On October 18, 2022 Mayor Tim Keller announced his “Housing Forward ABQ Plan.” It is a “multifaceted initiative” where Mayor Keller set the goal of the City of Albuquerque being involved with adding 5,000 new housing units across the city by 2025 above and beyond what private industry normally creates each year. According to Keller, the city is in a major “housing crisis” and the city needs as many as 33,000 new housing units immediately.
During his news conference announcing his “Housing Forward ABQ Plan” Keller emphasized the importance of amending the city’s Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO). Keller said this:
“Right now our zoning code will never allow us to meet the housing demand in the city … If you want a place to advocate, if you want a place to change policy, if you want a place to argue, it’s all about the IDO [Integrated Development Ordinance] . … The proposed changes are intended to be transformative, which is fitting for the crisis facing our local government, thousands of families in our community, and our housing partners.”
To add the 5,000 new housing units across the city by 2025, Keller proposed that the City of Albuquerque fund and be involved with the construction of new low-income housing. The strategy included a zoning code “rebalance” to increase population density in established neighborhoods. It included allowing “casitas” which under the zoning code are known as “accessory dwelling” units and duplex development on existing housing and other major changes relating to parking and height restrictions. It included “motel conversions” and conversion of existing commercial office space to housing. It also included enactment of ordinances to regulate the rental and apartment industry and promoting city sanctioned tent encampments for the unhoused.
Allowing both casita and duplex development, increasing density in established neighborhoods, reducing parking requirements in new developments as well as allowing increases in height restrictions were all changes strongly supported and lobbied for by the development community. The local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) lobbied heavily in favor of Keller’s “Housing Forward ABQ Plan” even going as far as having its President and Vice President testify before the City Council. NAIOP is considered the most influential business organization in the city consisting of developers, investors and contractors with membership in excess 300 with many bidding on city contracts. NAIOP has its own politcal action committee and the organization endorsees candidates for Mayor and City Council while the membership donates to candidates. NAIOP also sponsors bus tours by City Councilors in all 9 City Council Districts to help identify development.
FAILURES OUT WEIGH SUCCESSES OF KELLER’S HOUSING FOREWARD ABQ PLAN
Earlier this year, the Keller Administration was able to narrowly secure some victories on the “Housing Forward ABQ Plan.” Measures that PASSED included allowing two “Safe Outdoor Spaces” in all 9 City Council Districts, casita construction in established residential areas of the city to increase density and reducing restrictions on motel conversion projects to allow for easier development. Measures that FAILED included allowing duplex development on existing housing to increase density, reducing parking requirements for multifamily developments and increasing building heights for some apartment buildings.
Two new city council ordinances that FAILED to be enacted by the city council included an ordinance requiring the disclosure and the capping of fees on apartments and rental properties and to cap the number of short-term rentals in the city.
AMENDING CITY ZONING LAWS: CASITA’S IN, DUPLEX DEVELOPMENT OUT
Keller wanted to allow different forms of multi-unit housing development on existing residential properties. City officials said that 68% of the city’s existing housing is single-family detached homes with 120,000 existing residential lots with already built residences.
Keller pushed for enactment of two major amendments to the city’s zoning law known as the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) as part of his Housing Forward ABQ Plan. One amendment allows one 750 foot “casita” or one “accessory dwelling” unit on all built out lots which could double density to 240,000 housing units. The second amendment would have allowed “duplex development” on existing residents where 750 square foot additions for separate housing would be allowed on existing residences which with casitas would have tripled density to 360,000. Mayor Keller called the legislation “transformative” updates to Albuquerque’s Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) to carry out his “Housing Forward ABQ”.
The amendments contained in the legislation was to allow the construction of 750 square foot casitas and 750 square foot duplex additions on every single existing R-1 residential lot that already has single family house built on it in order to increase density. The amendments as originally proposed would allow one “casita” and one “duplex addition” with a kitchen and separate entrance to an existing structure on all built out lots. City officials have said that 68% of the city’s existing housing is single-family detached homes with 120,000 existing residential lots with already built residences.
The zoning code amendments would have made both casitas and duplex additions “permissive uses”. Historically, they have always been “conditional uses”. A “conditional use” requires an application process with the city Planning Department, notice to surrounding property owners and affected neighborhood associations and provides for appeal rights. A “permissive use” would give the Planning Department exclusive authority to issue permits for construction without notices and hearings and with no appeal process to surrounding property owners. Objecting property owners and neighborhood associations to the permissive casita and duplex uses would be relegated to filing lawsuits to enforce covenants and restrictions.
