (as does our Comprehensive Plan) has strong provisions for ongoing public discussion and improvement processes.

Comprehensive Plan Update

R-16-109  (Jones, Benton) – Updated long-standing regional growth policy by amending the Comprehensive Plan.

Bikeshare Program

R-15-191  - This resolution designated funds for sponsorship of the downtown bikeshare project, which was implemented in cooperation with the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG).  The program was subsequently expanded to other parts of the city.

Creation of Integrated Development Ordinance & Zoning Code Update

R-14-46 (Jones, Benton) - Directed the Planning Department and Council Services to engage with a consultant team to update the Zoning Code and other ordinances and policies regulating land use and transportation in the city to reflect best planning practices. The goal is to modernize and consolidate the many layers of regulations guiding development into a Integrated Development Ordinance.  This effort is intended to simplify the development process, making it easier to understand for property owners, developers, and neighbors, as well as making it more enforceable.  Many U.S. cities have recently completed similar overhauls of land use and transportation regulatory systems. This effort aims to help keep Albuquerque competitive by supporting economic development and attracting and keeping young people, employers, and retirees, among others.

Rail Yards Master Development Plan

R-14-23 - Adopted a Rail Yards Master Development Plan and Site Plan For Subdivision to provide the appropriate policy framework and regulations to guide the redevelopment of the City-owned Rail Yards site. The plan was developed through a public process in 2012-2013 after the selection of a Master Developer.

Regulating “Payday” and Short-Term Loan Businesses

O-14-22 - Amended the Zoning Code to regulate small loan businesses and restrict locations.

Partnership with APS

R-13-237 - Declared the City Of Albuquerque’s commitment to develop a cooperative partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools for the purpose of cooperative transportation planning for the benefit of the citizens of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area.  It established a Task Force with representatives of APS and the City to address the impact of school-related traffic impacts, such as those related to student drop-off and pick-up, on neighborhood streets.

Gas Station Regulations

O-11-66 (Benton, Jones) - This Ordinance created new regulations on the development of gas stations in the C-1 zone to reduce the negative impacts, including traffic congestion, on residential neighborhoods that are adjacent to a gas station.  It contains site layout and access requirements. It also makes stations with more than 8 fueling stations a conditional, rather than permissive, use for C-1 Neighborhood Commercial zoned properties, which requires neighborhood notification and a public hearing for approval.  These regulations were expanded in the Integrated Development Ordinance to apply to gas stations in all zones.

Electronic Sign Regulations

O-11-69 - This Ordinance created new regulations for electronic commercial signs, including restrictions on brightness, motion, and location. Previously, there were no regulations in the zoning code for such signs.

Form-Based Zones

O-08-58 - Councilor Benton led a two-year effort to have new “mixed-use/transit-oriented” zones added to the City’s Zoning Code. The process included a citywide Town Hall meeting, 9 community meetings (one in each Council district), 4 hearings before the Environmental Planning Commission, one hearing at the Council’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee, and one hearing before the full Council. We worked with different stakeholder groups to improve and revise legislation.

Front-Yard Parking

O-07-61 (Benton, Mayer) - This Ordinance limits the percentage of a residential front yard that can be paved and used for parking

Barelas Sector Development Plan

R-07-327 - This Resolution updated the sector plan for the Barelas Community to increase safety and promote economic development while maintaining the culture, and preserving the historical significance and sense of community in the Barelas area.

Sustainability, the Environment, and Open Space

2018 International Energy Conservation Code

R-18-18 (Benton, Davis) – This resolution established and directed the first steps toward adopting the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for the City.  Councilor Benton was previously was the sponsor of the very advanced and easy to use Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code, along with now-US Senator Martin Heinrich.  The AECC was unfortunately repealed in 2010 after a change of Administration and Council, at which time the City reverted to the now-outdated 2009 IECC.  The intention is that the much more up-to-date 2018 code will help Albuquerque once again be a leader in energy efficiency for the benefit of all building owners, businesses, residents and other occupants. 

Land and Water Conservation Fund

M-18-2 (Davis, Benton) - This memorial urged Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Bee City USA

R-16-77 (Benton, Winter) - This resolution designated Albuquerque a Bee City USA city and committed to the standards of that designation.

25% Solar by 2025

R-16-36 (Davis, Benton) required that the Energy Conservation Council (ECC) recommend a new solar energy standard for the City of Albuquerque, establishing a goal of getting 25% or more of the City’s energy from solar by 2025.  The City is one of New Mexico's largest energy consumers and should be a leader energy efficiency and environmentally responsibility.  The sponsors worked with members of the energy industry to identify ways of achieving the goal of 25% solar by 2025.

Bosque Construction

R-15-171 This resolution established procedures for expending funds and implementing future projects in the Bosque. 

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, Councilor Benton introduced legislation calling upon the City’s PRC lobbyist to withdraw the City’s support for the Stipulated Agreement.  The bill specified that the replacement power not include nuclear power, minimize the use of fossil fuels, and maximize the use of renewables. 

Renewable Energy

R-14-59 (Benton, Gibson) - Related to PNM’s plan to replace 836 megawatts at the San Juan Generating Station, this resolution directed the Mayor to work to require that PNM’s replacement power plan include as much renewable energy as is technically and economically feasible, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions associated with its utility service, and consider the total environmental, health and societal costs of coal produced energy.

Water Rights for Los Poblanos Fields Open Space

R-14-21 - Appropriated $66,000 for the acquisition of water rights for the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space.  This City-owned Open Space provides recreational and educational opportunities, including community farming, bird-watching, walking and prescription trails and running courses.  The previous agreement for leasing water rights had expired; this legislation provided funding to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire water rights.

Labeling of Genetically Engineered Products

M-14-3 (Benton, Gibson) - Expressed support for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered products to inform consumers about the content of food products.

Animal Trapping Ban

M-11-5 (Benton, Jones) - This memorial supported a ban of animal trapping through the use of steel-jaw leghold traps, strangulation snares, kill-type animal traps on New Mexico public lands.

Adoption of Uniform Administrative Code and Technical Code for Construction Projects

O-07-105 (Benton, Cadigan, Heinrich)  - These Ordinances established green building and design standards to promote healthier living and greater environmental responsibility. These standards were designed with a high degree of cost effectiveness and implement part of the International Energy Conservation Code into Albuquerque’s building codes.

Tree removal moratorium

R-07-267 - This Resolution prohibits removal of trees from city properties without consulting the City Forester.

Open Space Land Acquisition

R-07-260 (Benton, Heinrich) - This Resolution provided $500,000 for the purchase of 420 acres of land adjacent to open space land in Gutierrez Canyon to expand the open space area.

Investment in Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy

O-06-34 - This Ordinance allocated 3% of the general capital improvement program fund to be used specifically on an ongoing basis to invest in energy conservation and renewable energy.

Public Safety, Behavioral Health, and Homelessness

Amending the Police Oversight Board Ordinance

O-18-23 (Benton, Winter) is a relatively minor update of the existing Police Oversight Ordinance. The sponsors had discussions with advocacy organizations, the police union, and community members during the legislative process.

No Parking in Bike Lanes

O-18-14 – This amendment to the Traffic Code specifically prohibits parking in bike lanes.  Under the previous ordinance, this issue was vague and was not consistently enforced.  Bicycle lanes are travel lanes, and it can potentially increase conflicts for cyclists using a lane to have to weave in and out of motor vehicle traffic to avoid cars parked in a bicycle lane.

Fire Station 4 Rescue Unit

R-16-130 – Appropriated funds to the Fire Department to establish a Rescue Unit at Fire Station 4.

Social Services

R-14-135 (Winter and Benton) - This resolution designated funding for homeless and behavioral health services based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Albuquerque Mental Health Gaps Study.  The bill designated $500,000 for a collaborative effort with  the County of Bernalillo to improve services for persons who are being released from the Metropolitan Detention Center and are homeless and experiencing mental health issues.  The bill also authorized the City’s Department of Family & Community Services to issue a Request for Proposals for a contract up to $625,000 to provide a crisis stabilization center, intensive case management and supportive housing services.

