Albuquerque city councilors postpone voting on big changes

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — City councilors decided overnight to postpone voting on ordinances amending Albuquerque’s city charter and the city’s zoning laws.

There were 79 people reportedly signed up to speak about the zoning proposal. It would allow for more, limited developments in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes.

City leader wants to allow multi-family units like duplexes to make it easier for homeowners to build casitas – or guesthouses – if there’s room for one.

This has been a sticking point for people since they first discussed the proposal months ago.

“Housing forward has nothing to do with securing affordable housing, nor in helping homeless populations. It gives away a great opportunity to developers and pits neighbor against neighbor.”

“I believe in the long run, if this plan passes, it will create more chaos within the city and communities, especially in neighborhoods.”

The third aspect of the proposal is to simplify plans to convert hotels into affordable housing. It’s something the city is already doing in northeast Albuquerque.

The proposal would also loosen requirements for stoves and ovens in each unit.

The last aspect would change the parking requirements for multi-family and affordable housing developments.

City councilors voted to move the proposal to the next meeting, set for June 21.

Also on the agenda was a proposal to limit the Albuquerque mayor’s power and change the local government’s format.

Basically, the proposal would move Albuquerque from a council-mayor system to a council-manager system.

That means councilors would still represent districts and the mayor would represent the city at large. They would also have an equal voice.

Multiple speakers spoke in favor of the proposal Monday night:

“Statistics don’t lie and shouldn’t be ignored. Politicians want accountability of others when they themselves have none. Let voters decide if they want a mayor controlling all the decisions or to hire a city manager backed by bipartisan city council members.”

Councilors agreed to two amendments Monday night and pushed a vote on it to the June 21 meeting. If it passes, then it’ll be up to voters to make the final decision during this year’s local elections.

Read Monday night’s agenda here: