Albuquerque business illegally paints curb into a loading zone

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Finding parking in the busy Uptown area is always a struggle. So one business had a solution and took matters into its own hands by illegally painting the curb.

“They have complained about people parking on that side, and next thing we knew, it was just painted,” said Leo Guerra, a barber who works nearby.

It’s a battle over a curb at a small business park near Menaul and Louisiana. Guerra said the yellow loading zone paint job is affecting business.

“They don’t know where to park sometimes, and sometimes they think they have to park all the way by the hotel. That kind of hurts because they don’t want to walk all the way over here,” said Guerra.

His clients used to have both sides of the street to park on, but now, they only have one. The manager of the Coe + Peterson Commercial Properties has a building next door. She took it upon herself to paint the curb and told surrounding businesses their clients couldn’t park there.

“We always tell them just to park on the street next to the barber shop, so it just makes it easier for our clients,” said Guerra.

Changing the curb to a loading zone was illegal, which led to the city stepping in.

“You cannot install a loading zone without going through the city process,” said Melissa Lozoya of the Department of Municipal Development.

Business owners are required to pay a fee in order to get a loading zone. They said that didn’t happen in this case.

“We go ahead and go out, talk to the business about the process, let them know that there is an ordinance that governs the loading zones,” said Lozoya.

KRQE News 13 spoke with the property manager and she admitted to painting the curb. She said she is now applying with the city for a loading zone. While Guerra feels relieved to have the space back, he said he hopes this can be a message to their neighbors.

“They have their own parking lot, you know, we don’t even have our own parking lot, so it makes it easier for our clients to park right there and they just claimed it all of a sudden,” said Guerra.

The cost for a loading zone is $192 for the initial installation and $105 to maintain each year. The city said they will not be fining the property owner, but if they do it again, they will be subjected to pay the necessary fees that come with having a loading zone.

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