I had a ton of good intentions about writing regularly about the neighborhood I represent… and then life got in the way. By life, I mean my dissertation. By dissertation I mean book--I’m a graduate student in the creative writing department. I’ve spent the last few months in what I call my writing cave, but this week I submitted my manuscript to my committee.
I have a lot of catching up to do with THIS column…
Last year the University Heights Association approved the formation of a Neighborhood Safety Patrol, a program that works in conjunction with the police. Neighbors, in pairs, walk or drive around the neighborhood and make note of anything suspicious or out of order. Board member Marlene Brown is spearheading this initiative and we’re having a meeting on Tuesday April 17 at 7pm at Winnings for anyone interested, and those who have already signed up to participate. This would be a great opportunity to get involved in the University Heights neighborhood, meet some neighbors, and if you sign up to patrol you’ll get some exercise too!
LEAD / COAL
The end is in sight! As I posted last week, come Sunday both Lead and Coal will be open, each one-way. Word is by the end of June the project will be complete. More info at LeadandCoal.com
The neighborhood association participates in the zoning process by providing a venue for developers (large commercial developers or homeowners making improvements to their properties) to meet with and respond to the concerns of the neighborhood when seeking a Zoning change or a Conditional Use request or a Variance. The Neighborhood board’s position is considered by the Zoning Commission in rendering decisions.
Sometimes we get word of a property owner’s intent only when an application is filed with the city, other times property owners start with the Neighborhood Association so that they can address any concerns before they file an application. Some examples currently on the radar:
GILCHRIST HOUSE EMPTY LOT AT CORNELL AND SILVER
There is a current exhibit at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning that details the history of this property
Currently the property owner is seeking a zone change to allow for development of the property because the previous zoning designation included the actual Gilchrist house.
302 VASSAR: property owner is seeking a conditional use permit to convert the garage into a one bedroom apartment. In this case, the owner met with neighbors through a facilitated meeting, and then the board.
CLEAN UP Scheduled for June 2. I'll post more on this later... but mark your calendar. Another great way to meet neighbors, get some exercise, and help clean up the neighborhood.