Principles Of Law Enforcement 

R-14-105 – This resolution identified important principles of law enforcement for the City of Albuquerque. 

Study To Assess The Gaps In The City, County And State's Funding For Certain Social Service Programs

R-14-55 (Peña, Sanchez, Benton)  - This resolution commissioned a study to assess the gaps in the City’s funding for inpatient and outpatient mental health services, services related to homelessness, the developmentally disabled, substance abuse and at-risk populations.

Suspension of Police Oversight Commission Pending New System

O-14-15 (Benton, Sanchez) - Immediately suspended the operation of the Police Oversight Commission (POC) pending the establishment of a new oversight system.  The existing POC had been proven an ineffective oversight entity, and at the time of this legislation only two of the nine positions were filled.

Heading Home Program

R-14-89 (Benton, Peña, Winter) - Designated funds for the continuation of the Heading Home program.  Heading Home had provided housing and case management services to medically vulnerable homeless people for the previous three years and has proven to be an effective and successful program.

Task Force on Behavioral Health

M-14-5 (Winter, Benton) - Called for the City, State, and Bernalillo County to form a task force to discuss joint funding and collaboration opportunities and propose recommendations to address homelessness, substance abuse and mental health issues.  A bipartisan group of elected officials from each of the three governmental entities established a Work Group and a Task Force, which includes members from many service provider agencies and organizations, the courts, public employees, and affected individuals from the community.  A full recommendation is expected in October.

Housing Assistance Program

R-14-73 (Benton, Winter) – This resolution supported a project with Bernalillo County for the purpose of implementing a housing assistance program for persons with mental illness being released from the Metropolitan Detention Center.  The City would work with the County to fund a process to address recidivism and provide supportive housing for repeat offenders among the homeless population.

Funding the Housing Assistance Program

R-14-135 (Benton, Winter) appropriated $500,00 for Bernalillo County’s housing assistance program.

Rescue Units at Fire Stations 2 and 4

R-13-213 - Appropriated funding to the Fire Department to establish a Rescue Unit at Fire Station 2.  Councilor Benton worked for years to secure funding the new Fire Station 2 on Gibson at University in order to accommodate a Rescue Unit because there was not room at the old facility. R-13-213 designated funding for the rescue vehicle and operating costs, including staffing.

APD Salary Increase

R-13-212 (Lewis, Benton, Harris) - Reserved funding to provide for salary increases and recruitment and retention incentive programs for Albuquerque’s police officers.

Background Checks at Gun Shows

R-13-155 - This resolution supported House Bill 77, legislation requiring a background check for a firearm transfer at a gun show.

Fire Station 2 Relocation

R-08-93, R-10-30, and R-11-283 – Appropriated funding to the Fire Department to relocated Fire Station 2.

Engine Revving as Violation

O-09-80 - This Ordinance was created to abate the excessive noise intentionally created by drivers of automobiles and motorcycles, as the excessive noise constituted a public nuisance and detriment of quality of life.

Ban Hand-Held Cellular Phone Use While Driving

O-06-57 (Benton, Sanchez) - This Ordinance established a ban on using a non-hands free cellular device while driving; this was done in response to the rising number of traffic accidents caused by using cellular devices while driving.

Economic Development and Promotion of Albuquerque as a "Destination"

Approving and Appropriating Funding for a Supportive Housing Project

R-18-159, – Approved and appropriated funding for To acquire property, plan, design and construct a single-site supportive housing project for persons who are suffering from behavioral health issues and in need of housing.  The project will house 42 of the most vulnerable people on the street; it costs the City and taxpayers less to house these individuals than it does to leave them on the streets. The project will serve a targeted population of the most vulnerable and difficult to house individuals. “Single-site supportive housing” provides on-site support services for the individuals housed there.