On June 21 the Albuquerque City Council voted 5-4 to approve the zoning code changes with amendments made to the Integrated Development Ordinance. The version of the bill that ultimately passed on a 5-4 vote was amended extensively. The city council voted to allow casita construction as a “permissive use” in all single-family R–1 zone and reduce parking requirements for some multifamily properties and changing building height limitations. This was a major change supported by the development community. The city council voted to strike the amendment and to not allow duplexes to be permissively zoned in R–1 zone areas, which make up about two-thirds of the city.
LOWERING THE BAR
On July 6, Mayor Tim Keller signed into law the zoning amendments that embody his “Housing Forward ABQ Plan”. It allows casita construction on 68% of all built out residential lots in the city. Casita construction is now a “permissive use” on all single-family R–1 zones giving the Planning Department exclusive authority to approve casitas over objections of adjoining property owners.
Mayor Keller announced his administration’s goal is to review and approve 1,000 new casitas all over the city by 2025. Keller announced the Planning Department will also “lower the bar” for property owners to build casitas and provide pre-approved casita designs. The city also wants to provide loans for building costs to homeowners that agree to rent their casita to those who use Section 8 housing vouchers.
MOTEL CONVERSIONS IN, COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE CONVERSIONS ABANDONED
Mayor Keller’s “Housing Forward ABQ” places great emphasis on “motel conversions”. A zoning change already enacted by the city council in early 2022 year eased the process for city-funded motel conversions by allowing microwaves or hot plates to serve as a substitute for the standard requirement that every kitchen have a cooking stove or oven. The existing layout of the motels makes it cost-prohibitive to renovate them into living units with full sized kitchens. An Integrated Development Ordinance amendment provides an exemption for affordable housing projects funded by the city, allowing kitchens to be small, without full-sized ovens and refrigerators. It will require city social services to regularly assist residents. The homeless or the near homeless would be offered the housing.
MOTEL CONVERSIONS COSTLY
“Motel conversions” is where the City’s Family & Community Services Department acquires and renovates existing motels to develop low-income affordable housing options. Keller’s plan calls for hotel or motel conversions to house 1,000 people by 2025.
The Keller Administration proclaims that motel conversions are a critical strategy for addressing the city’s housing shortage. The city proclaims motels conversions are a simpler, lower-cost alternative to ground-up construction. It will require city social services to regularly assist residents. The homeless or the near homeless would be offered the housing likely on a first come first served basis and with rules and regulations they will have to agree to.
On February 11, 2023 it was reported that the City of Albuquerque executed a purchase agreement for the purchase of the Sure Stay Hotel located at 10330 Hotel NE for $5.7 million to convert the 104-room hotel into 100 efficiency units. The $5.7 million purchase price for the 104-unit complex translates into $53,807.69 per unit ($5.7 Million ÷ 104 = $53,807.69 per unit).
At a December 6, 2022 meeting on motel conversions, city officials said that the city’s estimated cost is $100,000 per unit to fix up or remodel existing motels. Using the city’s own estimated remodeling costs for the Sure Stay Motel, an additional $10 Million will be needed to remodel the motel for low income housing. ($100,000 per unit X 100 efficiency apartments = $10 Million). Therefore, the entire Sure Stay conversion project will have an estimated cost of $15,700,000. ($5.7 purchase cost + $10 Million remodeling cost = $15,700,000)
City officials have said there is funding available for only one more motel purchase.
COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE CONVERSIONS
According to Keller’ plan, the city wanted to convert commercial office space into to residential use. The Keller administration proposed $5 million to offset developer costs with the aim of transitioning 10 commercial properties and creating 1,000 new housing units.
The Keller Administration early on announced that the conversion office space plan is a heavy lift for the city and the city has yet to acquire a single commercial office building to be converted into residential use.
“SAFE OUTDOOR SPACES”
Although Safe Outdoor Spaces for the unhoused was not announced as part of Mayor Keller’s original “Housing Forward ABQ Plan”, they nevertheless required major changes to the Integrated Development Ordinance. They dove tail into Keller’s overall approach to what he labeled an “all above approach” to address the city’s housing shortage and to deal with the unhoused. Safe Outdoor Spaces became one of the most divisive issues dealt with by the City Council in some time. It not only divided the city council but also resulted in major opposition by neighborhood associations and homeowners.
