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/

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