ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Neighbors are fighting a new housing development that’s supposed to nudge right next to the Petroglyphs. They don’t like the style of the houses, and they think they cookie-cutter subdivision will ruin the natural beauty of the area.
“The [Petroglyphs National Monument] area is very sensitive. It’s a beautiful landscape near the volcanoes,” says Rene Horvath.
That is why developers at Consensus Planning are looking to cash in on the more than 20-acres next to the Petroglyphs Monument, not too far from Volcano Vista High School.
“They’re looking to build houses. They want to bring in a residential subdivision for that particular area,” says Brennon Williams with Planning & Zoning.
People who live in the area say if they start to build homes, one of the major problems is that it’ll interfere with the views.
“We want to highlight the views and we also want to design a subdivision so they look attractive next to the monuments,” says Horvath.
However, Horvath’s issue isn’t with building homes in the area. Consensus Planning asked the city to allow them to build more two-story homes than usual, build them taller than usual, and to make the lots smaller.
The city’s Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) approved the request.
“The planning commission felt like the criteria was met, that the variance should be approved,” says Williams.
However, Horvath says this would just create an undesirable cookie-cutter neighborhood.
“It doesn’t really highlight that you’re next to a monument area. It just means you were focused on getting the most density into a site,” she says.
The EPC’s reasoning is because they believed none of these changes would affect the surrounding neighborhoods.
“They enjoy their views and they like the openness. If you crowd two stories together on these small lots, it just looks like a canyon,” says Horvath.
That’s why the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Associations has sent an appeal to the EPC to ask them to reconsider granting these variances to the developers.
The appeal will go in front of a hearing officer next month. If the hearing officer rules the EPC, it will be up to city council to sign off on the development.
KRQE News 13 put in a call to the developers to see if they had anything to say about the neighborhood complaints, but did not hear back.