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Category: LUCC (page 1 of 2)

¡En español!

This website, busbasics.org, is now bilingual.

The second language is, of course, Spanish. This site is from Albuquerque, and about Albuquerque, which is of course in New Mexico.

Two languages, one state.

Two languages, one state.

So, look in the lower right corner of every screen, on every post, and feel free to jump from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English.

We listen, we see, we are here.

We listen, we see, we are here.

Hey, or Hola, you might learn a few new words or phrases – a better vocabulary is always good for all.

Enjoy. Disfrutar.

ADA VIOLATIONS

this post presents the content of A LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, AND THE MAY 11, (DEFERRED) landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: ADA & PEDESTRIAN ACCESS ISSUES & LUCC HEARING PROCESS RULES VIOLATIONS

May 11, 2016

Gabriel Campos, JD, MBA, SPHR
Director
Office of Human Rights & ADA
City of Albuquerque
1 Civic Plaza NW – Room 4072
Albuquerque, NM 87103

Maryellen Hennessy
Senior Planner
Landmarks and Urban Conservation
Current Planning Division
Planning Department
City of Albuquerque
600 2nd Street – 3rd Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Project Number: 1010796
Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013

Please enclose a copy of this communication in the appropriate LUC Commission file.
THIS IS A PUBLIC RECORD

Mr Campos:

On April 27, 2016, I sent you an email regarding my concerns surrounding ADA issues inherent to the proposed Walter Street bus loading platform, a part of the ART Project currently being reviewed by the LUC Commission.

The proposed Walter Street platform is just one of at least four of the “double-ended” stations and platforms already planned and designed for the ART Project, a project wherein construction actually began yesterday.

I have enclosed HDR engineering drawings, with added illustration, that clearly documents the ADA violations, and ADA rollbacks that this design represents. The design calls for a reduction of sidewalk area, ADA mobility, and walkability for those that use walkers. The design creates a clear and present danger to those in wheelchairs, both in the proposed crossing Central transiting plan, and in the danger from center-of-street vehicle crash impacts (the Monument issue).

While the illustrated path to cross Central would be long, dangerous, and laborious, for wheelchair users, and others, it is still considerably shorter than the over two block transit that the elimination of the existing Walter Street ADA intersection requires if a person were not to use the platform as a crossing point. I believe that most wheelchair users prefer the shortest distance because of the inherent difficulty in wheelchair use.

My first illustration, from HDR drawings, shows Walter Street with the ADA ramps as it exists today. Subsequent Attachments show the exact dimensions involved and the required crossing of Central Avenue ADA and pedestrian path. For further details please access the busbasics.org web page on the issue HERE.

The LUC Commission Rules require that your office be consulted prior to the Transit Department submitting plans to the LUC Commission. I don’t believe that this was done. I further believe that the Transit Department has sought LUC Commission approval for their existing plans without reasonable City of Albuquerque Department review, and without allowing proper public review.

If nothing else, the situation could be greatly improved by moving the “information kiosk (fare machines)” to the sidewalk area of Central and the bench to the same sidewalks. The trash receptacles could be moved to an area at either end of the transition point of the proposed ADA ramps. This would allow the use of an 8′ wide platform. I believe that impact barriers (as seen HERE) to protect passengers and pedestrians, will be, at some point, legally required for freeway hill downstream center-of-street ART Project platforms and stations, if not all ART center-of-street platforms and stations (assuming that the ART Project goes through).

I ask that your office intercedes regarding this matter. There is an LUCC Hearing on the Walter Street platform today, at 3:00 PM, at 600 2nd Street NW (Plaza del Sol building), Basement Hearing Room. If you can attend the hearing they will allow you 120 seconds to speak, if you properly sign in, in advance.

If there are additional options that your office legally has to protect the rights, and interests, of ADA people in Albuquerque, I request that you exercise those actions.

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

P.S. If you have any questions, or are interested in discussing any aspect of this issue I shall be happy to meet with you at any time.

Note: The attachments can be viewed HERE.

MINUTES FOR THE APRIL 13th LUCC HEARING

summary minutes

On May 6, 2016, after specific request for the official Minutes of the LUCC Hearing of April 13, 2016, a copy of the “Summary Minutes” were released by Alfredo Salas, Secretary for the CABQ Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (LUCC).

The Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project’s applicant in this LUCC Hearing is the City of Albuquerque Transit Department. The Project Number: 1010796 and Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013 was the 5th Agenda item in the hearing. The Staff report took much longer than 5 minutes. The applicant presentation involved CABQ contracted agents. Numerous CITIZENS IN INTEREST spoke for a very regimented 2 minutes each.

There is not even a basic report regarding the persons speaking, or the times, or the topics in the “Minutes” released. The only thing really stated is that the hearing regarding this project and this case was deferred.

The LUCC Minutes released are presented below:

On May 6, 2016, only "Summary Minutes" of the April 13th LUCC Hearing were available.

On May 6, 2016, only “Summary Minutes” of the April 13th LUCC Hearing were available.

WALTER STREET BUS LOADING PLATFORM

For an identical view, with cars, and parked cars, the Google street-view is HERE.

walter street


location, HISTORY, and Description:

Walter Street is a historic street that crosses Central Avenue in the EDo (East DOwntown) neighborhood of Albuquerque.

The link to the Google Earth location of Walter Street is HERE.

The intersection of Walter Street and Central Avenue is located near the eastern end of Segment Three of the proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project.

Because there is an existing ABQ RIDE Rapid Ride bus stop and shelter at this location, the ART planners decided to create what was originally planned as a “BRT STATION” at this location. The plan called for the elimination of the Rapid Ride bus stop and shelter and to replace it with a center of the street STATION that would block, and eliminate, through traffic across Central at Walter. The plan would also make it impossible to make left turns from Central onto Walter. Finally, the plans would make U-turns on Central, at Walter, impossible.

Because the intersection is in a historically protected neighborhood (area), the Transit Department (aka: ABQ RIDE) is required to get LUCC (Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission) approval for any changes to Central Avenue in the area between Union Square Street (just west of BROADWAY) and Locust Street (immediately adjacent to the I-25 FREEWAY). (See: Google map.)

The NM State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) is required to approve the design of proposed major structures in the historic zone. The SHPO rejected the Denver Airport type tent structure as being inappropriate for the substantially 1920’s era neighborhood. It is unclear whether the SHPO reviewed the two 26′ tall ART/LED strobe light configurations planned at the STATION.

Instead of designing a new, and appropriate, BRT STATION, the Transit Department decided to eliminate the STATION and propose a “bus loading platform” for Walter Street.

The proposed “platform” has no walls, no provision for passenger shelter, not even a roof. It is a reduction of bus passenger rider comfort when compared to the existing Rapid Ride bus stop and shelter.

A LUCC Hearing regarding the changes to the “roadway” and the “street furniture” at Walter Street was convened on April 13, 2016. There were substantial violations of rules, laws, and ordinances pursuant to, and in the conduct of, the hearing.

The LUC Commission decided to “defer” the hearing to May 11, 2016. The violations regarding the LUCC Hearing are manifest, and continue.

Please refer to the Category “LUCC” for details.

bus loading platform Description & plans:

The term Walter Street “bus loading platform” was introduced by the City of Albuquerque Transit Department in a LUCC Legal Notice published on April 27, 2016.

The engineering plans for the project (City of Albuquerque (COA) Project No. 631991) in this segment, drawn by HDR, were 90% completed as of January, 2016. As of April 22, 2016, there were no new, or updated, plans for the Walter Street “bus loading platform.”

There are numerous public concerns about the design of the platform. The purpose of this post is to explore the issues of ADA use and of general walkability. Both of these issues have been often promoted as key issues by ART Project proponents.

The HDR plans are created by creating sub-segment sheets with “match lines.” As a result there is no clear drawing for the Walter Street platform. To present the following drawings, the HDR drawings had to be reproduced, assembled, and further illustrated. They are exact reproductions of the 90% complete HDR engineering drawings commissioned (or contracted for) by the CABQ. “Assembly” involves page matching of individual adjacent sheets. The pathways in color are “illustrations.”

bus loading platform ADA & WALKABILITY plans:

Walter streeT now
HDR "Match Sheet" Plans showing the existing Walter Street and Central Avenue intersection.

HDR “Match Sheet” Plans showing the existing Walter Street and Central Avenue intersection.

