Sunday, December 6, 2009

SANTA FE POLICE UNION NOT READY FOR ANNEXATION?

Today's article in the Santa Fe New Mexican is evidence why we should continue to be very wary of the coming annexation process. Reminder, STAY INVOLVED.

The first phase of the city's annexation plan that went into effect late last month caught police officers off-guard, wasn't properly planned and is negatively affecting both officer and civilian safety, according to officers' union president Allan Lopez.

Because of that, Lopez, who was elected president Thursday, has filed an informal grievance with the police administration. It requests that minimum staffing levels be immediately increased, that officers receive training to deal with crashes on the Interstate — which now falls under their jurisdiction — and that the city begin finding ways to pay more officers. That's according to a memo Lopez wrote Nov. 24.

The city "has taken a 'wing it and see what happens' attitude with this matter," the memo states. "The Santa Fe Police Officers' Association considers these issues a severe crisis and requests that you take immediate action in order to prevent a tragedy that could affect a member of this association or the public well-being."

Santa Fe Deputy Police Chief Abram Anaya said the department is already addressing the union's issues. A lieutenant is almost finished with a study looking at minimum staffing levels, another supervisor is researching classes that cover investigating crashes in high-speed zones, and the department is actively recruiting new officers, he said.

Furthermore, the first phase of annexation, which went into effect Nov. 24, shouldn't have come as a surprise because two union members were on a department annexation committee, Anaya said. "

All the stuff in the (union) memo we are addressing and we know we need to improve on," he said. "In fact, we were addressing all these issues months before the informal grievance came out."

Phase 1 of the annexation plan fills in the city's boundaries in many small areas, mainly along Interstate 25 on the city's southern border. It brought more than 1,900 acres into the city and at least 1,313 more people based on 2000 census figures.

Phase 2, however, is far more problematic, police and city officials have said. That phase will rope in another 3,765 acres and 13,650 more people based on 2000 census figures. Phase 3 will include about the same number of residents as Phase 1, and about 4,100 new acres. All are scheduled to be incorporated into the city by the end of 2013.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano, whose department previously handled the areas now in the city under phase 1, has said his deputies will help the city when officers are not available.

Lopez said he has already noticed a larger number of calls for service since the annexation took place, and that the department's minimum staffing of nine officers per shift should rise to at least 12, if not more.

He characterized the department as "reactive" and said officers are constantly going from call to call and don't have time for proactive patrols. Also, he pointed out that city councilors approved 45 new officers two years ago but have so far only funded four positions because of the failing economy. And that increase didn't include the 27 new patrol officers the department estimates it needs for annexation.

Anaya said the department has eight cadets at the Law Enforcement Academy and five more funded patrol officer positions it can fill if it can find qualified candidates. In addition, the department recently received a federal stimulus grant that will pay the salaries and benefits for eight new officers for three years.

While he admitted it takes time to field qualified patrol officers, Anaya said if those positions can be filled, the department will add 21 new officers to the streets and increase each of its three shifts by seven officers.

Lopez complained that no one at the police department bothered to inform commanders or the rank and file that the annexation was about to occur Nov. 24. He said the two union members on the department's annexation committee didn't know the date Phase 1 was to go into effect. "We didn't know it was coming," he said.

Anaya, however, said the union had plenty of opportunities to find out about the annexation and should have known about it. He also pointed out that the annexation issue was heavily publicized in the media.

"The one thing that did surprise me (about Lopez's grievance memo) is that they claim no knowledge of it," he said. "It should not be a shock to anybody." Lopez said he hopes to iron out the differences at a meeting between union officials and police administrators scheduled for next Thursday. If the city's response isn't acceptable to the union,

Lopez said, he will file a formal grievance.

"There is a serious lack of communication," he said. "We're not on the same page."

Contact Jason Auslander at 986-3076 or mailto:jauslander@sfnewmexican.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PHASE ONE ANNEXATION COMPLETE - NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION OVERLAY DISTRICTS PLAN POSTED HERE




Phase One annexation was approved by the City Council, see full report below.


NOTE: "While city officials generally agree the first phase shouldn't be an issue financially, the road could be bumpier with phases two and three. The fire and police departments, in particular, have pleaded for enough manpower and equipment to absorb the extra duties. The council recently approved plans to meet those needs, though where exactly the funding will come from is still uncertain.


To prepare for the Area 1 Community Planning Process, we encourage all to become familiar with the City's Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District code, which is whate we will be working with. See post below the article.


PLEASE - STAY INFORMED, STAY INVOLVED.


The Albuquerque Journal

by Kiera Hay

November 11, 2009


The Santa Fe City Council formally approved on Tuesday an ordinance annexing 1,956 acres. It's the first of three phases that will eventually see the city add a total of about 10,000 acres to its borders by 2013. “It seems like a small step, but I think it's pretty historic,” noted Mayor David Coss during the unanimous council vote. Coss thanked city staff and others for the work they put into the process. The land annexed consists of “small islands of county land surrounded by City land” spread across Santa Fe, as well as the Interstate 25 right-of-way between Old Pecos Trail and New Mexico 599. At least 1,313 people and 507 households will be absorbed by the city. The annexation stems from a 2008 settlement in which the city of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County agreed that the city would annex certain county lands within the next five years to “create clear, readily identifiable city boundaries.” On Tuesday, there was no comment during a public hearing, and the main topic of discussion among councilors was whether the city should take on Interstate 25 and the accompanying first responder status. Councilor Chris Calvert, notably, expressed concerns about the extra responsibility. “I guarantee if there's a problem, it's going to take patrol cars out of neighborhoods,” he said. “I just don't understand why we want to take that on.” Deputy Police Chief Abram Anaya noted that there are mutual aid agreements in place with both State Police and the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department, and said he fully expects those agencies to render help if needed. The City Council also approved a memorandum of understanding that says Santa Fe County will bring all roads in the annexed area up to a standard set by the city. Until that point, the roads will remain under the county's responsibility. An ordinance revising the municipal election district map to include phase one was postponed until December so that additional information on precincts could be provided. The ordinance essentially allows people living in those areas to vote in city elections. The second phase of annexation will include the area north of Tierra Contenta on either side of Airport Road up to Highway 599 and will be petitioned by the end of 2011, while phase three will be petitioned by the end of 2012 and is to include the area northeast of Agua Fria Traditional Historic Community and from the eastern city boundary to the national forest. According to city officials, the first phase of annexation is expected to cost the city $200,741 annually in additional services. Tax revenue from is anticipated to be about $187,000. While city officials generally agree the first phase shouldn't be an issue financially, the road could be bumpier with phases two and three. The fire and police departments, in particular, have pleaded for enough manpower and equipment to absorb the extra duties. The council recently approved plans to meet those needs, though where exactly the funding will come from is still uncertain.


