City councilors expected to vote on major proposals Wednesday

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – City councilors are expected to vote on several major proposals that could change how the city looks and operates.

Arguably, the biggest item on Wednesday’s agenda is a sweeping set of changes to the city’s zoning laws. They’ve been in the works for months, and the mayor’s office believes they could make a serious dent in a citywide housing shortage.

The most notable proposal is to allow casitas in most residential-zoned areas.

The proposed changes would also allow for duplexes in the same areas and would remove some building height restrictions for multi-family homes.

Since its introduction, the proposal has generated a lot of back-and-forth between residents.

“They’re talking about potentially tripling the density of a single-family neighborhood,” said William Fanning, a Twin Parks neighborhood resident. 

“You start building multi-family, multi-story units you’re going to change it. If you’re next door to it, it’s probably going to impact the value of your home,” said Terry Edwards, another resident of the Twin Parks neighborhood. 

“Our rents have increased dynamically. We need to be less greedy and more concerned about communities sharing homes.”

According to the city’s website, the council reached its max number of public commenters before the meeting started. 

Zoning is not the only controversial issue. Councilors are also expected to vote on a proposed council-manager form of government.

Essentially, the proposal would weaken the mayor’s powers by creating a city manager position who would oversee city operations. That person would answer directly to city councilors.

Councilors are also expected to vote on some downtown road changes. There’s a proposal to convert Tijeras and Marquette from one-way roads into traditional two-way roads.

Voters would ultimately make the final decision on that this November.