The “X’s” indicate large caliper trees scheduled for destruction and removal if the “ART” project moves forward. Not shown are the four (4) 12 foot wide mixed-traffic lanes that currently serve Central Avenue. The yellow areas are existing ADA ramps. The brick areas are existing sidewalks.

Walter street AFTER BEING BLOCKED BY BRT PLATFORM
HDR plans showing the pedestrian or ADA transit route necessary to cross Central Avenue at this location.

HDR plans showing the pedestrian or ADA transit route necessary to cross Central Avenue at this location.

As can be seen by the HDR engineering plans, a pedestrian or a person in a wheelchair, or using a walker, has to go the entire ‘red line’ distance just to cross Central Avenue. The “ART” pedestrian route involves over 140 feet of “double-back” travel through a bus platform potentially filled with waiting riders or people getting on, or off, rapidly moving buses.

Walter street bus loading PLATFORM pedestrian detail
HDR engineering drawings with omitted kisosk, monument, bench, light, and trash receptacle data added.

HDR engineering drawings with omitted kisosk, monument, bench, light, and trash receptacle data added.

In yellow is the bumped surface, yellow mat, “danger zone.” The idea is to provide a two-foot wide warning before someone steps off, or falls off, a 16″ high elevated platform. A STATION would have doors, bus loading “platforms” have no railings, no doors. In the center of the 8′ wide passenger platform is a 2.5′ wide (18 foot long) “information kiosk,” B (aka: BRT ticket machine). There are to be two trash receptacles at each end of a bench, yet to be designed C. The purple area is the ADA ramp that serves both BRT passengers and cross Central pedestrian traffic.

ADA wheelchair dimensions.

ADA wheelchair dimensions.

The proposed BRT bus platform is only 12′ wide. For 65′ on either side of the platform there is no ADA railing. Four feet of the 12′ width is the “danger zone.” Approximately 2.5′ is the width of the HDR, yet to be designed, “information kiosk.” The result is a pedestrian passage way on each side of the platform that is only 33 inches wide. The typical wheelchair is 32 inches wide. This width does not include room for sweaters or things that are carried, nor  does it allow for any distance for travel away from the kiosk.

What the HDR engineering drawings imply is that all wheelchairs will have to travel for at least 30 feet in the danger zone when crossing Central (See: the 36″ width necessary).

If there are waiting BRT passengers, or off-loading passengers, all wheelchair users will have to wait until the center of the loading platform is clear.

Walter street bus loading PLATFORM “street furniture” detail
HDR "Street Furniture" illustrations, engineering drawings are pending.

HDR “Street Furniture” illustrations, engineering drawings are pending.

The exact HDR “street furniture” illustration design drawings are superimposed upon the HDR platform engineering drawings. The composit illustrates the absence of required ADA railings and the additional barriers of platform lighting standards and trash receptacles and the undesigned bench.

Notice too, that the “Monument” E (doubling as a traffic impact barrier) is actually within the ADA transition wheelchair zone, creating a life threatening situation if hit by a truck or other vehicle.

This drawing also illustrates the considerable loss of sidewalk area along this portion of Central (the yellow area).

From a professional engineering standpoint neither the “information kiosk,” nor the Monument (protection barrier), are legally “street furniture.” The kiosk contains considerable electrical apparatus and the Monument is a “life-protection” device of significant importance. The fact that no engineering drawings of either of these structures and features existed at the time of the Transit Department LUCC application is of grave concern, as it represents a critical public health and safety issue.

 

May 4, 2016 Response to Albuquerque IPRA Specialist

this post presents the content of the EIGHTH LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: NM IPRA RECORDS REQUEST VIOLATIONS

May 4, 2016

Kathleen Oney
Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) Specialist
Chief Records Custodian
Office of the City Clerk
City of Albuquerque
Plaza Del Sol building
600 2nd Street NW – Room 720
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Telephone: 505 / 924-3657
email: koney@cabq.gov

THIS IS A PUBLIC RECORD

Ms Oney:

In a telephone conversation with you, in the late afternoon of May 2, 2016, that occurred at your request, you raised questions regarding jurisdiction, authority, and procedures regarding the City of Albuquerque’s proper compliance with the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).

In the telephone conversation you represented that I had not directed my records requests to the proper people. If this is so, it reveals what is apparently a confused and confusing, and probably illegal, IPRA compliance environment within, and that is an inherent part of, the City of Albuquerque.

I quote from the published New Mexico Attorney General .. Compliance Guide for New Mexico Public Officials and Citizens (2015), “Newsome, 90 N.M. at 797. Accordingly, public officials and employees should strive to ensure that all reasonable requests to inspect public records are promptly and efficiently granted.

The conversation and your apparent duties:
Your telephone conversation referred to only two, of what are actually four, outstanding and unresolved written public records requests that I have made since April 6, 2016, regarding the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project federal application; Central Avenue Albuquerque Rapid Transit COA Project No. 631991; Project Number: 1010796; and/or Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013.

Your specific request was that I entirely rewrite the first of the two records requests that you acknowledged. You omitted mention of two of three topics of the second of the two records requests that you acknowledged. You understood the request for LUC Commission members addresses and telephone numbers, but you failed to recognize the term ALL PARTIES of standing, or CITIZENS IN INTEREST. I am concerned.

In the conversation you indicated that you were a “public records specialist.” You did not inform me that you were the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) Specialist and Chief Records Custodian for the City of Albuquerque. There appears to be very serious confusion regarding your job status and the official City of Albuquerque communications regarding records request procedures as they pertain to the issue of IPRA compliance.

§ 14-2-7 A-E states that: “Each public body shall designate at least one custodian of public records who shall: receive and respond to requests to inspect public records; respond to requests in the same medium, electronic or paper, in which the request was made in addition to any other medium that the custodian deems appropriate; provide proper and reasonable opportunities to inspect public records; provide reasonable facilities to make or furnish copies of the public records during usual business hours; and post in a conspicuous location at the administrative office and on the publicly accessible web site, if any, of each public body a notice describing: the right of a person to inspect a public body’s records; procedures for requesting inspection of public records, including the contact information for the custodian of public records; procedures for requesting copies of public records; reasonable fees for copying public records; and the responsibility of a public body to make available public records for inspection.” (Letters and numbers omitted.)

According to the official City of Albuquerque website Trina M. Gurle, Acting City Clerk, is the ONE custodian of public records that meets compliance requirements. I provide you with the current link to the relevant NOTICE OF RIGHT TO INSPECT PUBLIC RECORDS document. On April 29th, the date of the first request that you acknowledged, I visited the Office of the City Clerk and became aware of the fact that an apparently very new City Clerk had been appointed, Natalie Howard, MPA.

Since Trina Gurule was no longer Acting City Clerk, I sent both of my most recent records requests, appropriately, to Natalie Howard.

The City of Albuquerque officially posted procedure is for requesters to address IPRA records requests to the City Clerk, and that is what I have done. There is no provision in IPRA for anyone other than the designated custodian to delegate authority, unless it is done by writing, I quote § 14-2-8 E “In the event that a written request is not made to the custodian having possession of or responsibility for the public records requested, the person receiving the request shall promptly forward the request to the custodian of the requested public records, if known, and notify the requester.  The notification to the requester shall state the reason for the absence of the records from that person’s custody or control, the records’ location and the name and address of the custodian.”

I have received no notification from the City Clerk stating that she does not have custody of the records requested, nor the reason for the absence of the records from that person’s custody or control, nor of the records’ location and the name and address of the custodian.” Your apparent intrusion and interference with the proper IPRA procedures is cause for grave concern as it apparently undermines proper and clear IPRA compliance. The fact that this conduct comes from a person with the title of Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) Specialist is even more alarming.

Your duties:
I note that your publicly stated job description is to, “Ensure that all departmental records custodians are within compliance of the Inspection of Public Records Act,” and to “Create and present an annual certification for all Departmental Records Custodians on Administrative Instructions and City Clerk’s Regulations and Procedures.” Finally, that you are the apparent enforcement administrator that as, “Chief Records Custodian … oversees over 20 department agencies of the City of Albuquerque.

It is clearly apparent that your job is to “Ensure that all departmental records custodians are within compliance with IPRA.”

However, my experience, since April 10th, 2016, is that City of Albuquerque records custodians, and public records procedures, are systemically not in compliance with IPRA.

