ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — It’s an area of Albuquerque with nearly 80,000 people and some of the highest rates of homeownership citywide; but the Southwest Mesa is lagging behind when it comes to business and retail. News 13 spoke with the city about the new outline they’ve put together on what change residents want to see. “The city of Albuquerque has twelve community planning areas,” said Rebecca Bolen, principle planner with the Urban Development and Design Division of Albuquerque’s Planning Department. The Southwest Mesa is one of those areas.
Spanning from I-40 to Dennis Chavez Boulevard and the western city limits to Coors Boulevard. Dominated by homes, the region has been the target of a ‘Community Planning Area’ report over the past two years.
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“The goal is to really meet people where they are, rather than make them come to the planning department to talk about their priorities,” Bolen said. Through a series of neighbor meetings, the city’s team pieced together a snapshot of the Southwest Mesa. “We want these reports to paint a picture of existing circumstances and capture community priorities for development and growth in the future,” Bolen said.
The major findings? Bolen says people want more businesses in the area and more job opportunities. “You know, I’ve got a, ‘my commute is 45 minutes and there aren’t jobs in my sector here,’ or ‘my kid is looking for a job and it would be nice if he didn’t have to drive that far in the dark coming home,'” Bolen said.
She says they also heard people’s wishes for more greenery and more shade at bus stops.
“The preservation and restoration of historic assets like the motor hotels, honoring the agricultural heritage, having access to healthy food also came up repeatedly,” Bolen said.
The report will be used to outline where development should go; and along with land use policies, the report also details action items: “The actions in this report all have either a city department or a community partner or some organization saying yes, in the next three years, the next five years, and the next ten years, we plan to do this,” Bolen said.
Some of those action items include the city’s promise to host at least two more events in the Southwest Mesa Parks and a small business resource fair. Find the full report here.