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14-5.10 NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION OVERLAY DISTRICTS
(A) General Provisions
(1) Purpose
In order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of Santa Fe, it is deemed by the Governing Body that neighbors be allowed to conserve their neighborhoods by collectively identifying their neighborhood's distinctive characteristics, including, but not limited to: streetscape, architectural features, density, lot coverage, setbacks, height and some property uses. The Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts are a means to propose conservation of the substantive physical character of the neighborhoods and are not intended to be used as a tool simply to resist minor changes in neighborhood character. By proposing establishment of these overlay districts and tailoring the regulations to the attributes of the built environment that make the neighborhood distinctive, neighborhoods will have a tool to proactively affect new development and thereby promote better harmony between new and existing structures.
(2) Underlying Zoning District Requirements
Property within a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall be subject to the requirements of the underlying zoning district requirements, except for more specific requirements that are adopted for the applicable Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District.
(3) Additional Overlay Zoning District Requirements
If a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District is contained within another zoning overlay district(s), the most restrictive set of requirements shall prevail. A Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall not be included in the boundary of another Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District.
(4) Nonconforming Structures and Uses
Any structure or use located in a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District not meeting the requirements for the applicable Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall be considered legal nonconforming and shall comply with Article 14-10 of this Chapter.
(5) Variances
Requests for a variance from the requirements of a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall be heard by the Board of Adjustment as set forth in §14-3.16. Variances from maximum allowable density or permitted land uses established by a Neighborhood Conservation District are prohibited and shall be considered amendments to the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District and shall be adopted by ordinance.
(6) Appeals
Any person who is aggrieved by a staff decision regarding Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District requirements may appeal that decision to the Board of Adjustment as set forth in § 14-3.17.
(B) Creation of Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts
(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (C) below, prior to the creation of a specific Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District, a neighborhood plan recommending the creation of the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District as one of the plan's implementation policies shall be adopted as a General Plan amendment as set forth in §14-3.2.
(2) The creation of a specific Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall follow the procedures set forth in §14-3.1 (H)(I)(b) as for a City-initiated rezoning.
(3) After a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District is officially created, amendments to the boundaries or the requirements shall also follow the provisions outlined in this §14-5.10(B).
(C) Creation of Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts Alternative
The procedures set forth in this paragraph (C) apply only when §14-3.2(D)(3)(e)(iv) occurs and a neighborhood plan is not prepared. For the purpose of calculating the percentages required in this paragraph (C), each parcel is entitled to a single vote no matter how many persons or entities might own a single parcel.
(1) Petition
A neighborhood may petition the City to develop a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District. The petition shall contain a description of the proposed boundaries of the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District and the signatures of 51 percent of the property owners of record in that area. The City may request proof of ownership.
(2) Inventory
An inventory of characteristics that are proposed to be regulated within the proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall be completed by the neighborhood with assistance from City staff. The characteristics may include some or all of those characteristics described in paragraph (D)(2) below.
(3) Public Meetings
(a) Upon verification of the petition by the Land Use Department, staff shall hold at least 2 public meetings at which the proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District boundaries and requirements shall be discussed and developed. The meetings shall be coordinated with City staff and held at a reasonable time and place to maximize public attendance.
(b) Notice for each public meeting shall follow the notice requirements for early neighborhood notification as set forth in §14-3.1(F)(3)(b). In addition to the postal notification, persons required to be notified of the public meetings may request an email notification from the City on the same day that postal notification is mailed for second or subsequent public meetings. In the event that the proposed boundaries are enlarged, notice shall be given to those additional property owners and physical addressees as if for the first scheduled meeting.
(4) Neighborhood Ballot
(a) When the Land Use Department has determined that 40 percent of the property owners of record within the proposed boundaries in attendance or represented by written proxy at the public meeting agree to the final proposed requirements governing the proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District, the Land Use Department shall mail a ballot by regular mail to all property owners of record within those boundaries. The ballot shall ask for a single affirmative or negative vote for the proposed requirements. The City shall include a stamped envelope addressed to the Land Use Department for returning ballots.
(b) If within 30 days of mailing the ballot, the City receives an affirmative vote of the proposed requirements by 67 percent of the property owners within the proposed boundaries, the proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District requirements shall be deemed to be approved by the neighborhood. The Land Use Director may extend the 30 days for an additional 15 days due to unforeseen circumstances.
(c) If the proposed requirements are not voted on in the affirmative by 67 percent of the property owners, a like or similar petition shall not be submitted within 12 months from the date of verification by the City that the proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District has failed to receive the required affirmative vote.
(5) Adoption of Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District
After the proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District requirements have been approved by the neighborhood, the procedures set forth in §14-3.5 with notice as set forth in §14-3.1(H)(1)(b) shall be followed as for a City-initiated rezoning. After a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District is officially created, amendments to the boundaries or the requirements shall also follow the provisions outlined in this §14-5.10(C).
(D) Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts Requirements
(1) At a minimum, a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall include all residentially zoned parcels within an area no less than 2 City blocks or 4 blockfaces unless the Land Use Director determines that the blocks are unusually long or short or that the neighborhood characteristics are significantly different within the blocks.
(2) Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts may regulate the following:
(a) Building design including, but not limited to, scale, mass, and distinctive architectural characteristics such as front porches, height or roof styles;
(b) Streetscape including, but not limited to, lot frontage, fences, walls, parking, lighting, and landscaping;
(c) Density except density bonuses as permitted in §14-8.11(G)(1);
(d) Lot coverage;
(e) Setbacks;
(f) Building height; and
(g) Property use except as set forth in paragraph (3) below.
(3) Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts shall not restrict the following:
(a) City-wide policies and priorities;
(b) Dwelling units marketed to or occupied by any certain income such as, but not limited to, any residential units covered by the Santa Fe Homes Program;
(c) Home occupations as set forth in §14-6.3(C)(2);
(d) Group or foster homes;
(e) Day care facilities;
(f) Public or private schools for elementary, middle or senior high students;
(g) Religious institutions; or
(h) Other uses determined by the Land Use Director as necessary for the health and safety of the neighborhood.
(4) Requirements shall be measurable, definitive and uniform and enforceable by the Land Use Department through the approval procedures set forth in this Chapter and the issuance of a building permit. A Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District shall not apply to a specific application required under this Chapter which has been submitted to the Land Use Department prior to the date of adoption of a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District. If a subsequent but separate application for the same property is submitted after the date of adoption of the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District, the requirements shall apply. It is not the intent of the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts to enforce private covenants.
(E) Review and Report; Amendments
Staff shall make a report to the Governing Body regarding the implementation, management and enforcement of §14-5.10 prior to December 24, 2010 including, but not limited to, variances, appeals and related fees. Upon evaluation of the report, the Governing Body may consider amendments to the City Code regarding Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts.
(Ord. No. 2009-30 § 3)

Friday, October 30, 2009

COMMUNITY INPUT FOR NEW PARK NEAR SILER EXTENSION

District 2 Public Meeting:

A public meeting will be held on Thursday, November 5th from 5:30 to 7pm at the Nancy Rodriguez Center #1 Prairie Loop in Santa Fe. Community input is sought for planning and designing a small neighborhood park located off of Quail View Lane, southwest of the intersection of West Alameda and the new Siler Rd. extension. For more information please call (505) 992-9873 or log on to: explore@santafecounty.org

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CONTINUED: NOW THE CITY REALIZES THEY CAN NOT PROVIDE SERVICES?


We wrote yesterday that the City was just now beginning to think about services for the 10,000 acres being annexed in the next few years. These are issues of serious concern for residents currently served by the County. It is apparent the City has not seriously planned for the vast areas set to become part of the City.

Today's Santa Fe New Mexican featured another story on the subject:

"How the city will foot the bill is unclear, but the City Council approved conceptual organizational plans Wednesday for each public safety department."

Here is the full article.

Here are the previous articles:



All residents that will become annexed are urged to get involved and demand that our safty and services will be provided for by the City.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NOW THE CITY REALIZES THEY CAN NOT PROVIDE SERVICES?


The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper had two very disturbing articles in today's edition.


Here are a few highlights:

"It's Phase 2 of the annexation process — slated for the end of 2011 — that has them concerned, Deputy Chief Abram Anaya said. The city will absorb more than 10 times the number of new residents and nearly twice the amount of acreage as it will in Phase 1. "

"Two years ago, city police asked for 45 new officers over three years to improve the service to existing residents. Anaya said that request "was not reflective of annexation." However, budgetary constraints have meant that the department only received four of those positions in the 2008-2009 budget, and will get no new officer positions in 2009-2010, Anaya said. "

"I absolutely think they need more personnel (for those areas)," Solano said. "There's no doubt about that."


"As Santa Fe city officials approach completion of the first of three planned annexations to the city limits, details about costs and responsibilities for a bigger city remain undefined. Figuring out how to pay for road repairs on traffic arteries that will become the city's responsibility, preparing to provide police and fire protection for residents in a larger territory and making sure new residents have containers for trash pickup are among the tasks at hand"

Area 1 residents, as well as all other residents facing annexation, are urged to stay informed and involved. There are many critical issues ahead.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

599 BYPASS: FUTURE INTERCHANGES AND DEVELOPMENT WILL IMPACT AREA 1


There is a highly important public meeting Tuesday, October 6, about future interchanges and development along the 599 Bypass corridor - see details here.

During the various meetings we attended this summer during the Zoning hearings, there were references made to future changes and added access points along 599. We were assured no decisions had been made, but an Editorial in today's Santa Fe New Mexican raised alarm bells:

"(Years ago) A citizens' committee was convened to determine which of three concentric half-circles would be chosen. Sensibly enough, according to recent folklore, knowing the expansive nature of the community leaders of the time, they chose the farthest-out line. The committee went ignored — while, cashing in on inside information, a few local prominences became wealthier overnight on their purchases of land in the path of the route now being driven.

But not wealthy enough, it seemed: Having secured the line to their liking, they began pressuring the politicians they'd bought with campaign contributions to turn what was proposed as a safer alternative road for Carlsbad-bound nuclear waste into a commercial strip — replete with gas stations on every corner, and strip malls to follow"

Lots of that ambitious thinking was thwarted, or at least delayed, as planning-conscious community activists gained stronger voices in the political process — but don't be surprised when the first gas station/convenience market pops up, then another and another ... "


A primary concern is the obvious possible continuation of the new Siler Road extension all the way to 599; along with other north-south connections. These connections would obviously be attractive to the developers looking to build in the un-developed areas of Area 1.

Stay informed! Please plan to attend at 5 PM this Tuesday, October 6, Genoveva Chavez Community Center located at 3221 Rodeo Road.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

LOOKING AHEAD

On August 27, the ELUA agreed to a huge step in securing the character of our neighborhoods, collectively known as "Area 1".

Area 1 is truly a unique area. Approximately 60% of the land is presently occupied, with rural lots of mostly one dwelling per 2.5 acres, and some with 1 dwelling per acre. It is a traditional rural area, with deep arroyos, ridgelines, and hundreds of acres of scenic land in the foothills west of the City.

The ELUA listened intently to the Area 1 Residents' concerns, and adopted an alternative zoning more in line with the existing rural character of the neighborhoods of 1 unit per acre, with a dedicated Community Planning process to follow. There will be more work to be done, and we hope everyone will stay engaged in this process.

The County has posted a video of the August 27 hearing, you have to scroll down, past BCC meetings , etc, to find the August 27 ELUA video:

http://www.santafecounty.org/video_on_demand/

Friday, August 28, 2009

SECURING THE FUTURE OF AREA 1


We have taken a huge step in securing the character of our neighborhoods, collectively known as "Area 1".

Area 1 is truly a unique area. Approximately 60% of the land is presently occupied, with rural lots of mostly one dwelling per 2.5 acres, and some with 1 dwelling per acre. It is a traditional rural area, with deep arroyos, ridgelines, and hundreds of acres of scenic land in the foothills west of the City.

The original Settlement Agreement stipulated, in section 2.c "Area 1 shall be annexed but the Rural Residential zoning prevalent in the area shall be respected by the City following annexation and urban densities shall not be established within Area 1 during the term of this agreement." The City Planning Commission and City Council have endorsed urban densities as a core of their view of Urban Planning, setting the stage for potential conflicts with the existing rural neighborhoods in Area 1.

Unfortunately, we became afraid that the many of the good intentions of the Settlement Agreement were coming apart as we attended various meetings held by the City and the County to formally adopt exactly what "Rural Residential Zoning" would be. It was looking like we would be zoned for 3 units per acre, before bonus densities were factored in.

A final recommendation was scheduled for Thursday by the Extraterritorial Land Use Authority (ELUA). I am extremely gratified to report that the ELUA listened intently to the Area 1 Residents' concerns, and adopted an alternative zoning more in line with the existing rural character of the neighborhoods of 1 unit per acre, with a dedicated Community Planning process to follow.

Dozens of Area 1 homeowners join me in thanking County Commissioners Harry Montoya, Michael Anaya, Virginia Vigil, Kathy Holian, and City Councilors Miguel Chavez and Carmichael Dominguez. The community of Area 1 residents must follow through with the work necessary to complete a Community Plan. We will be asking for your and your neighbors support in the coming months. There will be challenges as Area 1 is brought into the City, but the members of ELUA have provided a good framework for the creation of a successful integration.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

SUCCESS!

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ATTENDING TONIGHT!

Watch here for continuing news and updates.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

THURSDAY'S ELUA MEETING

REMINDER: PLEASE ATTEND THURSDAY'S CRITICAL ELUA MEETING.

WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND THE MEETING, it is vital that we have a strong presence at this Thursday's ELUA meeting, to be held at 102 Grant Street at 6 PM. PLEASE ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, WE NEED YOU.

Please email savesantafe@cybermesa.com or call 603 0986 for detailed information.

As a refresher, here is the SF New Mexican's editorial, and two excellent op-ed pieces here and here.

The neighborhood you save will be your own.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ACTION TIME


We have less than 48 hours to Thursday's critical ELUA meeting. Our coalition of concerned Area 1 residents has prepared a specific set of proposals and has distributed them to the members of the ELUA. These proposals offer specific alternatives to counter the current City RR zoning - which would allow a minimum base density of 3 units per acre. Additionally we are currently contacting ELUA members to ask that they support the original intentof the Annexation Settlement Agreement. Please email savesantafe@cybermesa.com or call 603 0986 for further information.

WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND THE MEETING, it is vital that we have a strong presence at this Thursday's ELUA meeting, to be held at 102 Grant Street at 6 PM. PLEASE ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, WE NEED YOU. The neighborhood you save will be your own.

As a refresher, here is the SF New Mexicans editorial, and two excellent op-ed pieces here and here

Continue to contact the people involved on this: ELUA here, County and City here. Also contact our County representative Commissioner Vigil: vvigil@co.santa-fe.nm.us , 995-2755.


Thank you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NEWS AND IMPORTANT REMINDER


A group of residents from the Cielo Lumbre, Coyote Ridge, and Calle Nopal areas recently had preliminary discussions with the County about creating a community plan with a moratorium for City zoning and density changes. This is only a beginning, and nothing is assured, but it is an indication we are being heard.

It is vital that we have a strong presence at this Thursday's ELUA meeting, to be held at 102 Grant Street at 6 PM. We are sorry for the long meeting at the ELUC, but our turnout this Thursday is critical to show our determination.

Continue to contact the people involved on this: ELUA here, County and City here. Also contact our County representative Commissioner Vigil: vvigil@co.santa-fe.nm.us , 995-2755.

We had a great series of op-eds and letters to the editor at the Santa Fe New Mexican, keep them coming: here is a direct link to submit a letter.

If the ELUA votes to adopt the existing ordinance, we sill have options and remedies available. We have made progress, however slight, this is a long and difficult road, and the other side had a formidable head start, but as they say, "it's not over until it's over".

Tell your neighbors. See you Thursday. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

UPDATE: ELUA NEXT, AUGUST 27

Despite overwhelming public opposition, the ELUC voted to recommend that the City adopt the SPAZO ordinance including the increased densities for Area 1.

Thank again for everyone that came to the meeting, we made an impressive argument for our cause. THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER!

There are other developments taking place, so our coalition is still working with County and State officials - stay tuned. This is a long and difficult road, and the other side had a formidable head start, but as they say, "it's not over until it's over".

Watch here for updates, and let's prepare for the ELUA meeting August 27. Continue to contact the people involved on this: ELUC here, County and City here. Also contact our County representative Commissioner Vigil: vvigil@co.santa-fe.nm.us , 995-2755./

Write a letter to the editor at the Santa Fe New Mexican, here is a direct link to submit a letter.
Contact your neighbors. Organize your neighborhood. Protect your neighborhood!

REMEMBER: The next critical meeting is the Extraterritorial Land Use Authority (ELUA) on August 27, also at 102 Grant at 6PM. Stay tuned.

Thank you!





Friday, August 14, 2009

THANK YOU!

Thanks to everyone who braved last night's meeting. There was no indication from the agenda that so many items would be heard before we could speak, so we apologize for the delay and length of the meeting.

Our perseverance showed, Stay tuned.

Monday, August 10, 2009

CRITICAL ELUC MEETING THURSDAY, AUGUST 13


URGENT! PLEASE ATTEND!


The next step in the City's Annexation of Area 1 is the Extraterritorial Land Use Commission (ELUC) meeting THURSDAY, August 13, at 6 PM at the County Chambers 102 Grant Street.
The public meeting is to adopt new zoning, subdivision, and higher density regulations that the City approved in May. The public can speak and request a delay or changes. All Area 1 residents are urged to attend; the annexation process is rapidly going forward. Area 1 will become subject to City ordinance 30 days after August 28 - even though the area will not be formally annexed until 2012/13.

There are serious zoning, density, and other changes that will impact Area 1. Many other areas have serious concerns, please spread the word. This is a must-attend meeting, a large and vocal turnout just might influence the Commission to delay or consider changes to the Ordinance.

You can also take a moment now to contact the Committee Members:ELUA here; ELUC here, County and City here. Also contact our County representative Commissioner Vigil: vvigil@co.santa-fe.nm.us , 995-2755.

Write a letter to the editor at the Santa Fe New Mexican, here is a direct link to submitt a letter.
Contact your neighbors. Organize your neighborhood. Protect your neighborhood!

The next critical meeting is the Extraterritorial Land Use Authority (ELUA) on August 27, also at 102 Grant at 6PM. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

AREA 1 COMMENTARY IN SATURDAY'S PAPER


The Santa Fe New Mexican today published a comprehensive summary of the annexation issue facing residents of Area 1. See the full article here. The article ends: "Why can't we be heard?"

We can have a voice this Thursday, August 13 at the Extraterritorial Land Use Commission (ELUC) meeting THURSDAY, at 6 PM at the County Chambers 102 Grant Street.

See full details in the post below. See you there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

IMPORTANT ANNEXATION MEETING THURSDAY, AUGUST 13


The next step in the City's Annexation of Area 1 is the Extraterritorial Land Use Commission (ELUC) meeting THURSDAY, August 13, at 6 PM at the County Chambers 102 Grant Street.

The public meeting is to adopt new zoning, subdivision, and higher density regulations that the City approved in May. The public can speak and request a delay or changes. All Area 1 residents are urged to attend; the annexation process is rapidly going forward. Area 1 will become subject to City ordinance 30 days after August 28 - even though the area will not be formally annexed until 2012/13.

There are serious zoning, density, and other changes that will impact Area 1. This is a must-attend meeting, a large and vocal turnout just might influence the Commission to delay or consider changes to the Ordinance.

You can also take a moment now to contact the Committee Members:
ELUA here; ELUC here, County and City here. Also contact our County representative Commissioner Vigil: vvigil@co.santa-fe.nm.us , 995-2755.
Write a letter to the editor at the Santa Fe New Mexican, here is a direct link to submitt a letter.

The next critical meeting is the Extraterritorial Land Use Authority (ELUA) on August 27, also at 102 Grant at 6PM. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

UPDATE - NEXT STEPS


We are receiving lots of inquiries from concerned residents of Area 1 asking how to help. Time is short, but we can make a difference.


Contact Councilor Bushee, she is on the Regional Planning Authority and may be our next City Coincilor: pjbushee@santafenm.gov , 955-2345.

Write a letter to the editor at the Santa Fe New Mexican, here is a direct link to submitt a letter.

Tell your friends and neighbors and have them call and write and attend the next meetings. City and County officials will take notice if we assemble large turnouts, there is power in numbers.

The ELUC is scheduled to adopt the new Ordinance on August 13, ELUA on August 27. 30 days later, the City takes control EVEN THOUGH WE WILL NOT BE FORMALLY ANNEXED FOR 2-3 YEARS.

Please mark your calendars now attend the August meetings. There will be public discussion. Another great turn-out would go a long way towards assisting our cause. You can also take a moment now to contact the Committee Members:



Stay tuned, more to come.

Monday, July 27, 2009

THANKS TO ALL FOR ATTENDING - NEXT STEPS


Thanks to everyone for attending tonight's meeting. It was a great show of opposition, but time is short and we need to organize.

Please continue to contact Commissioner Vigil: vvigil@co.santa-fe.nm.us . She indicated that she would be open to further meetings.

BUT TIME IS SHORT. ELUC is scheduled to adopt the new Ordinance on August 13, ELUA on August 27. 30 days later, the City takes control EVEN THOUGH WE WILL NOT BE FORMALLY ANNEXED FOR 2-3 YEARS.

Please mark your calendars to attend the August meetings. Another great turn-out would go a long way towards assisting our cause. If you can not, please take a moment to contact the Committee Members:


Check back regularly for more details and news.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

AREA MEETING MONDAY, JULY 27; DETAILS TO COME


We have just learned that Commissioner Virginia Vigil will host a public meeting on the annexation of Area 1 to be held Monday, July 27 at 6 PM at the Nancy Rodriguez Community Center, located at # 1 Prairie Dog Loop across from the Agua Fria Fire Station. More details here.

Keep the August ELUC and ELUA meetings on your calendars. These are critical and we need your attendance.
Check back here for updates.




Friday, July 17, 2009

IMPORTANT MEETINGS AND POSSIBLE NEW TOWN HALL


There are two important meeting possible withing the next two weeks, Stay tuned here for confirmation and details. We have learned there may be a Town Hall covered by the County on July 27, and another important meeting the next day. DETAILS TO COME.

Meanwhile, please mark your schedules for the critically important ELUA and ELUC meetings in August, details and contact in post below.

The Santa Fe New Mexican had this article on other areas being annexed, and this editorial on planning, which followed the previous editorial specifically about changes to our neighborhood.
"The greatest growth is expected inside Santa Fe's newly expanded city limits — the guessing is an additional 28,000 people. Will those folks represent enough revenue to pay for the police and fire protection they need? For the water they'd use — assuming the city system has enough to supply them? What about the 10,000 or more new homes they'd need? The streets along which those homes would lie — and the main roads their cars would travel? How much infrastructural investment will it take to absorb so many more families, to keep things going in a small town turned into a city of 100,000? How closely should the development of subdivisions, shopping centers and business parks be guided? Will our community's strict but mostly sensible land-use rules be eroded, case after case, by one slick sprawl promoter after another? Or will some local-government body sell out Santa Fe wholesale — and with it the streetscapes and lifestyle that have made this town the attractive one it is?"
Be informed. Be involved.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

UPDATE


Thanks again to all who turned out at last night's final Community Outreach meeting regarding the City of Santa Fe annexation.

KOAT-TV covered the meeting and aired a brief clip of one of our members voicing concerns, watch the clip here.

REMINDER: The real action will take place at the next ELUC meeting August 13, with the ELUA set to approve the revised Rural Residential Ordinance with increased density allowances on August 27. Both meetings are at 6 Pm at 102 Grant Street, open to the public.

In the recent meetings we have continued to identify questions of concern, including: increased densities to 3 per acre, with distinct possibilities for MUCH HIGHER densities; water and sewer hook-ups, new roads through or near Coyote Ridge Road; Coyote Ridge Road becoming a thoroughfare to the area behind us; other road constructions around us; and others.

Please mark your calendars to attend the August meetings. If you can not, please take a moment to contact the Committee Members:


In the meantime, we continue to pursue other options - feel free to contact me for any information - we have assembled a good library of details. And follow this blog for updates.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ONE MORE COMMUNIY MEETING, THEN ELUC AND ELUA IN AUGUST


Several area residents attend last night's second of 3 "Community Outreach" meeting, the final one is next Monday at 5:30 at the Southside Library.

Basically, although intended for the entire annexation area, only residents from our immediate vicinity attended. The City Staff has become accustomed to our concerns and questions, but basically is just there to provide the City's party line.

The real action will take place at the next ELUC meeting August 13, with the ELUA set to approve the revised Rural Residential Ordinance with increased density allowances on August 27. Both meetings are at 6 Pm at 102 Grant Street, open to the public.

In the recent meetings we have continued to identify questions of concern, including: increased densities to 3 per acre, with distinct possibilities for MUCH HIGHER densities; water and sewer hook-ups, new roads through or near Coyote Ridge Road; Coyote Ridge Road becoming a thoroughfare to the area behind us; other road constructions around us; and others.

Please mark your calendars to attend the August meetings. If you can not, please take a moment to contact the Committee Members: ELUA here; ELUC here, County and City here.

In the meantime, feel free to contact me for any information - we have assembled a good library of details. And follow this blog for updates.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

REMINDER - COMMUNITY MEETING MONDAY, JULY 6


We hope everyone had a festive and safe Fourth of July Holiday weekend. Now, time to get back to work.


First up, the second of three "Community Meetings" about the City annexation and pending zoning and density changes. Monday's meeting is at the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive.


Monday, July 6
Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM
Monday, July 13Open House: 4-5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM


IF YOU CAN NOT ATTEND, PLEASE WRITE/CALL OR EMAIL THE MEMBERS OF THE ELUA. This commission will meet in August to pass a City Ordinance that will allow INCREASED DENSITIES OF UP TO 5 UNITS PER ACRE, among many other devastating changes to our rural neighborhood.


Here are the members of the ELUA:Rosemary Romero (city)Miguel Chavez (city)Carmichael Dominguez (city)Virginia Vigil (county)Harry Montoya (chair/county)Liz Stefanics (county)Kathy Holian (county)





In case you missed it, among the many problems the City is facing (a budget that is not sustainable, cuts in services, etc) last week it was recommended that the City needs to increase sewer fees by 47%; this is just another hidden cost that we will absorb if annexed by the City.)


See you Monday!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

THURSDAY (JULY 2) ELUA CANCELLED


We have just received official confirmation that Thursday's (July 2) ELUA meeting has been cancelled. The Rural Residential ordinance was to have been voted on.


Watch for the ELUC meeting on August 11, and the next ELUA meeting August 25.


The delay is to allow for the public to SPEAK UP at the next two Community Outreach meetings:


Monday, July 6

Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

Monday, July 13Open House: 4-5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM


IF YOU CAN NOT ATTEND, PLEASE WRITE/CALL EMAIL THE MEMBERS OF THE ELUA:


Here are the members of the ELUA:
Rosemary Romero (city)
Miguel Chavez (city)
Carmichael Dominguez (city)
Virginia Vigil (county)
Harry Montoya (chair/county)
Liz Stefanics (county)
Kathy Holian (county)


Contacts:




Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July....and remember, we are fighting own own independance battle!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

IMPORTANT SERIES OF MEETINGS THIS WEEK


Hello All:


There are three VERY IMPORTANT meetings this week, and we urge everyone to attend and speak up.


First up, The City of Santa Fe will sponsor Community Outreach Meetings To Discuss Annexation Area Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Regulations and Map. The open meetings are all scheduled for the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive.


NOTE: The "Rural Residential" definition as described on the notice map HAS ALREADY BEEN REVISED BY THE CITY TO ALLOW 3 AND UP TO 5 DWELLINGS PER ACRE.

Dates and Times
Monday, June 29, 2009
Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM
Monday, July 6
Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM
Monday, July 13
Open House: 4-5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM


On Tuesday at 10 AM, the Board of County Commissioners meets at 102 Grant Street. Here is the agenda, there is an opportunity for public comment early.


Finally, the all-important ELUA will meet Thursday at 6 PM, also at 102 Grant, to re-hear and vote on the revised Rural Residential Zoning Ordinance. THIS MEETING IS CRITICAL.


Tell your friends and neighbors. We know it is difficult for all our schedules, but this week is critical!

Friday, June 26, 2009

ALERT: COMMUNITY MEETINGS SET


The City of Santa Fe today posted notice of Community Outreach Meetings To Discuss Annexation Area Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Regulations and Map. The open meetings are all scheduled for the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive.

NOTE: The "Rural Residential" definition as described on the notice map HAS ALREADY BEEN REVISED BY THE CITY TO ALLOW 3 AND UP TO 5 DWELLINGS PER ACRE.

Dates and Times

Monday, June 29, 2009

Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM


Monday, July 6

Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM


Monday, July 13

Open House: 4-5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

It is imperative we turn out in large numbers to each meeting. This will be our first (and probably only) opportunity to voice our concerns in a public forum. Dramatic changes have already been made that will be contrary to the original agreement, which stated: "The Rural Residential District is intended to respect the existing rural residential character of the area and prevent urban densities".

Further, the City and County HAVE ALREADY AGREED to assign all land use decisions to the City, to be effective imminently - EVEN LONG BEFORE WE ARE FORMALLY ANNEXED.


Stay tuned. More to come!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ELUA MEETING JUNE 25 CANCELLED


We have just learned that Thursday's ELUA meeting has been cancelled. The ELUA was to re-hear the newly amended Rural Residential Zoning Ordinance.


We will post as soon as we know more. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BLOGGER SHINES A LIGHT ON SANTA FE BUDGET AND HOUSING BUST

Two excellent posts on Joe Monahan's blog today, both address the City's falling revenue and home building bust. A good dose of reality! Full blog here.

Is Santa Fe Mayor David Coss falling behind the curve?

Gross receipts tax collections keep plunging, again coming in much lower than expected in April. That means the city budget just drafted is already outdated. You can't blame the mayor for keeping his fingers crossed and wishing for an economic rebound, but something more fundamental has happened and needs to be addressed. The epic boom in tourism in Santa Fe and America is over for now. The tax money generated by it in the 90's and early part of this decade is not going to be replicated anytime soon. Santa Fe city government appears to be in need of a restructuring so it can operate at permanently leaner levels. Either that or raise taxes.Coss is up for election next March and it seems he would rather cut in response to each monthly drop in tax collections. He wants to avoid layoffs at all costs. But Councilor Bushee and others seem more aware of (and less politically impacted) by the new paradigm. They are calling for deeper cuts to stabilize city government. Coss has a responsibility to keep the nation's oldest capital city humming along for the benefit of not only Santa Feans but the state and nation. Month to month budgeting is causing Santa Fe to really look like a "City Different," but not in a good way. Can't Coss and the Council have a "reality-based" budget meeting?

CARRIED AWAY

Unlike ABQ, Santa Fe did get carried away with the crazy housing speculation. As those bubble prices adjust (crash) construction jobs disappear. Add to the mix the lack of new state government jobs and you have a job market that is shrinking and a recession continuing. Occupancy for Santa Fe apartments is now just 83 percent. The median home price is now bouncing around the $350,000 level. That's down from the April 2005 all-time peak of $470,000, or a plunge of about 25 percent. The median has been as low as $308,000. Will we eventually break that level?The mantra that comes from the state spinners---"It's not as bad here as it is elsewhere"--is true for some parts of the state, but not for the storied city of Santa Fe and its budget-embattled leaders.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BIG SURPRISE: CITY BUDGET IN TROUBLE


Just a little over a week after the City passed a delayed budget, new finance numbers have come to light that show a severe stain on City services. See the full article from the SF New Mexican here.

"The drop in revenues means about $1 million less in city coffers for the next fiscal year, according to a Friday announcement. The news means the city manager will freeze all hiring, promotions and transfers of permanent nonsafety employees for 30 days. Manager Galen Buller will also begin meeting with senior staff members on "contingency planning" to identify ways the city could balance the budget given the new details".

Still, no discussion whatsoever as to how the City proposes to service the areas it intends to annex, some staring this year.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Planning Commission denies Northwest Quadrant project


The City Planning Commission has denied the City's own Master Plan for the Northwest Quadrant development. There has been vigorous opposition from the local neighborhood, and we should take heart that opposition can have effect.


The City was proposing for variances from its own codes. So even as we are now being promised one thing or another, remember that the City believes it can always change the rules for its benefit. See quote below from SF New Mexican:


Commission member Estevan Gonzales also opposed the requested variances. "After all, how can the city ask developers including the state and the county . . . to abide by the code and then turn around and ask us planning commissioners to turn around and grant major variances to the code?" he said. "We have spent an enormous amount of resources on this plan that falls short of the many expectations, including mine."


Next up: Rural Residential Zoning to be heard at June 25 ELUA meeting, 6 PM at 102 Grant St. We need a large turn out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IMPORTANT MEETINGS THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK

Northwest Quadrant Hearing at New Spot

The location of the Planning Commission hearing on the Northwest Quadrant scheduled for Thursday has been changed. Instead of being held in the City Council Chambers, the controversial development will be heard at 6 p.m. in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy St.

Next week: Critcal ELUA meeting at 102 Grant Street, 6 PM. Rural Residnetial zoning ordinance to be re-heard. WE NEED A LARGE TURN-OUT!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

REDUCED BUDGET PASSED

Finally, the City passed a reduced budget . However, some Councilors were skeptical: “This budget and the numbers behind it are completely unsupported given the current economic reality we are facing.” -- Matthew Ortiz. Chavez called the process “gamesmanship and back door negotiation deals” and said, “I really don't think this is the way to run the city.”

"It's been a piecemeal process, too little, too late,” Patti Bushee said
(Abq. Journal North)

There continues to be no provisions for services in the areas scheduled to be annexed.

Stay tuned, remember June 25 ELUA meeting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

PUBLIC OUTCRY SLOWS NORTHWEST QUANDRANT PLANS

We can take heart, continued public opposition to the Northwest Quadrant plan has stated to gain City Councilor's attention.

"As has happened at most other meetings dealing with the Northwest Quadrant, a large contingent of naysayers, many of them residents of the neighboring Casa Solana neighborhood, gathered in the audience. More than a dozen spoke during a public hearing during which mostly negative sentiments about the project were expressed." -Abq. Journal North

See full article in today's Santa Fe New Mexican.

We have many friends and allies in this area, let's take some encouragement from their efforts. We need to broaden our coalition and numbers, and be ready to attend the next ELUA meeting currently scheduled for June 25.

Stay tuned.

Monday, June 8, 2009

ELUA TO RECOVENE FOR RURAL ORDINANCE VOTE


The ELUA will reconvene in June at 102 Grant Street, and the annexation issue is back on the agenda. Use this time to lobby the ELUA members, we will post all contact very shorty. In the meantime, this is a link to contacts for all City Councilors and Commissioner Vigil. Please use them and pass along. Let's get the word out to Ecco Secco, Tres Arroys, and Calle Nopal.


Thanks all.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

BCC MEETING TUESDAY JUNE 9 3 PM

The Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners is meeting Tuesday, June 9, 3 PM, at 102 Grant Street. Here is the agenda.

The is a provision for public comments at the start of the meeting. We should point out:

1. The ELUC recommended a 3 month delay in implementing the new Zoning Ordinance to allow for public input.
2. The ELUA ignored this recommendation and voted to implement the Ordinance immediately. This places development issues with the City, event though we are not yet formally annexed.
3. The ELUA has not yet determined if that vote is binding, as only 5 of the 7 members were present and voted.

We are sill residents of Santa Fe County, still taxpayers in Santa Fe County. The County Commissioners do still represent us and our voices should be heard.

Here is a re-post of the Editorial from The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Please spread the word.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SPREAD THE WORD


It has been a fast and furious few weeks since SAVE SANTA FE was formed. We have been successful in mobilizing an alliance of homeowners and gaining the attention of City and County officials. Events have not gone in our favor, but much remains to be done.
There is uncertainty whether the ELUA decision to adopt the Annexation Ordinance was binding; stay tuned. Also be on the look out for information/Q&A meetings and public hearings in front of the ELUC in the next several weeks.

The single most important thing to do is to spread the word. A constant refrain heard in meetings is "we didn't know". The annexation and rezoning is proceeding and the time for information and input is NOW, not later.

Please talk to your neighbors, friends, and co-workers. There are areas all across the City and its borders that may be drastically affected by the Annexation process. The more voices we have asking for answers, the more powerful our voices become.

This is a link to contacts for all City Councilors and Commissioner Vigil. Please use them and pass along.

Please continue to check back for updated news.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

STILL NO CITY BUDGET

As the City continues with grand ambitions, including annexation and various development project, it has missed a State-mandated June 1 deadline for filing its fiscal budget.


The Albuquerque Journal North
June 2, 2009

No Budget This Time, Either
By Kiera Hay

After two hours of some of its most acrimonious discussion yet, the Santa Fe City Council on Monday once again failed to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Measures including mandatory furloughs for department managers were proposed by city staff as part of a last-minute plan to shave an extra $1 million from the coming fiscal year budget. That didn't appear to appease councilors, some of whom want broader organizational changes and the elimination of jobs deemed superfluous. Councilors Matthew Ortiz, Rebecca Wurzburger, Carmichael Dominguez, Ron Trujillo and Patti Bushee voted against approving the budget during a special council meeting. Councilors Chris Calvert, Miguel Chavez and Rosemary Romero voted in favor. “This is an election-year budget. The tough calls have not been made,” Bushee said upon casting her vote. After the meeting, Mayor David Coss contended the city had “produced a good budget” and said he was “disappointed at the level of micromanaging the council seems to want to do.” Though councilors have met numerous times to discuss the budget, including several meetings in May, agreement has eluded them. They'll review it again at the June 10 council meeting. Some councilors have expressed dissatisfaction with the process, including specific cost-cutting proposals and delay in getting certain information. But personnel issues especially have been a continuing bone of contention, and the debate got personal Monday. Though the proposed budget would eliminate about 76 currently vacant positions and freeze most new hirings, some councilors, notably Ortiz, have repeatedly voiced a desire to eliminate certain active positions. Other councilors and the mayor, as well as the city staff coordinating the budget, remain opposed to the reduction, at least for this budget cycle. Among jobs targeted are assistant or deputy director positions in the police, fire, solid waste, city clerk, finance, human resources and senior services departments. The majority of the council — Wurzburger, Ortiz, Trujillo, Dominguez and Bushee — agreed to a proposal by Ortiz to eliminate the city's public information officer position, part of a team Ortiz has dubbed “the mayor's press machine.” “There is certainly sufficient expertise on existing staff to cover for the duties and responsibilities of this PIO position,” Ortiz said. The vote for elimination — which can't be considered final because the council didn't approve a budget — came despite strong opposition from Coss and other councilors. Savings would be minimal because the job is being vacated in July and, under current policy, can only be filled if the council gives special approval. Additional proposals by Ortiz to eliminate an assistant human resources director — currently held by a women with several years' experience at the city — and an unfilled deputy police chief position received less enthusiastic receptions. Coss called the proposals “unfortunate.” “We're turning a corner here ... We are at the point where now we're going to take people's jobs away,” he said. “If we could eliminate taking jobs with live bodies in them, I think we should do that.” Other developments included the news that the city's negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees appear to be nearing an end. Human resources director Kristine Kuebli told the Council the two parties agreed Monday afternoon that union workers would receive a 4 percent pay raise but would have to reduce each pay period by three hours. The agreement, which would be analyzed again after six months, must still be ratified by the union and City Council. Contract negotiations with the city's police and fire are still being finalized. The senior management furloughs, which would require department heads to take off 40 hours, would likely save the city about $30,000, Millican said. A second, voluntary furlough program, targeted at all full-time city staff, is “conservatively” anticipated to net about $85,000. In addition to the furloughs, components of a $1.2 million budget reduction offered up by staff included cutting $75,000 from the city's various professional services contracts; eliminating two planner positions in the housing and community development department and land use department; eliminating a full-time culture, arts and tourism planner, but setting aside about $50,000 for contract services related to those duties; and saving $200,000 from a reduced deductible in the city's liability insurance. The suggestions came in the wake of a directive given by the City Council at its May 27 meeting to trim an extra $1 million from a budget that has already been, over the past few months, hacked by several million dollars due to the declining economy. Correction of an error that had included in the city's financial calculations unintended pay increases also nets a savings of about $562,000, around $315,000 of that in the general fund. Savings of $30,000 comes from the decision by assistant fire chief Ted Bolleter to change his planned retirement date. The position will be eliminated once Bolleter retires. All together, new measures proposed Monday create just over $1.2 million in savings, about $800,000 of that in the general fund, though several “add backs” negated most of the general fund savings. The items put back into the budget after previous proposed cuts included around $85,000 in library books and supplies; restoration of children and youth services funding; and $30,000-50,000 for a winter overflow shelter. Councilors tweaked several of the proposals. It was agreed, for instance, that the neighborhood planner position would be maintained. The council also agreed, per a proposal by Coss, to provide the fire department with $400,000 to offset a transfer of the same amount from equipment needs to the airport's new fire station. But, like the PIO elimination, those items can't be considered final until a budget is passed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

NOT SO FAST!


We are working to confirm a report that the new zoning rules were in fact NOT adopted at last week's ELUA meeting. We received the following message today:


FYI It has been determined that the new zoning map was not adopted. It needed a majority of the full body of seven, even though only 5 were there,thus needed 4 votes. I think it will next go back to EULA in August.