  1. My written records request addressed to Transit Department custodian Doreen De La Cruz, dated April 6, 2016, regarding “ART / BRT bus bids” was not properly responded to within three days.
  2. The Transit Department custodian Doreen De La Cruz wrongly denied the above IPRA violation.
  3. Transit Department custodian Doreen De La Cruz subsequently informed me that it would be “15 days” to produce the records, even though she stated she did not have custody of the records requested.
  4. She forwarded the request to Finance & Administration Department records custodian Christine Garcia on April 12th. Custodian Christine Garcia failed to respond to the records request in three days. She failed to respond in 15 days. She has still not responded as of this date.
  5. A person in the Finance Department, not a custodian, but a de facto custodian, Ramona Martinez, interjected herself into the records request process by contacting me and not custodian Christine Martinez. Ramona Martinez claimed to have been trained in IPRA regulations, but she orally denied records access to “bus bids public records” requested and failed to state in writing the reason why.
  6. There has still been no response or records production regarding much of my April 6th records request.
  7. On April 20th, 2016, I made a request to the de facto “department custodian of LUCC records,” Ms Hennessy, requesting email addresses for the LUC Commission. She failed to respond within three days, and also failed to forward the records request to any other appropriate custodian. It is my information and believe that Ms Hennessy had immediate and clear access to the email records requested.
  8. While the IPRA regulations provide, “A custodian receiving a written request shall permit the inspection immediately or as soon as is practicable under the circumstances,” it is common practice within the City of Albuquerque to withhold records in custody from “immediate inspection” and to improperly and systemically invoke the “15 day” clause.
  9. Evidence of this dilatory, and obfuscatory, tactic is available in the “boiler plate” response from Linda Evans who, on May 2, 2016, stated, “While the City makes every effort to respond to requests in 3 days, it may take up to 15 days.  We will respond as quickly as we can but no later than May 17, 2016.”
  10. My written records request addressed to the City of Albuquerque City Clerk was not properly responded to, but was improperly delegated to you, without the IPRA required written notice from the City Clerk.
  11. If the April 29th, 2016, request had actually been read, it would have been noted that at least one document requested from the City Clerk, is in the immediate possession of the City Clerk – that document being a signed version of the LUCC Rules, filed with the City Clerk by law.

Given the above stated situation, it is, I believe, abundantly apparent that the City of Albuquerque has no interest in being voluntarily “IPRA compliant.”

It is my further belief that the only reasonable solution to the situation is to request that authoritative powers review the situation, and make such recommendations, or orders, that might benefit and protect the rights of the public at large.

If you are aware of any written rules, any City Ordinances, or any written regulations that have not been referenced herein, but that would, or could, substantiate the propriety of your conduct, please notify me of such documents at once. If you contend that you, and not the City Clerk of Albuquerque, are the designated custodian pursuant to § 14-2-7 A-E, then please produce, and send to me, a dated document, copies of which have been legally and properly posted.

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

RECORDS REQUEST

this post presents the content of the SIXTH LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: RECORDS REQUEST

April 29, 2016

Natalie Howard, MPA
City Clerk
City of Albuquerque
Office of the City Clerk
600 2nd Street – Room 720
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Linda Evans
Senior Administrative Assistant – One Stop Shop
Custodian of Public Records
Planning Department
City of Albuquerque
600 2nd Street – Room 201
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Doreen De La Cruz
Executive Assistant
Custodian of Public Records
City of Albuquerque Transit Department
City of Albuquerque
8001 Daytona Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121

Maryellen Hennessy
Senior Planner
Landmarks and Urban Conservation
Current Planning Division
Planning Department
City of Albuquerque
600 2nd Street – 3rd Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Please enclose this document in the appropriate LUCC file.

Project Number: 1010796
Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013

Also: Central Avenue Albuquerque Rapid Transit COA Project No. 631991
a project segment located on or near the public R.O.W. between Union Square Street and Locust Avenue on the north side of Central Avenue and between Union Square Street and an unmarked freeway on-ramp on the south side of Central Avenue, said to be Locust Street (This project segment hereinafter referred to as: “Project Number 631991”).

