Timeline

  • August 2017 – Developer has pre-application meeting with Planning Department. Under Vineyard Sector Plan height limits are 26″ and multi-family dwellings are a conditional use. Application would require Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) review. Lots are intended to be Neighborhood Commercial under the VSP and have a SU-2/C-1 zoning code. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Aug_01_2017_Pre_Application-Review-Meeting.pdf
  • November 2017 – City Council adopts Integrated Development Ordinance for City of Albuquerque to be effective May 2018. Lots at Alameda/Barstow rezoned as MX-L (Mixed-Use, Low Density) MX-L allows 35 ft height and multi-family dwellings are now a permissive use and only a technical review by the Development Review Board (DRB) is required.
  • May 2018 – Phase II IDO Zoning Conversion – As part of the IDO adoption, the City created a plan to allow voluntary zoning conversions to be requested after the IDO becomes effective in May 2018 through May 2019. Owners of 12 properties on Tierra Morena, the street to the south of the empty lots at Alameda and Barstow, participate in the City’s Voluntary Zoning Conversion process for a voluntary downzone to match the existing structures of single-family homes. These applications are processed in 2 batches, “Batch 1” and “Batch 2”. https://abc-zone.com/post-ido-voluntary-zone-conversion-process
  • May 21, 2019 – First Facilitated Meeting with developer. Many issues raised by attendees. Developers agent, Jim Strozier from Consensus Planning, acknowledges awareness of Batch 1 and Batch 2 Voluntary Zone Conversion applications. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Alameda-Barstow-2019.5.21-Facilitated-Meeting-Report.pdf
  • June 17, 2019 – Developer submits application to Development Review Board (DRB). Site Plan: http://noreste.org/email_attachments/Alameda%20Luxury%20Apartments%20-%20Site%20Plan%20-%20DRB%206-14-2019.pdf
  • July 8, 2019 – Second Facilitated Meeting. Issues and concerns of neighbors raised again. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/VENA_PR-2019-002496AlamedaBarstowMeetingSummary2019-07-08.pdf
  • July 2019 – Many letters submitted to Development Review Board by neighbors and Neighborhood Associations, including the following signed by ~60 adjacent property owners: https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/July-2019-Letter_to-DRB-PR-2019-002496-Input-from-Neighborhood.pdf.
  • July 17, 2019 – First DRB hearing on apartment project application PR-2019-002496. Numerous representatives from the neighborhood speak in opposition to the project at the hearing. Project approval deferred to August 14, 2019 DRB Hearing.
  • July 2019 – Neighbors retain respected land use and zoning law attorney and former City Councilor, Hess Yntema, III, for legal representation.
  • Aug. 5, 2019 – City Council approves Batch 1 of Voluntary Zoning Conversions, including two Tierra Morena properties, one of which is directly along south lot line, to be residential zoning R-1B.
  • Aug. 14, 2019 – Second DRB hearing on apartment project application PR-2019-002496. Approval deferred to September 11, 2019 DRB Hearing.
  • Sept. 8, 2019 – Batch 1 Voluntary Zoning Conversions approved in August become law.
  • Sept. 11, 2019 – Third DRB hearing on apartment project application PR-2019-002496. DRB Zoning representative mis-informs DRB members and attendees that Batch 1 Zoning not yet in effect. DRB grants conditional approval to project pending removal of carports from site plan along south side.
  • Sept. 24, 2019 – Appeal of DRB decision filed with the City on behalf of appellant group comprised of ~75 neighbors, 5 neighborhood association and 1 church. Appeal #AC-19-16 is first step of administrative process defined by City. Appeal will be heard by Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO).
  • Oct. 11, 2019 – Planning Department acknowledges that it erred in not considering the Neighborhood Edge provisions intended to protect low density residential development. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Inter-Office-Memo-10112019.pdf
  • Oct. 31, 2019 – LUHO Appeal Hearing for AC-19-16.
  • Nov. 15, 2019 – LUHO Decision issued remanding application back to DRB for re-hearing for due-process issues. Position on applicability of “neighborhood edge” protections is reversed. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/AC-19-16-LUHO-Remand-11-15-19.pdf
  • Nov. 18, 2019 – City Council approves Batch 2 of Voluntary Zoning Conversions, including ten Tierra Morena properties, four of which are directly along south lot line, to be residential zoning R-1B.
  • Dec. 18, 2019 – Batch 2 Voluntary Zoning Conversions approved in November become law.
  • Jan. 8, 2020 – DRB Remand Hearing for application PR-2019-002496/SI-2019-00180 site plan approval. DRB approves application for apartments a second time despite 12 adjacent properties having low-density residential zoning. Developer granted vested rights based solely on having submitted an application before Voluntary Zone Conversion were approved, though this is contradictory to precedent in state law.
  • Jan. 22, 2020 – Appeal of DRB Remand Decision filed with the City on behalf of appellant group comprised of ~75 neighbors, 5 neighborhood association and 1 church. Due to remand hearing, the new appeal #AC-20-2 is repeat of the first step of administrative process defined by the City. Appeal will be again heard by Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO).
  • March 13-15, 2020 – NM state emergency directives begin – closing public schools and restricting public gatherings to prevent spread of Covid-19.
  • April 16, 2020 – LUHO Hearing held for appeal AC-20-2 by Zoom call (rescheduled from in-person meeting planned for March 24, 2020).
  • April 21, 2020 – Notice of Claimed Open Meeting Act Violations provided to the City Council regarding Jan. 8 DRB hearing and April 16 LUHO hearing.
  • April 25, 2020 – LUHO Decision issued affirming DRB approval and denying appeal. As the next step in the administrative process, the LUHO Decision then goes to City Council for a hearing to Accept or Reject the LUHO’s determination. https://alamedabarstow.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/AC-20-2-LUHO-Recommendation-to-City-Council-4-25-2020-2.pdf
  • May 2020 – Attorney, neighbors and Neighborhood Associations write to City Council asking Council to reject the LUHO decision and hear the appeal of the issues, including those specifically relating to OMA violations, neighborhood edges and legal questions regarding the implementation of the IDO.
  • May 18, 2020 – City Council denies appeal (6-2) and accepts the LUHO decision during meeting held via Zoom. http://cabq.granicus.com/player/clip/292?view_id=2 [Agenda item 12.a – Appeal AC-20-2 (discussion starts at 55:27).] Vote tally is:
    • District 1: Lan Sena          Y
    • District 2: Isaac Benton        Y
    • District 5: Cynthia Borrego   Y
    • District 7: Diane G. Gibson   Y
    • District 8: Trudy Jones        Y
    • District 9: Don Harris          Y
    • District 3: Klarissa J. Peña  N
    • District 6: Pat Davis           N
    • District 4: Brook Bassan       Recused