We will post details as soon as they are available.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

IN THE NEWS


See Councilor Romero's reaction to the Santa Fe New Mexican's recent editorial in today's paper. Note how she omits the central facts, including the fact that the PRESTO CHANGO happened behind closed doors and without public homeowner input and allows 3 DU per and 5 with "affordable housing". Further, these areas are now under City authority, even before annexation, with out a voice in City elections.




Also see related article about the Northwest Quadrant plan. We have many friends in that area that have been engaged in opposing the City's plan. Note a new provision in the plan "Other options include creating a public-improvement district for residents of the project who would pay up to $98 per month in additional taxes on top of homeowner association fees". The City planner told us in a meeting "the City really never does that".


Stay involved and stay informed.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT. UPDATE


Brief update on today's meetings.

Commissioner Vigil:
Was open to our concerns, but indicated this RR Ordinance may be the best we can get. City planner was there and helped clarify
1. Although the City accepts Neighborhood Agreements and Covenants, should an individual member wish to apply for lot splits ( up to 3 per acre) it would be up to the homeowners association to sue that member.
2. Indeed, when City water/sewer is available, homeowners are expected to pay to connect. How and when to be determined.
3. Although "rarely used", the City can levy a special revenue district upon a neighborhood for improvements, including roads.

ELUA
There was a good turn of people from diverse areas and backgrounds who spoke out against Annexation and the Rural Residential Ordinance. The City proposed the Ordinance be adopted immediately, to be reviewed and formally adopted in 4 months. The Commission voted with the City, 3 to 2. The ELUA determined that they did not have to consider the ELUC's recommendation for a 3 month delay for public input.
From now on, all development/additions/zoning/permits/etc will be handled by the City. There was some vague promise of "public outreach" to explain the changes during the next 4 months.

It is time to re-group and re-stratagize. Thanks for everyone who attended. BTW, a podcast of my interview today on KSFR is now available here. It is the lead interview in the broadcast and I answer questions articulating our concerns.

Stay tuned. Thanks everyone,


Sid

SANTA FE PUBLIC RADIO KSFR COVERING ELUA MEETING


Save Santa Fe has just learned that radio station KSFR 101.1 FM is covering today's ELUA meeting (6 PM, 102 Grant St.) and the annexation issue in general. Member Sid Monroe was interviewed about his concerns and experience regarding the Rural Residential Ordinance. Tune in to 101.1 for more.

MEETINGS TODAY/ MEANWHILE, BUDGET POSTPONED

The ELUA is meeting this Today, Thursday, 6 PM at 102 Grant Street, and the annexation issue is on the agenda.We have also been invited to meet with Commissioner Vigil and County Attorney Steve Rosson Thursday, May 28, @ 4pm in the County Legal Conference room, 102 Grant Ave, regarding the Rural Protection Ordinance.

Meanwhile, last night the City Council voted to postpone the City budget. Further budget cuts are necessary and the City will not meet the June 1 filing deadline.

" Councilors Rebecca Wurzburger, Ron Trujillo, Matthew Ortiz, Patti Bushee and Carmichael Dominguez voted in favor of the postponement and cuts, while Councilors Rosemary Romero and Miguel Chavez dissented. Councilor Chris Calvert, who said last week that he thought at least part of the proposed budget could be approved, did not attend Wednesday's meeting."
Said Mayor Coss: " This city has never done anything like this since the Great Depression. We are reducing $13 million". " ---Albuquerque Journal North

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WILL CITY APPROVE BUDGET TONIGHT?


From today's Albuquerque Journal North:

Time is running out for the Santa Fe City Council to approve its 2009-10 spending plan. But some councilors still don't think the budget's ready for prime time. “I think we should reject this budget and work on it some more,” Matthew Ortiz said Tuesday of the staff-developed budget that will come before City Council at today's meeting. Ortiz said the total dollar amount that needs to be cut is an ever-changing target. Recently, he said, the finance department identified an additional $680,000 in revenue. “My faith in the budget numbers are at an all-time low,” Ortiz said. The city has until June 1 to submit its budget to the state for the fiscal year that begins July 1. At tonight's council meeting, Ortiz said, he'll call for putting off a vote on the budget. If the vote isn't postponed, Ortiz said he'll recommend staff reductions. The cuts would include deputy department directors, at a savings of $780,000, a couple of office manager positions and up to three positions in the Office of Constituent Services.

And the Santa Fe New Mexican (full Editorial here):

So what surprises can Santa Feans expect from our eight councilors by way of finding the $5 million cut the city will need even if it relies on reserve funds instead of whacking the other $9 million?

How about a political purge? Is tonight when councilors decide that positions held by officials unwilling to kiss certain boots are, come to think of it, expendable? Like the recent decision to annex new territory first, and worry later about the cost of providing police, firefighting and other services to new city residents, it's possible that a council majority already has huddled in secret over who is offered up as human sacrifices to tough economic times. As for mayoral guidance, David Coss — busily preparing his candidacy for re-election — didn't show up, even as a spectator, for last week's Finance Committee meeting. That was the session at which Chairman Matthew Ortiz apologized for the confusion over this year's budget process; one in which the public has been kept largely in the dark.
Get informed. Get involved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ELUA MEETING THIS THURSDAY

The ELUA is meeting this Thrsday, 6 PM at 102 Grant Street, and the annexation issue is on the agenda.

We have also been invited to meet with Commissioner Vigil and County Attorney Steve Ross
on Thursday, May 28, @ 4pm in the County Legal Conference room, 102 Grant Ave, regarding the Rural Protection Ordinance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

FIRE DEPRTMENT NEED $14 MILLION TO SERVE ANNEXED AREAS; CITY PLANNING BUDGET CUTS


The first study of the costs associated with the City's plan to annex 1o,000 acres and 14,000 people was issued to the City Council last week. Among the troubling findings that he Santa Fe New Mexican reported today are: that the Fire Department will need more fire inspectors and that the City is already short of inspectors; 2 new fire station are needed, along with equipment and personnel; new tanker trucks are needed for areas that do not have water; and many homes cannot be accessed because of bad roads. See the full article here.

Not to mention that the new personal would not be familiar with the new areas they would respond to!


In fact, at the time Councilor Ron Trujillo said he questioned "cuts to public safety programs in light of the city's plans to annex thousands of additional acres over the next five years."

Meanwhile, perhaps from an alternate universe: "Cutting spending while adding new city customers will be a challenge, but City Manager Galen Buller believes it can be done." THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ALONE NEEDS $14 MILLION but the City belives it can CUT SPENDING AND ADD NEW CUSTOMERS. How?

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SAFE AND PROTECTED BY THE CITY? THE FULL IMPLICATIONS OF CITY ANNEXATION ARE JUST BECOMING KNOWN. THE FACT IS THERE ARE NO CONCRETE PLANS BY THE CITY TO SERVE AND PROTECT THE ANNEXED AREAS. ZONING AND DENSITIES ARE CHANGING, TAXES WILL INCREASE, AND WHAT ELSE?

"Would it help us to have more money to address those annexation questions? Sure," he said. "The annexation is a policy issue that has been decided, and we will make it work within our budget. That's our job."

REALLY?

please, get informed. Get involved.
savesantafe@cybermesa.com