Mses Howard, Evans, De La Cruz, and Hennessy:

Synopsis and Summary of Request(s):
This letter document is first and foremost a formal PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST. This letter document also requests, “in the interest of time,” the immediate withdrawal of the City of Albuquerque Transit Department application in the above referenced project and case, a case that is the sole cause of this records request.

History
On March 9, 2016, the City of Albuquerque Transit Department (hereinafter: “Transit”) submitted an application for an LUCC Hearing. The procedures followed were significantly deficient, as alleged and identified in five letter documents written and sent by myself (Donald Clayton) between April 20th and April 27th, 2016. The letters are contained in the above referenced project and case LUCC file.

In partial remedy of the stated deficiencies, LUCC staff and Transit staff, caused the publishing of a new Legal Notice, a reposting of signs, and a rewording and resending of “Neighborhood Association” letters.

The new signs and Legal Notice are not supported by either a new application or an amended application. This fact creates a great and self-evident, public and administrative confusion regarding the legitimate subject of the case and the purpose of the hearing, to wit: “Roadwork and Street Furniture between John Street and Locust Street” and “Construction of a bus loading platform between Union Square Street and Locust Street.”

This second Legal Notice was not accompanied with even so much as a site plan that indicated whether the “bus loading platform” was in fact the proposed “Walter Street BRT Station” (discussed at length in the faulty April 13, 2016, LUCC Hearing) or whether it was, in fact, a “bus loading platform” to extend the entire distance along Central Avenue between Union Square Street and Locust Street.

Legal issues:
It should not have to be the responsibility of a citizen to point out, and recite, the Rules and laws applicable to the convening of a simple public hearing. In this case it has been, and was.

The prodigious and rampant violations are, and were, as stated before, self evident. They continue. They continue despite repeated good faith, and diligent efforts to clarify and rectify the LUCC hearing situation. Ample citation to authority exists in the aforementioned letters, letters which are herein referenced, and by such reference incorporated as a part of this letter document.

The gravest legal issue at hand is the requirement of the submission (pursuant to Rules of Procedure and Conduct – Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (hereinafter: “LUCC Rules”), adopted by the LUCC June 12, 2013) of:

  • All plans submitted to the LUCC review must be able to be built as drawn.  If the City of Albuquerque requires a licensed design professional’s stamp for the building permit, then a licensed design professional must design and draw the submittal for LUCC review. (Underlining and Bold type added.)
    Note: The proposed project is a public works project. A licensed design professional’s stamp is required.
  • 5.  Any documents, photos, plans, or other information provided to the City in conjunction with an application shall be available to the public.

And:

  • LUC Ordinance § 14-12-4 Definitions states, “STRUCTURE. Anything constructed or erected above ground level which requires location on the ground or attached to something having a location on the ground but not including a tent, vehicle, vegetation, or public utility pole or line.”

The fact is that virtually no drawings, plans, or documents whatsoever have been submitted by Transit, in support of the application, pursuant to the Rules and laws.

The fact is that the documents and “illustrative” artist renderings do not comport with the legal requirements of the City Council resolution of March 21st, relevant to this project. Simply put, the “illustrative” Station (now platform) lane widths are wrong.

It should be noted that pursuant to the Legal Notice published in the Albuquerque Journal on April 27, 2016, I, Donald Clayton, on April 28, 2016, “examined (the deficient application) on the third floor of the Plaza Del Sol building, 600 2nd St. NW” and found no new or additional drawings, plans, site plans, or documents relevant or responsive to the laws and Rules cited above. The absence of the required records from the required LUCC file is the sole cause of this records request.

Public urgency, health, and safety:
It is my information and belief that the issues at hand, consequent to a proper and necessary LUCC Hearing, is of grave and urgent import to the public need, the public health, and the public safety.

Project Number 631991 and Project Number 1010796 are in virtually all respects one and the same. The project calls for the functional obliteration of Central Avenue as it now exists. It calls for the removal and/or destruction of approximately 35 mature and healthy, large caliper, trees. The project calls for the reduction and elimination of existing and functional ADA ramps, to be replaced by dangerous and complicated ADA configurations that are unquestionably destructive and unworkable. The project calls for insufficiently protected mid-street platform(s) that constitute a clear threat of bodily injury, or possibly death, of proposed transit users. The project calls for the reduction and elimination of necessary beneficial sidewalks. The project calls for the construction of large, probably inappropriate, garish illuminated signs, and other signs, apparently incompatible with the history, scale, feel, and scope of the EDo historic neighborhood.

