At the April 16 meeting, councilors debated various issues but postponed votes. Two land use appeals opposed the Development Review Board's (DRB) approval of a subdivision plat near the Embudito trailhead. The DRB ruling allows construction on individual lots to exceed the sector plan's requirements regarding density and slope as long as averages for the entire area meet guidelines. Councilors will hear the appeals in May.
The tribulations of the El Vado Motel continue with appeals by property owner Richard Gonzales to remove the building's landmark designation and start demolition. A district court recently ruled that the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Committee (LUCC) had failed to do a required study before recommending landmark status for the motel. The Council remanded the matter to the LUCC.
Councilor Don Harris said his proposed task force to study governance of neighborhood and property owners associations didn't need legislation to get started. Harris previously named Jim Strozier of Consensus Planning as task force chair. Strozier often appears before the Council to represent development interests. Harris said he thought Strozier was a good choice because of his experience but that some people considered him too adversarial to neighborhood associations protesting proposed development. The new chair is Scott Varner of the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico. [See "Mr. Harris' Neighborhoods," Jan. 11-17, 2007]
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Note: A recent Council Watch inadvertently capitalized EDo "Development." Area developer Rob Dickson objected to the second big D. Dickson said, "The phrase, 'EDo Development,' in my view, implies large corporate interests telling everyone what to do. There is nothing of that kind here."