ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A big new building going up on a prime piece of Central Avenue is facing new opposition from a city councilor and the surrounding neighborhood.
The Nob Hill Neighborhood Association says it will file a formal appeal against an already under construction four-story self-storage facility at the corner of Central and Montclaire Drive southeast.
City Councilor Pat Davis and the neighborhood association contend that the city shouldn’t have given the developer a green light to build the project because it didn’t hold a public meeting on the matter.
“We contend that the (City of Albuquerque) planning department made an incorrect decision,” said Adrian Carver, president of the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association.
Meanwhile, the city contends that all the right rules and procedures were followed.
“It was determined that some of the concerns that the plan reviewer initially had could be addressed,” said Brennon Williams, deputy director of the Albuquerque Planning Department.
The city approved plans to build the self-storage facility in September 2017. The plans call for retail space on the ground floor and dozens of storage lockers on the top three floors.
Crews appear to have already begun work on the site’s foundation. However, that work could change if the neighborhood’s appeal moves forward.
Carver says the neighborhood association voted this week to allow an agent to file a formal appeal on behalf of the association. He says the neighborhood is hoping for a public meeting on developer’s plan. The appeal is expected to be filed this week.
“What’s at issue here really is the process on how the decision was allowed to issue the building permit for this property,” said Davis.
Because the developer’s plan calls for a self-storage facility, neighbors content that Nob Hill zoning code indicates that a public meeting should be held.
The property at 4100 Central SE falls under the city’s “C2” commercial zoning guidelines. Under those guidelines, the “transfer or storage of household goods” is considered a “conditional use.” According to city code, a public hearing is required to be held if a property is designed with a “conditional use.”
City Councilor Pat Davis believes that a public hearing should have been held on the development plan before it was approved by city officials.
“I want to know what happened to the process, because the process was designed to say if your project doesn’t meet the standards that we all agreed to, just set up a public meeting,” said Davis.
Davis also doesn’t believe a self-storage facility is the right fit for Nob Hill.
“If you look at the plans, it’s a pretty decent way of doing public storage, it just doesn’t belong there,” said Davis. “It interrupts the idea that you can walk from one end of Central to the other and have a full day of activity.”
However, deputy planning director Brennon Williams believes the city followed its rules and no public meeting is needed.
“The determination was made that this current proposal was not a conditional use, but it was a permissive use, it was allowed by right, as a “customer service” provision within the C2 zone, and that’s why it was allowed to move forward,” said Williams.
Williams says while code enforcement staff denied the plan twice in 2017, all issues with the property were resolved through subsequent discussion between city employees and staff associated with the development of the property.
“Some of those concerns related to parking and landscaping and those sorts of things just needed to be clarified on the plan, and once those were corrected then the plan was approved,” said Williams.
While construction continues, for now, neighbors hope they’ll soon have a say in the future of the property.
“So that we can all determine what the use is for this property,” said Carver.
If the building goes as planned, it will also have 33 covered, on-site parking spaces.
City Councilor Pat Davis says the developer and Nob Hill neighbors are also planning to hold a meeting soon to discuss the site.