Council Approves Massive Zoning Rewrite

Not willing to wait for a new mayor to weigh in on the issue, the Albuquerque City Council on Monday approved a massive rewrite of the city's zoning code, known as the Integrated Development Ordinance.

The vote to approve the law came after councilors approved several amendments to the measure, and after neighborhood groups asked for the vote to be delayed and developers urged its passage.

But even if Mayor Richard Berry signs the law, it won't take effect for six months – a grace period to give councilors time change it.

Neighborhood associations have complained that the IDO does away with the approximately 60 sector development plans that customize developments to specific neighborhoods. They say the sector plans protect their neighborhoods from developments they don't want or feel are out of place.

Many neighborhood people also said that the IDO is designed to increase building heights throughout the city and lead to increased density, which they don't want.

But developers urged the IDO's passage saying it will standardize zoning throughout the city and make development easier and more predictable.

Councilor Ken Sanchez moved for a 90-day deferral of the bill, saying a new mayor, who takes office December 1st, would want to have input into it. But his deferral effort failed on a 6-3 vote.

The IDO has been in the works for three years. Many minority neighborhood representatives have complained that Hispanics and Native Americans weren't consulted or involved in the process to develop the IDO.

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