ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A development in one of Albuquerque’s oldest neighborhoods is moving forward, despite pushback from some community members. Though council rules prevented them from speaking on the specific topic of the appeal, many spoke out against the project’s developer.
Members of the community group known as “The People’s Housing Project” and neighbors spoke against a zoning change in the Barelas Neighborhood that would pave the way for a multi-use development.
“They don’t care about affordable housing. Where have they been to support rent control? Where have they been to support landlord registries,” said one person during public comment.
“It is displacing the generational property owners, allowing these large developers to take over historic neighborhoods. It’s erasing our unique cultural identities,” said another.
The zoning change would allow a development in the Barelas Neighborhood across the street from the Rail Yards at 2nd and Santa Fe. The developer, Palindrome Communities, told KRQE back in May that the plan is for a three-story building, including affordable housing, retail spaces for small, locally owned businesses, and a taproom.
The zoning change was approved in May. Soon after, opponents of the project filed an appeal. They argued the decision was made without proper research and that the environmental planning commissions did not hear from the concerned neighbors.
On Monday, City Council heard a recommendation from the city’s Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO) to keep the zoning change and let the project move forward.
“The LUHO found that the appellant failed to meet their burden, proving the EPC issued its approval issued an error, noting that there is evidence in the record that the EPC did consider opposition to the request.”
The council voted unanimously to uphold those zoning changes, denying the appeal from the opponents of the project.
Palindrome communities have been behind a number of notable projects in recent years, including the El Vado motel redevelopment and current the Imperial Inn makeover in east Downtown.
The lot is currently vacant. Previously, the site was home to a bar and liquor store.