City preserving height limits on new west side developments in order to keep views

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some of Albuquerque’s best views are arguably on the west side of town and because of a development boom on that side of town, the City of Albuquerque is looking to make sure any future developments don’t block those views. People who live on the west side said one aspect that separates this part of town, from the rest of Albuquerque, is the scenic views. “I think it is both the views because we have views along the river if you’re in the right spot,” said local Rachel Schmidt.

To safeguard the views of the Bosque, the Sandias, and even the Petroglyphs, the city created height limits for buildings wanting to go up on the west side. Now, the city is trying to update some language in the planning documents to make sure that future developments, along Coors and near the Petroglyphs, will keep the height of their buildings from blocking the views.

“View protections especially on the west side have always been very important in the planning documents that have been developed over the years,” said CABQ Planning Dept. Director, Brennon Williams.

Over the years, developers had to go back to the drawing board if their plans were considered too big for the West side. Just like last year when the City stopped a proposed apartment complex from going up near the Bosque and before that, the shopping center off Coors and Montano got push back when it was being developed because locals had the same concerns.

“I totally agree with it,” said Schmidt. “I think that’s to preserve as much of nature and our view along this Bosque and of the Sandias is really important. It adds to the aesthetics of the environment here.”

Some people are happy to hear the city is wanting to preserve the height limits over here, but not everyone agrees.

“On a main street like Coors, I would prefer everything to be four or five stories, that would mean we’re a grown-up city,” said local Charles Pinney. “I think they have good intentions but I think we want to have higher value development here in town, so I think up is good, sprawl is bad.”

The city adds that these height limits are a delicate balance of encouraging more development on this side of time while also preserving the views. The city said discussions over these amendments are still going through the process and encourage people to participate in the next public virtual meeting on these amendments next month.

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