Opposition to Safe Outdoor Spaces was shamelessly dismissed as “not in my backyard.” Safe Outdoor Space city sanctioned homeless encampments are not just an issue of “not in my back yard,” but one of legitimate anger and mistrust by the public against city elected officials and department employees who have mishandled the city’s homeless crisis and who are determined to allow them despite strong public opposition.
It was April 1, 2022, in his proposed 2022-2023 budget, that Mayor Tim Keller, advocated and supported an amendment to the Integrated Development Ordinance that allows for the land use known as “Safe Outdoor Spaces” to deal with the homeless crisis. “Safe outdoor spaces” will permit 2 homeless encampments in all 9 city council districts with 40 designated spaces for tents, they will allow upwards of 50 people, require hand washing stations, toilets and showers, require a management plan, 6 foot fencing and social services offered. Although the Integrated Development Ordinance amendment sets a limit of two in each of the city’s 9 council districts, the cap would not apply to those hosted by religious institutions.
On June 6, 2022 despite significant public outcry against Safe Outdoor Spaces the Albuquerque City Council enacted the legislation and passed it on a 5 to 4. On December 5, 2022 the City Council voted on a 5 to 4 vote to remove all references to Safe Outdoor Spaces within Albuquerque’s zoning code thereby outlawing the land use. Mayor Tim Keller vetoed the legislation. It was the councils third attempt to reverse its own decision in June to allow Safe Outdoor Spaces with one vote defunding them.
On January 4, 2023 the city council attempted to “override” Keller’s veto, but failed to secure the necessary 6 votes.
Initially, there were 6 applications for Safe Outdoor Spaces, but only 3 were approved with one of those approved abandoned because the city sold the property to where it was to be located.
Safe Outdoor Space tent encampments will destroy neighborhoods and make the city a magnet for the homeless. The general public has legitimate concerns that Safe Outdoor Space homeless tent encampments will become crime-infested nuisances, such was the case with Coronado Park. The homeless crisis will not be solved by the city but must be managed with permanent housing assistance and service programs, not nuisance tent encampments.
AGGRESSIVE ORDINACES TO REGULATE
Keller’s “Housing Forward ABQ Plan” attempted to address the shortage of affordable housing with two very aggressive new ordinances. Both failed. Those new ordinances were:
- The “Residential Tenant Protection Ordinance” totarget what was declared “deceptive” practices and “unreasonable” fees charged by residential rental proper owners and landlords.
- The “Residential Rental Permit Ordinance” limiting and placing caps on short term rentals.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PERMIT ORDINANCE FAILS
The Keller Administration made a part of the “Housing Forward ABQ Plan” the “Residential Tenant Protection Ordinance” sponsored by District 7 Albuquerque City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn. The ordinance was proclaimed to protect tenants from “predatory practices such as excessive application fees, clarifying that deposits must be refundable and capping other fees, especially in complexes that accept vouchers.”
The ordinance was viewed as a form of or an attempt at at rent control. City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn is a strong advocate of rent control and became upset when the city council would not support rent control and when the New Mexico legislature also rejected rent control in the last legislative session.
At the time of introduction, Fiebelkorn said tenants complained that they were paying a lot more for the apartments they rented than they expected because of “hidden fees”. The bill would have required landlords to post a list of application fees, minimum income and credit score requirements, plus background check results that could disqualify applicants.
The bill would have required the following:
- Rental property owners and landlords would be required to make upfront disclosures to potential applicants.
- Rental property owners and landlords would have to list any parking, amenity, pet or other fees, as well as any financial penalties tenants might face for late payments or other lease violations.
- Rental property owners and landlords would also have to outline certain terms of their tenant-screening process so that would-be applicants knew ahead of time if they must have a specific credit score or income to qualify.
- All application fees would be limited to $150 and require landlords refund it in cases where they rented the unit to someone else before processing others’ applications or when they denied an applicant without providing a reason.
- Rental property owners and landlords would have been prohibited from mandating that tenants have insurance for their personal property, though they could have still required that renters have insurance to cover damage to the rental unit.
Supporters described the bill as “common sense” protections for tenants. They argued the regulations would ease the burden on lower-income renters who currently struggle to pay multiple application fees and who need to know and plan for about all the fees they will have to pay while in a rental agreement.
