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Mayor to sign off on IDO, consolidating 1,200 city zones into 40

Morgan Aguilar
November 14, 2017 06:52 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says he will sign the Integrated Development Ordinance, or IDO, which city councilors passed Monday night.

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The plan represents a complete overhaul of the zoning code, which hasn’t happened in the Duke City since the 1970s. Berry said the current zoning code is too complex, and he has seen it drive away potential job creators.

"For a long time the investment community has feared this situation where someone can just show up and just stop their project when they have a piece of land that's actually zoned for what they're trying to do," Berry said.

The city says the $1.5 million plan consolidated 1,200 zones into 40.

"This is going to be much simpler for everybody to understand," Berry said.

However, many people who live on Albuquerque’s West Side are concerned about what the changes mean. They want to preserve their views of the Sandia Mountains and the Bosque, and they worry that the new regulations will lead to aggressive developing with little neighborhood input.

"Now it's like, ‘No, we want more. We want like, really tall buildings. We want 75 dwelling units per acre.’ I'm like, ‘Whoa, that's pretty high,’” said Rene Horvath, Taylor Ranch land use director.

Horvath wishes there had been much more time for public input and understanding. The IDO was created as part of the Planning Department’s ABC-Z project, which has been in the works since April 2014, but Horvath said the public and the West Side Coalition have only been involved in the process for the past eight months.

“Once those plans are approved and you've upzoned everything, you can't just go back and change it,” Horvath said. “That's why we've said, you know, we need to really look at this and spend more time on it.”

She says she is not against change or growth, but she does not like how fast all the changes were made.

“It could be good, but why couldn't we do a smaller area and just check it out, and see how it works? And then if it's great, that's great, but to do the whole city this way and we don't know the outcome – and it's not easy to downzone anything or go back once you upzoned it and gave people the rights – then that's very scary for a lot of people,” Horvath said.

Berry said he’s confident the plan has sufficient city-wide neighborhood protections that will preserve many of the things Horvath is worried about losing, like historical neighborhoods.

“I think it's great for the neighborhoods and I think it's great for the investment community,” he said.

Once Berry gives his signature of approval, the IDO will be implemented over a period of six months.

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Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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