Southwest Chief

R-18-54 and R-13-153 - These resolutions supported the continuation of the current route of Amtrak's Southwest Chief through northern New Mexico, called upon the metro region’s state legislative delegation, the Governor, and the New Mexico Congressional delegation to support the continued operation of the Southwest Chief on its present route alignment.  R-18-54 further supporting federal funding in for maintenance and safety improvements along the route.

Funding for the Redevelopment of the El Vado Motel and Casa Grande Site

R-16-128 – Appropriated additional funding for the Metropolitan Redevelopment project at the El Vado Motel and Casa Grande site. 

Designation of the North Corridor Metropolitan Redevelopment Area

R-16-49 – Designated the North Corridor Metropolitan Redevelopment Area.  The area includes properties that are not residentially zoned for single family use within the area roughly bounded by: Granite Avenue on the south, the railroad tracks on the east, typically one property deep on the west side of 4th Street, and the commercial properties that line Montaño Road. There are additional commercial properties included at the intersections of major roads with 4th Street and along 4th Street to the northern City limits. The public right-of-way in this area is also included.

Amending the Noise Ordinance 

O-16-24 - This was an update to the Noise Ordinance, requiring that noise measurements include C-wieghted/low-frequency dB limits, which under the old ordinance were not measured.  The update also clarified which dB limits apply to mixed-use buildings in the Downtown Entertainment District.

Brewery and Winery Liquor Licenses

O-15-41 – This legislation amended the Liquor Ordinance to allow breweries and wineries to apply for waivers of distance requirement, as was already allowed for restaurants.

Food Trucks

O-15-36 and O-16-33 – These pieces of legislation amended the Zoning Code to allow food trucks on private property, and amended the Parking Code to regulate mobile food vendors operating in public rights-of-way.

Non-Bank Lending Institutions

R-14-102 (Benton, Gibson, Peña, and Garduño) - Supported interest and fee caps on non-bank lending institutions in New Mexico.

Workforce Housing Trust Funds for Property Acquisition

R-13-266 - Redesignated Workforce Housing Trust Funds to acquire property on North Fourth Street for redevelopment. It also authorized the City to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the County Of Bernalillo, calling for a joint planning collaboration between the City and the County for a mixed-used development at the site.

No Tolerance for Gender Pay Inequality

R-13-245 - Established a City policy of No Tolerance for Gender Pay Inequality and directed the Administration to identify all areas of pay inequality based on gender occurring in City of Albuquerque government and to prepare a report to the City Council on the City’s action plan for correcting and preventing such inequality.  It also directed the Administration to implement a policy for requiring contractors and vendors doing business with the City to demonstrate their compliance with the Federal Equal Pay Act.

Affordable Housing

R-13-9 - Designated Workforce Housing Trust Funds and Home Investment Partnerships Funds for affordable housing development projects and directed the Mayor to execute two affordable housing development agreements. The downtown grocery store/mixed use project at 2nd & Silver and Quatro, an affordable senior housing project, were authorized by this legislation.

Approving the Historic Central Metropolitan Redevelopment Area Plan

R-13-183 – This resolution adopted the Historical Central Metropolitan Redevelopment Area Plan.  The plan is a holistic approach to rehabilitate, preserve historic structures, and improve the economic viability of the Historic Central Corridor, including redevelopment of the El Vado Motel and Casa Grande sites.

Designation of El Vado Motel as City of Albuquerque Landmark

O-06-1 and O-07-1 - These Ordinances called upon the City to officially recognize the El Vado Motel as an Albuquerque Landmark for its historical significance in the motel’s architecture and association with automobile tourism on U.S. Highway 66.  The City purchased the property for preservation.

Designation of Appropriate Uses of the Rail Yards Property

R-08-47 - This Resolution designated appropriate uses of the rail yards property that the city had acquired to ensure that the historic significance of the rail yards was maintained and that the residents of the Barelas and South Broadway neighborhoods had a voice in the redevelopment of the rail yards.

Acquisition and Development of the Historic Rail Yards

R-07-202, R-07-274, and R-07-332 - These resolutions appropriated funding for the purchase of the Historic BNSF Locomotive Shops in Barelas (Rail Yards).

