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Residents, Councilmember Oppose Self-Storage Project in Albuquerque, NM

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A self-storage facility that’s already under construction in Albuquerque, N.M., is now facing opposition from several residents and a city councilmember. The four-story building at 4100 Central S.E. in the Nob Hill neighborhood is on the former site of the Pulse Nightclub, which was demolished in 2015. Approved by the city in September, the project will include retail space on the ground floor, storage on the top three, and 33 covered parking spaces.

The Nob Hill Neighborhood Association (NHNA) contends the project shouldn’t have been permitted before a public meeting was held. It was expected to file a formal appeal last week to request a public meeting, according to the source. “We contend that the planning department made an incorrect decision,” said NHNA President Adrian Carver.

The property at the corner of Central Avenue and Montclaire Drive is in the city’s “C2” commercial zoning, in which the “transfer or storage of household goods” is considered a conditional use. As such, a public hearing would be required under city code, the source reported.

Councilmember Pat Davis also believes a public hearing should’ve been held before the project was approved. “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,” he said.

City officials disagree, noting the proper procedures were followed. “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 Brennon Williams, deputy director of the Albuquerque Planning Department.

The code-enforcement staff denied the project twice this year due to problems with the site plan, Williams said. However, the issues were resolved and the plan was later approved. “Some of those concerns related to parking and landscaping, and those sorts of things just needed to be clarified on the plan. Once those were corrected, then the plan was approved,” he added.

The storage developer plans to meet with residents to discuss the project. Even so, Davis contends the facility doesn’t belong in the Nob Hill community. “If you look at the plans, it’s a pretty decent way of doing public storage; it just doesn’t belong there,” he said. “It interrupts the idea that you can walk from one end of Central to the other and have a full day of activity.”

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