The May 18, 2020 City Council decision completed the Administrative Process available to neighbors. State law permits affected property owners to appeal an administrative decision in District Court.

  • May 21, 2020 – Notice of Claimed Open Meeting Act Violations provided to the City Council regarding May 18 City Council meeting.
  • June 17, 2020 – Legal appeal filed in District Court on behalf of neighbors and neighborhood associations. The suit is an appeal of the administrative decision to approve the project. Questions of law are also raised regarding the DRB, Open Meetings Act and the handling of the Neighborhood Edge provisions for the residential properties adjacent to the site.
  • July/August 2020 – City prepares the “Record Proper” for the suit. This is a compilation of all submitted documents and transcripts of DRB, LUHO, and City Council meetings.
  • Aug. 21, 2020 – City responds to suit by filing a Motion to Dismiss 3 of the 4 counts. The three counts the City seeks to dismiss are the 3 that afford the plaintiffs the right to discovery, depositions, and appeal to the Court of Appeals. The 4th count is the administrative appeal with limited rights.
  • Aug. 24, 2020 – City requested to provide revised Record Proper with documents presented in chronological order.
  • Sept. 3, 2020 – Appellants file First Discovery Requests to City and Consensus Planning.
  • Sept. 4, 2020 – Appellants file Response to Motion to Dismiss.
  • Sept. 21, 2020 – City reply and Motion Packet for Motion to Dismiss submitted to Judge Nancy Franchini.
  • Oct. 5, 2020 – City files Motion for Protective Order seek to “reliev[e] the City of any obligation to respond to Plaintiffs’ discovery requests or, in the alternative, staying discovery until the Court has ruled on the City’s Motion to Dismiss“.
  • Oct. 15, 2020 – Appellant Response to Motion for Protective Order filed.
  • Oct. 28, 2020 – City provides amended Record Proper in chronological order.
  • Nov. 3, 2020 – City reply and Motion Packet for Motion for Protective Order submitted to Judge Franchini.
  • Nov. 12, 2020 – Appellants file Statement of Appellant Issues in support of Count 4 – administrative appeal.
  • Dec. 14, 2020 – City and Interested Parties file a Joint Motion for Extension of Time to File Responses to Statement of Appellant issues until Jan. 29, 2021.
  • Dec. 17, 2020 – Judge Franchini grants Motion for Extension of Time to File Responses.
  • Dec. 28, 2020 – Judge Franchini grants City’s Motion for Protective Order and stay of discovery until Motion to Dismiss is decided.
  • Jan. 28, 2021 – City requests 1-week extension of time to file Responses to Statement of Appellant issues until Feb. 5, 2021.
  • Feb. 5, 2021 – City files Response to Statement of Appellant Issues.
  • Feb. 22, 2021 – Appellants’ Replies and Notice of Completion of Briefing re: Statement of Appellant Issues filed. All filings for Count 1-4 now under review of Judge Franchini.