Misters myth: Are they illegal in Albuquerque?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - When it comes to keeping cool in Albuquerque during the summer, KRQE News 13 has learned there's a 'mister misconception.'

On this particular Friday afternoon, Green Jeans Farmery, which is largely an outdoor hangout spot, was filled with people.

They were outside, enjoying the summer sun while also staying cool thanks to multiple fans blowing fine droplets of water onto the patio below.

"They're really nice, they help us cool down and then we can stay longer because we're not as hot," Risse Sanchez said.

"It's more comfortable and it's nice to be outside," Alan Reeves said.

Although, misters seem to be few and far between in Albuquerque. The reason might be traced to the city's code of ordinances. According to online city records, misters are illegal unless you have a permit.

Asking around, KRQE News 13 met several local business managers were under the impression that was the case.

The city told KRQE News 13 this ordinance, enacted in the 1990s, is now the responsibility of the Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA). However, ABCWUA said it didn't adopt the ordinance when the agency was established more than a decade ago.

"We're not doing anything with it. As far as we're concerned it's not a big issue where water conservation or water waste is concerned," spokesperson David Morris said.

This could be good news for businesses with outdoor seating that don't currently have them, like Kelly's Brew Pub in Nob Hill -- famous for its large patio.

"It would create a better atmosphere for guests that come in here and that's ultimately what we're trying to do here," James O'Hara, head bartender and manager, said. 

KRQE News 13 asked the city if it plans to remove the ordinance from its website. The city said that process would involve city council and council services.


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