Opponents of the bill, including the rental industry representatives, said it was “meddlesome”, “cumbersome”, “unnecessary” and interfered with property rights and contract rights and was an attempt at rent control . It was argued passage would likely result in the raising of rents to account for the new regulations.
On March 6, 2023 the Albuquerque City Council voted 4 YES and 5 NO to kill Fiebelkorn’s “Residential Protection Ordinance” as it had been amended since introduction in November of 2022.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PERMIT ORDINANCE FAILS
It was Progressive Democrat Albuquerque City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn who sponsored the Residential Rental Permit Ordinance. On Monday August 21, 2023 the Albuquerque City Council voted 3 YES and 6 NO to place a cap on the number of short-term rentals in the city in addition to the requirements of the 2020 short-term rental ordinance which requires short-term rental owners to obtain a permit and set certain occupancy limits. Progressive Democrats Councilors Pat Davis, Tammy Fiebelkorn and Isaac Benton voted in favor. Conservative Republicans Councilors Dan Lewis, Brook Bassan, Renée Grout, and Trudy Jones voted against. Conservative Democrats Louie Sanchez and moderate Democrat Klarissa Peña voted against it.
The Keller Administration argued that there is a need to protect existing housing stock to make it available to all permanent residents and future residents so that they will always have access to a safe, stable home. The goal of the ordinance was to cap the number of short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO in an attempt to stop housing units from being removed from the overall housing market reducing the availability of homes for sale. The initiative was intended to boost housing stock in Albuquerque.
Under the original legislation, the permit cap would have been set at 1,800. The cap was raised from 1,200 in the original legislation to accommodate all current rentals in the city. In addition to the cap, the ordinance would have done the following:
- Limit the number of permits per owner to 3.
- People who currently own more than three rental properties would be able to keep all of their properties, and renew those permits in perpetuity but they would be prohibited from adding properties.
- All existing rental properties would be grandfathered into the 1,800 cap.
- Require a manager, either the owner or another party, to live or be based within 20 miles of the city limits, and be available 24/7 to respond to maintenance issues, security concerns, and complaints
- Require the manager’s contact information be included on the permit application
- Limit permits to natural persons, as opposed to corporations or other business entities
- Limit the number of rentals to 3 per individual operator. People who already own more than 3 rentals would be grandfathered in and be able to renew permits for all their properties.
- Properties available for mid-length stays for traveling nurses or other transient workers would not be included. Only properties offering stays of 30 days or less will be included
- Corporations would still be able to own short-term rentals, but they would need to find a local manager to list their contact information and be available to guests.
- Increase the civil penalties for non-compliance with the ordinance.
During the August 21, 2023 city council meeting a floor substitute for the ordinance was introduced which revised and removed much of the original legislation. The cap, local manager, and individual limits were removed. In their place was a minimum distance of 330 feet between short-term rental units. It also would have removed the criminal penalties for violations of existing short-term rental regulations.
The floor substitute failed and councilors voted 6-3 against adopting the replacement. Subsequently, the original legislation also failed 6-3. Progressive City Councilors Pat Davis, Tammy Fiebelkorn and Isaac Benton voted in favor. Conservative Republican City Councilors Dan Lewis, Brook Bassan, Renée Grout, Trudy Jones, Conservative Democrat Louis Sanches and Moderate Democrat Klarissa Peña voted against.
NEW DEPARTMENT CREATED
On September 15, 2023, Mayor Tim Keller announced he was dividing the Department of Family & Community Services into two major departments: The Youth & Family Services Department and the Health, Housing & Homelessness Department. According to the announcement, homelessness and youth opportunity are two of the major priorities of the Keller Administration, and the reorganization will ensure these issues receive the focus and attention they deserve.
Carol Pierce, the former Director of the Family and Community Services Department was appointed Director of the Health, Housing & Homelessness (HHH). The new department will oversees homelessness programs, affordable housing, behavioral health, and health & social service centers.
Katarina Sandoval was appointed the Director of the Youth & Family Services Department. The new department oversees youth programs, community centers, educational initiatives, child and family development, the Area Agency on Aging, and the new Public Education Support division to coordinate closely with APS.
CITY COUNCIL GETS UPDATE ON HOUSING GOALS
On September 19 the Albuquerque City Council was given an update on Keller’s Housing ABQ Forward Plan and the city’s efforts to bring 5,000 housing units to Albuquerque by 2025 with city support. City Councilors have repeatedly asked for an update from the Department of Family and Community Services. The update report was on the city’s housing projects from the last 5 years as well as plans to increase unit production before 2025. The Keller Administration again cited a 30,000-unit shortage of housing and a need for 15,500 affordable housing units. The topic of the unhoused was also brought up by city councilors.
