ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - A group of neighborhoods is gearing up for a fight over signs planned for a new shopping center.
They think the signs are too big and are afraid the city will sign off on them.
"I think there's been a history of the city neglecting its own laws on this side of town," said Dr. Joe Valles with the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Associations.
The neighborhood group recently voted to deny a developer's application to post signs along the Coors Pavilion Shopping Center at Coors and St. Josephs, across from St. Pius High School.
"You don't need to build a 14-foot-high monument sign to tell everybody there's a shopping center here," Valles said.
The three proposed signs would be bigger than what zoning laws allow under the decade-old Coors Corridor Plan.
That's why developer Red Shamrock is requesting an exception, asking for signs between 10 and 14 feet high and about 133 square feet.
City regulations allow for signs up to nine feet high with a face of up to 75 square feet.
A zoning hearing officer will hear the developer's case.
"The developer has to prove that the property is exceptional or unique in some way that warrants this request to deviate from the standards," Deputy Planning Director Brennon Williams said.
At one public meeting, the developer argued there are already bigger signs along Coors.
"He uses the example of other signs that have been grandfathered in," Valles responded.
The coalition is worried this could set a precedent for future west side development.
"If you start to let them go with this signage, then everybody gets a shot at it," Valles said.
He adds WSCONA will appeal if the city approves the variance request on March 5.
________________Send a Breaking News TipReport an error or typoLearn about the KRQE apps
Moscow fears London could destroy
Academic says he's being scapegoated in