Neighborhood character...
Oct 31, 2013 | 1198 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I just returned to Albuquerque after signing a contract to have a home constructed on a lot purchased a dozen years ago within sight of Randy Day’s proposed development on Murphy Lane. Although the zoning change Mr. Day initially requested would have allowed him to construct as many as 137 housing units on 17 acres, even the 50 to 55 units he proposed is precisely the home density of the neighborhood in Albuquerque we plan to leave when we move back to Moab.

It’s undeniably urban.

Before we bought our lot I checked the zoning to make sure that we would be moving to the kind of area in which we would like to live. I considered the existing zoning to be a promise to me from the county that the space around our home would have a relatively low home density and not change radically into an area with a home density as great, or greater, than the one we are leaving. I also took this as a promise from the county that the lot on the corner would never sport a 7-Eleven, and the lot next to me would never contain a dog kennel. That’s what zoning is all about.

I don’t know Mr. Day, but I suspect that he’s a decent, honorable man. I am, however, more than a little annoyed that he would attempt to change the zoning conditions under which I bought my land at the expense of my neighbors and me. In addition, Mr. Day’s contention that he wished to change the zoning so he could provide high-density, affordable housing also seems a bit disingenuous considering that there are other areas of the valley already zoned for this density of housing.

Maybe Mr. Day should have done what I did and purchase land in an area already zoned for the type of development he had in mind. At the next election, perhaps the people of Grand County should ask the candidates about their feelings regarding zoning changes to residential neighborhoods before they find themselves living next to something they didn’t bargain for when they bought their property.

Your property is only as safe from actions such as Mr. Day’s as ours is. Changing the zoning is the first step in changing the neighborhood.

—John Gould

Albuquerque, N.M.

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