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

O-06-8  - This Ordinance created a trust fund for purchasing land and issuing home loans for affordable workforce housing projects and also established City policy with respect to affordable housing opportunities, incentives, planning, funding, and development.

Transportation Mobility and Public Infrastructure

Rio Grande Complete Street Plan

R-18-52 - This resolution adopted the Rio Grande Complete Street Plan, which recommended Complete Street improvements to Rio Grande Boulevard from I-40 to Central. 

Downtown Walkability Study

R-18-40 – Reaffirming the Downtown Walkability Analysis as City policy and updating the priorities list.

R-15-152 - Adopting Jeff Speck’s Downtown Walkability Analysis as a City policy for prioritizing multi-modal improvements in the downtown area. 

Evaluating Storm Drainage Projects in the Downtown Area

R-17-204 – Directed the Department of Municipal Development to provide a detailed report to City Council that identifies and explains the use of drainage capital funds to implement specific recommendations of the South Broadway Plan and the Mid Valley Drainage Management Plan that were being diverted to projects  in the Downtown area.  These funds could be used to implement these recommendations, including to fully implement the Marble/Arno Project including replacement of obsolete pumping equipment.  The legislation also prohibited use of these funds for another downtown project until the Council reviewed and approved the report.

Alameda Drain Trail

R-16-110 – This legislation adopted the Alameda Drain & Trail Master Plan, which guides the design and development of the multi-use trail along the Alameda Drain from I-40 north to the Sandia Pueblo boundary.  The plan was a joint effort of the City, Bernalillo County, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD), and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control (AMAFCA).

Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (NTMP)

R-14-99 – This resolution adopted The Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (NTMP), which is used by the Traffic Engineering Division of the Department of Municipal Development to help address speeding, cut-through traffic, and other issues on residential streets.

Bikeways and Trails Facilities Plan

R-14-142 – This resolution adopted the Bikeways and Trails Facilities Plan.  The Plan evaluates the existing and proposed facilities and provides a list of future projects. The overarching purpose is to ensure a well-connected and enjoyable non-motorized transportation and recreation system throughout the metropolitan area.

Complete Streets

O-14-27 - The Complete Streets Ordinance ensures that streets are designed and built to efficiently serve all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists, by adopting best practice standards for streets that serve motorized and non-motorized travel.

Roundabout at Rio Grande and Candelaria

R-14-60 – This resolution reaffirmed the policy of the City Of Albuquerque that the construction of a roundabout at Rio Grande and Candelaria is a City project and amended the budget to reflect the increase in federal funds awarded for the project.

Transportation Infrastructure Improvements Tax

O-09-75 (Benton, Sanchez) - This Ordinance raised funds to be allocated for road rehabilitation, road maintenance, and public transit systems.

Pre-2010 District 3 Storm Drainage Prioritization

R-06-123 - This Resolution called attention to the deficiencies within Albuquerque’s storm drainage infrastructure after flooding in 2006. It paved the way for subsequent appropriations for storm drainage infrastructure improvements and resulted in storm drainage retention ponds being built in Barelas (Tingley Park with brand new park constructed as well) and Santa Barbara Marinteztown (Lomas & Broadway pond) to prevent future devastating floods.

Transparency and Accountability

Open and Transparent Election Financing

R-13-179 (Benton, Garduño, Sanchez) - Directed the City Clerk to provide searchable financial reports and a link to each candidate’s and Measure Finance Committee’s financial reports on the City’s Website in order to establish a means for open and transparent election financing for municipal elections.

Cultural

Cruising Task Force

R-17-250 (Peña, Benton) – This resolution created a Cruising Task Force to explore options and make recommendations to promote responsible cruising in Albuquerque.

Downtown Arts & Cultural District 

R-16-10  - This resolution adopted the Downtown Arts & Cultural Plan and established the boundaries of the Downtown Arts & Cultural District.  The plan provides a vision for cultivating the growth of arts, cultural and creative activity in downtown Albuquerque, includes an implementation guide, establishes priorities, and recommends capital projects.