There are numerous other equally relevant design and construction issues immediately relevant to just the “bus loading platform,” much less the relevant project as it was suggested to be in the original application.

RECORDS REQUEST
Issues and background:
This records request cannot be viewed as “normal.” It is necessitated by an unanticipated event, to wit, the fact that if compliance is delayed for the 15 days allowed, or even 10, the rights of the public are endangered and the public safety is put in peril, especially the safety of those that are least mobile in their ability to be aware, to review, and to respond – the ADA community.

This fact is compounded by the documented fact that Transit has illegally delayed, obfuscated, and ignored past public records requests to the decree that clearly suggests that it is not “a mistake,” but a deliberate pattern.

Evidence of this pattern is manifold and manifest. It begins with the dearth of relevant public records at public meetings, it continues with a failure to provide available and relevant documents on the brtabq.com official website, it is most manifest in the failure of Transit to provide the public documents required by LUCC Rules, and finally it is evident by my numerous, clearly stated pleadings for the proper documents to be included in the LUCC file.

Not included in the above, is the clearly documented failure of Transit to properly and legally respond to two separate formal written records requests, the first dated April 6, 2016, and the second April 12, 2016.

In the first instance, the Transit Custodian not only failed to respond within three days, but when she did respond, she immediately invoked the 15-day provision, even though the records were not in her custody. As it turned out, the records were made available (by another Department) in eight days, but not until considerable obfuscation based on an effort to make an electronic version available that was not functional. Further, the records custodian of the Finance and Administration Department, the department where the Transit records were, for some unknown reason exclusively deposited, failed to respond in any way to the written request she received. (Full documentation of this entire incident is available upon request.)

I have been loath to make formal records requests when simple oral informal requests should suffice. Such requests began in March 17, 2016, with inquires to Kevin Welch, of Transit. Since then, Transit has repeatedly refused to provide information, resulting in the formal requests, and pleadings, stated above.

After 40 days, documentation is still disastrously deficient. The time and the hour has grown short, it is down to 13 days before the hearing. Lives, are apparently literally at stake, as the following records request will show.

Summary and theory of request:
The request is for all information regarding the “bus loading platform between Union Square Street and Locust Street.” It also includes information on all legally defined “Structures,” if any such additional structures are in any way a part of either of the two above stated projects, as may be reasonably inferred by the Exhibits submitted pursuant to the original application. It is understood that any Structures not produced in this records request are not to be built in the subject R.O.W.

The following information is to provide guidance for the records request, so that the issues can be understood, in order to determine if relevant records are readily accessible, or even if they exist. Please note Priority of Production (below).

Timeliness. The request is to be able to review the records at a time that is timely to the situation at hand. The timeliness of the response must allow sufficient and reasonable time to review the records, order or make applicable copies, and have time for competent engineering review, or other review of the facts and the documents produced.

Severability. If any document, page, drawing, plan, or other information is immediately available, then the request is to review that portion of production immediately, and not to withhold the totality of production to a time when all requested public information is made available.

Reasonable specificity. If documents, pages, drawings, plans, or other information are available, it is requested that the response be put in writing, with reasonable specificity, indicating the location of the document and the specific subject matter reasonably stated.

Reference to any document or information said to be contained on the brtabq.com webpage should have a dedicated, one-step URL, or the request is to review a hard-copy version. Specific information is requested. If the responsive tome is greater than 9 pages, a specific and accurate page number is requested.

Priority of production. It is the belief of the requestor that the most urgent production involves what was once called the “Walter Street Station” and is now referred to as “a bus loading platform.” It is further believed, but not known, that there is no intention by Transit to build “a bus loading platform” for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project in public Right-of-way on Central Ave. between Union Square (John St.) and Locust Streets in the Huning Highland-East Downtown Urban Conservation Overlay Zone.” in an area and location undefined by a site plan.

