City Council “Accept or Reject” Hearing for LUHO Decision – Monday, March 21 – 5:00 p.m.

The neighborhood appeal of the Dec. 3 DRB hearing for the Alameda/Barstow project is on the agenda of the Monday, March 21, 2022 City Council meeting, which starts at 5:00 pm.

From the hearing notice: The City Council will be voting to either “Accept” or “Reject” the Land Use Hearing Officer’s recommended Decision, therefore, public testimony is not taken at this time. Should the City Council reject the Land Use Hearing Officer’s recommended Decision, the appeal will then be scheduled for a full hearing before the City Council at a date no earlier than the next regular meeting of the full Council.

Link for full hearing notice: https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Notice-of-Hearing-AC-22-1.pdf

Link for more information about the City Council meeting: https://cabq.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=20551&GUID=C5D673BA-DBC2-45D1-AC03-8A6E3CE2B987

LUHO Decision Issued

In his decision following the Feb. 24 appeal hearing, the Land Use Hearing Officer made a recommendation to City Council that the case be remanded back to the DRB for a re-hearing to correct issues or that City Council consider appointing an independent hearing officer for the case.

The decision by City Council to “Accept or Reject” the LUHO’s recommendation is expected to be on the agenda for the March 21 City Council meeting.

The full LUHO decision is available at the following link: https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/AC-22-1-LUHO-Recommedation-to-City-Council-March-3-2022.pdf

Appeal Filed

An appeal of the Dec 3. DRB legal remand hearing decision has been filed on behalf of appellant group comprised of ~67 neighbors, 4 neighborhood associations and 1 church. This appeal is the first step of the administrative process defined by City. The appeal will be heard by Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO).

DRB Approves Site-Plan for 3-Story, 93-Unit Apartment Complex at Alameda and Barstow

The court-ordered remand hearing for application PR-2019-002496 site plan approval was held by a specially constituted Development Review Board (DRB) on December 3, 2021 by Zoom call.

A summary of the hearing ran in this story on Channel 13. https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/neighbors-continue-to-fight-apartment-complex-in-northeast-albuquerque/

Though speakers were sworn-in, cross-examination was allowed and a City attorney was a participant in the meeting, the DRB acted solely as a technical review body and approved the site plan application technical specifications. The DRB members indicated little to no awareness of the details of the judge’s order or neighborhood concerns.

In advance of the hearing, neighborhood concerns were strongly represented. Over 40 documents were submitted by objecting neighbors, neighborhood associations and a nearby church. A 19-page legal letter with over 100 pages of supporting exhibits was submitted in mid-November by the attorney representing the neighborhood, Hess Yntema. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Neighborhood-Legal-Letter-to-DRB-11-18-2021.pdf.

During the hearing, neighborhood objections and detailed points of issue were also carefully explained by concerned neighbors in the public comment period and by Mr. Yntema.

It was learned in the hearing that the previously designated chair had been replaced, that DRB had made determinations in advance, and that the DRB had provided their comments for the meeting to the developer’s team the night before the meeting. The DRB held to the position that neighborhood edge protections do not apply to adjacent homes zoned R1-B by essentially granting the developer vested rights as of date of application submission, June 17, 2019, despite legal precedent in the state of NM that vested rights do not apply upon application submission. The need for a traffic study was rejected based upon technical manual reference points.

A sustained legal effort will now be required to protect the neighborhood.

If you would like to help prevent the destruction of the neighborhood around Alameda and Barstow, please support this effort by donating to the legal fund. https://alamedabarstow.info/home/donate/

December 3 Remand Hearing Notice Letter and Site Plan Drawings

The following notice letter was sent out by the developers agent. The letter includes notice of the hearing, information about the Dec. 3 Zoom call and the site plan drawings. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Dec-3-DRB-Hearing-Notice-Letter_with-Alameda-Barstow-Apartment-Site-Plan.pdf

The following page with a color rendering and height comparison was not included in the notice letter: https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Alameda-Barstow-Site-Plan-Drawing-Color-Rendering-with-Height-Comparison.pdf

REMAND HEARING SET FOR DECEMBER 3 at 9:00 AM

The City is planning to hold a special Development Review Board (DRB) remand hearing for the proposed Alameda/Barstow apartment complex in accordance with the order from the District Court judge.  The purpose of the meeting to give a new “first hearing” of the site plan application following quasi-judicial procedure.  

Details are below:

The DRB remand hearing on this application will be heard on Friday, December 3, 2021 at 9:00 a.m by Zoom call.

The City will not require the pre-application meetings identified in 2018 IDO, Table 6-1-1. 

The DRB alternate members who will hear this case are:

1.    Mikaela Renz-Whitmore, Planning Manager

2.    Curtis Cherne, Principal Engineer

3.    Matt Grush, Senior Engineer

4.    Laurie Firor, Planning and Design Division Manager, Parks and Recreation

5.    Blaine Carter, ABCWUA

6.    Code Enforcement member TBD

Comments on this matter should be addressed to the special DRB convened for this case at least a few days in advance of the hearing.

Email subject line:  (Your last name) – DRB input for PR #2019-002496 – (submission date)

Send your email to:

mrenz@cabq.gov   (Mikaela Renz-Whitmore, DRB Chair for this hearing)

agomez@cabq.gov  (Angela Gomez, DRB Hearing Manager)

cc:  hess@yntema-law.com  (Attorney representing the neighborhood)

Remember to include your street address with your signature.