Joseph Montoya, the city’s new Deputy Director of Housing, made an in-depth presentation that laid out what the city has been doing and how they plan to address the affordable housing shortage. Montoya said the goal was 30,000 units of new housing over the next 5 years. Out of that number, at least 5,000 units of affordable housing are needed. The 5,000 units of affordable housing by the city has from the get go been the goal of the “Housing Forward ABQ Plan.”
Over the past 5 years, the city has supported the construction of 2,224 housing units, 1,021 of which are subsidized for low to moderate income tenants. On average, the city has been producing between 200 and 250 affordable units per year, for about 450 units total. The city now has a goal of producing 1,000 affordable housing units per year. To reach that goal, the current housing output will have to at least quadruple.
Montoya gave the following statistics:
- Nearly half of renters are rent-burdened.
- Rents have increased 20% since 2021.
- The median house price is $360,000.
- The city’s current waiting list for help with housing is about 800 people long.
- The city needs to produce 1,500 new units a year to keep up however only 200-250 units are being produced.
Montoya said this:
“[These are] the worst stats I’ve seen to date.”
In addition to the initiatives already in place, Montoya outlined additional strategies the city would like to use. Those strategies include:
- Expediting planning approvals for affordable housing developments,
- Opening request for proposals, known as RFPs, to “for-profit” as well as nonprofit developers,
- Creating a loan fund for homeowners building affordable accessory dwelling units.
- Align the city’s RFP process with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency and to create funding packages for developers.
Montoya is asking for a $20 million per year budget to focus on housing initiatives in the city.
City Council President Pat Davis said the statistics Montoya provided do not add up. It was noted the city has the goal of producing 1,000 affordable housing units per year. To reach that goal, the current housing output will have to at least quadruple. Davis pointed to the hundreds of people waiting for housing vouchers and a comparatively low number of affordable units being built. Davis said this:
“The math doesn’t match… We have 800 people on a housing voucher waiting list. … This doesn’t create the number of units for people on the waiting list.”
After Deputy Director of housing Joseph Montoya made his presentation, City Councilors turned their attention to the question of the new Gateway Center 24-7 homeless shelter. In particular, the council wanted to know 0nce people leave the Gateway Center to move into permanent housing, will they have a place to go?
Davis also questioned if people leaving the Gateway Center to move into permanent housing would be met with a dearth of housing and be pushed back onto the street.
“There’s no point in building the front door in Gateway if there’s nowhere to put them out. … At current capacity, this [building rate] does not get us to meeting the outflow need.”
City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn asked why, despite the change to the city’s zoning code earlier in the year to make motel conversions easier, there had only been one motel conversion over the past 5 years. Montoya said the city has only purchased one motel and is in conversations to purchase another.
Fiebelkorn raised the alarm that several projects supported by the city either had 100% affordable housing or 0%. Fiebelkorn said this:
“It’s my understanding from all the research and analysis that we should be moving towards mixed-income development. … Why are we not seeing affordable housing in all of them?”
Community members also raised concerns. Housing advocates spoke during public comment at the meeting. Several objected to opening RFPs to private developers and called for publicly-owned housing instead. Cameron Martinez said this:
“There’s many, many property management companies where profit is a priority over the well-being of the community. ” … We need permanently affordable, dignified housing in this city.”
Montoya agreed the housing crisis can have dire consequences for the city. Montoya said this:
“You lose history, you lose culture. … You lose everything that Albuquerque stands for.”
Links to quoted news source material are here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The housing shortage is related to economics, the development community’s inability to keep up with supply and demand and the public’s inability to purchase housing or qualify for housing mortgage loans. The shortage of rental properties has resulted in dramatic increases in rents.
Simply put, Keller used a short-term housing “crunch” to declare it a “housing crisis” in order to shove his “HOUSING FORWARD ABQ PLAN” down the throats of the city residents and property owners. Keller used the current housing crunch to declare a housing crisis to advocate major zoning changes that will increase density and destroy neighborhoods relying on neighborhoods, investors and developers to increase density by laxing zoning restriction for developers.
