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About the ONC

Information about the Office of Neighborhood Coordination.

A view of the Albuquerque downtown area taken during twilight.The Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) was first established in 1985 within the City’s Department of Human Services, initially with only two staff members. Over the next couple of years, a Task Force consisting of neighborhood representatives, city staff, and citizens at large worked on legislation to create the “Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance,” which was adopted by the City Council on March 16th, 1987 by an 8-1 vote.

Between 1987 and 2017, the ONC was moved under several City Departments, including the Office of Neighborhood Services, the Family and Community Services Department, the Planning Department as part of one-stop-shop to better assist citizens in obtaining various applications, licenses, and permits in one building and department, and finally in 2017, the ONC was moved under the City Council. The Council determined that ONC would better be able to serve the citizens and neighborhood groups within the city by being able to offer a wider variety of services. Additionally, City Council Services enabled the ONC to reach a broader audience and expand staffing resources to offer additional communication, training, and outreach.

Also in 2017, City Councilors expressed an intent to address the weaknesses and shortcomings in the existing NARO, which had been minimally updated over the past 30 years. The first draft of the revised NARO legislation was sent to all neighborhood associations in January 2021. Extensive feedback from neighborhood associations and coalitions was received, and the draft legislation was subsequently revised to incorporate much of this community feedback. The revised draft NARO legislation was introduced at the City Council meeting on Monday, August 2, 2021, was amended at LUPZ and at Full Council, but was voted down at the September 20, 2021 City Council meeting.  A revised bill that incorporated all of the amendments of the previous bill was introduced at the March 21, 2022 City Council meeting, was approved on a 5-4 vote at the April 18, 2022 City Council meeting, was subsequently vetoed by the Mayor, and the Mayoral veto was overturned on a 6-3 vote on May 16, 2022. The updated NARO was enacted and went into effect on Friday, May 27, 2022.

In addition to helping create neighborhood associations, maintaining neighborhood association contact information and responding to neighborhood public notification requests from permit applicants, developers and the general public, the ONC provides a wealth of services and resources both to neighborhood associations and neighborhood coalitions, but also to the general public.

The first known neighborhood association in Albuquerque was the Stronghurst Improvement Association which, in 1991, listed itself as being in existence for 60 years, demonstrating that neighborhood associations have been alive and well in our city for almost 100 years. Even before the actual conception of the ONC, neighborhood associations in Albuquerque were on the move, working hard to make their areas safer, cleaner, and more pleasant. Over the years, the number of neighborhood associations and coalitions that the ONC serves has grown significantly to nearly 200 groups, representing all four quadrants and nine council districts citywide. The neighborhood associations are a cross-section of individuals who have one goal and purpose: to make their neighborhoods safer, cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing, economically growing, and overall better places to live, work, and play.