ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Eric Szeman has always loved the historic charm of the Los Griegos neighborhood in Albuquerque’s North Valley. That’s why he’s stayed there his whole life.
The neighborhood has been fighting the development with no success, so they’re now going a step further. Los Griegos has applied to be a Historic Protection Overlay Zone, hoping to stop the development in its tracks.”If we can just downsize it, I mean, that’s a win for us,” Szeman said.
An HPO was created by City Council to protect areas of historical significance. It would add dozens of rules about what property owners can and can’t do to their homes. Any exterior changes to your home within the HPO would require a certificate of appropriateness.
Although many are on board with the historic overlay, Szeman says some neighbors have expressed concerns with the restrictions. He hopes people can look past them.”The preservation of the area is more important than what kind of windows you put in your house.”
The city says there are six HPOs in the city right now, one of them being Old Town. If approved, Los Griegos would become the seventh. Szeman says no matter what happens, he’s willing to try. “We’re going to move forward with the overlay regardless because I still think we can fight the project on the grounds that it doesn’t fit the historic nature of the area.”
The request will go in front of the Landmarks Commission, then to City Council. It’s expected to reach chambers in early 2023.