Keller’s “HOUSING FORWARD ABQ PLAN” empowers the Planning Department to unilaterally issue “permissive uses” for “casitas” on existing structures. The Planning Department is now allowed to exclude the general public from the permissible use application and deny adjacent property owners the right to object and appeal casitas. It essentially will require property owners to sue adjoining property owners to enforce covenants and restrictions.
“HOUSING FORWARD ABQ” is an aggressive approach to allow the city Family and Community Services department to become alarmingly involved with acquisition of private property to promote Keller’s politcal agenda to supplement the housing market with low income housing when the city should be concentrating on providing basic essential services. The Keller Administration is emphasizing the homeless crisis as a rues to promote the “HOUSING FORWARD ABQ” when the plan has nothing to do with housing the homeless and everything to do with increasing housing density in established neighborhood.
Mayor Tim Keller’s Housing Foreword ABQ Plan is a city policy abomination that favors developers and the city’s construction industry over neighborhoods. Given the public’s negative reaction at all 5 of the public meetings, there exists strong public hostility and mistrust. Keller’s Housing Foreword ABQ Plan was rejected by city residents as going way too far and the Albuquerque City Council essentially did the same by voting down many of the initiatives it contained. Keller boldly proclaimed his Housing Foreward Plan was “transformational.” The only thing transformational about it is that it will destroy historic neighborhoods and the character of established neighborhoods.
KELLER CATERING TO DEVELOPERS
The Integrated Development Ordinance was enacted a mere few weeks before Tim Keller was elected Mayor the first time in 2017. When then New Mexico Auditor Tim Keller was running for Mayor he had nothing to say publicly about the IDO and gave no position on it. He did proclaim he was the most uniquely qualified to be Mayor despite lacking any experience in municipal affairs and city zoning matters. The likely reason for not taking a position on the IDO was his sure ignorance of municipal land use planning and zoning matters, something he was never exposed to in his career as a State Senator and State Auditor.
Five years later, Keller ostensibly had some sort of epiphany and education and proclaims the IDO is outdated. It’s very difficult, if not outright laughable, to take Mayor Tim Keller serious when he proclaimed the city’s Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO), which lays out highly complicated zoning and subdivision regulations, as being outdated given that it was enacted in 2017 by the city council on an 8-1 vote.
For decades, investors, developers and construction contractors have objected to sector development plans proclaiming they were too burdensome and stifled development. They have wanted a loosening of the zoning laws to allow for casitas and duplexes and reducing parking requirements in new developments as well as allowing increases in height restrictions. The Integrated Development Ordinance repealed upwards of 60 sector development plans.
What really happened with Mayor Tim Keller’s “transformative changes” to the Integrated Development Ordinance and his “Housing Forward ABQ” plan is Keller catered to the development community as he pretended to be an expert in housing development and zoning matters. Keller relied on his exaggeration of the city’s housing crisis and homeless crisis to seek further changes to the city’s zoning code to help the development community and using city funding to do it.
ANOTHER RUSH JOB TO FAVOR DEVELOPERS
Simply put, the IDO is and has always been an abomination that favors developers and the city’s construction industry. The 2017 rewrite was a rush job. It took a mere 2 years to rewrite the entire zoning code and it emerged as the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO). It was in late 2017, just a few weeks before the municipal election and the election of Mayor Tim Keller, that the City Council rushed to vote for the final adoption of the IDO comprehensive plan on an 8-1 vote.
The rush job on city zoning to favor developers happened again. This time, Mayor Tim Keller had City Councilors Isaac Benton, a retired architect, and Republican Trudy Jones, a retired realtor to carry his water for him by sponsoring the legislation.
The regular 2023 municipal election to elect City Councilors for City Council Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 will be held on November 7, 2023 along with $200 Million in bonds to be approved by city voters. Incumbent Progressive Democrat City Councilors Isaac Benton and Pat Davis and Conservative Republican Trudy Jones, big supporters of the Mayor’s legacy projects, are not running for another term.
The November 7 municipal election could shift city council majority control from the current 5 Democrats to Republican control or perhaps a far more conservative shift to challenge Mayor Keller’s political agenda on land use issues that favors developers. It’s an agenda that needs to be challenged.
Links to related blog articles are here:
Three Set Backs To Mayor Tim Keller’s Housing ABQ Forward Plan; City Council Kills Short Term Rental Regulations; Keller’s Interference With Rental Housing Industry And Real Property Rights No Answer To Housing Shortage Even As Keller Caters To Developers