It is believed that the Walter Street Station, aka bus loading platform, has been proposed as consisting of six (6) component parts:

  • 1.  PLATFORM  A reinforced concrete platform of unknown height, length, width, foundation, surfacing, amenities, and other physically important features. The platform is said to incorporate ADA compliant ramps.
  • 2.  MONUMENTS  Two additional structures on top of, next to, or possibly structurally incorporated with the platform, termed “Monuments” are to be located at both the east end and west end of the platform. These monuments are of unknown dimensions, engineering, and design.
  • The best available, most current, existing information places these monuments within the designated ADA ramp areas, not next to them. The monuments have been represented to double as a protective barrier for the ADA ramps and for anyone needing to use the platform for Transit purposes, or for crossing an (to be) obstructed (and destroyed and eliminated) existing Central Avenue intersection.
  • No reviewable design information has been made available that would indicate that these (probably) concrete barriers are capable of withstanding the weight of a direct impact from a typical (for the corridor) legally large truck, much less a bus or even a passenger car. The barrier would be brittle if impacted, sending flying shards of concrete into the immediately adjacent ADA ramp, and possibly much of the platform passenger area.
  • It is the information and belief of the requestor that, at a minimum engineered stanchions of significant size, concrete guard rails, or heavy steel guard rails might be necessary to protect passengers, pedestrians, and ADA people from the dangers inherent in this center-of-street platform.
  • If so, the new protective structures would have a major impact on the urban character of the protected historical zone.
  • Further, any engineered design would be meaningless unless soil studies have been performed that validate the structural design assumptions of a “one size fits all” monument design of life-saving importance. It is the requestors belief that such soil studies and analysis have not been performed.
  • 3.  26′ SIGNS  The soil studies apply too, to the two 26′ tall signs proposed, but apparently not engineered, for the platform. There is no evidence that the flashing LED lights, nor the finalized sign colors, have been submitted to the State Historical Protection Officer (SHPO) for this specific location, as required by City Ordinance. It is the requestors belief that such signs are inconsistent and inappropriate for this historic portion of Central. Without engineering details describing wind load calculations, it can be assumed that the signs are dangerous and constitute a traffic and transportation corridor hazard.
  • 4.  INFORMATION KIOSK  In what has been presented as an “information kiosk” of unknown dimensions, footing, and foundation, lies a formidable obstacle to the entire functioning of the proposed BRT platform. The existing scale drawings (not a part of the application) suggest that the kiosk is a fixed building with access doors and panels that would obstruct the very narrow bus boarding and pedestrian transfer functions of the proposed platform.
  • The scale suggests that the kiosk is at least 2.5 feet in width, leaving only 5.5 feet on an 8′ (possible unconfirmed area) width – leaving only 2’9″ on each side of an apparently 18′ long structure for bicycles and wheelchairs to navigate. Since an average wheelchair is 32″ wide, and calculating areas for hand holds and purses or sweaters, the functional wheelchair width is at least 40″. 40″ times 2 is 80 inches, or 6′ 8″, which means that transiting wheelchairs would have to use the 2′ alert bump (yellow danger) area for each and every use of the platform (station). Many bicycle users would be confronted with even bigger problems.
  • It is important to remember that it is (possibly) a 16 inch drop-off, with no guardrail protection, from the yellow bump-zone mat to the dedicated BRT concrete corridor. The tentative design of the platform appears to be a liability nightmare.
  • 5.  LIGHT STANDARDS  Again, very few details are known about the six (6) light standards that are proposed to be part and parcel to the engineered platform. It appears that they may be unserviceable unless a truck is used that would interfere with the dedicated BRT lane, which means that burned out lights could not be changed at night until after the end of BRT service, creating a danger to nighttime users of the platform.
  • 6.  Railings and Street Furniture  Proposed to be attached to the platform are waste receptacles, a single bench of no stated seating capacity, height, or design, and “safety” railings. Existing drawing suggest the railings are not ADA compliant. The single bench could further inhibit the boarding and pedestrian transit functions of the platform.
  • 7.  NO SHELTER  The “platform” was represented publicly as being a $400,000 BRT Station. The platform is not compliant with national standards (See: 2.3) for BRT service, it is not even a basic bus “shelter”, as it has no ability to “protect passengers from weather conditions.” The creation of this platform would most probably contribute to health adversity and a reduction of quality of life of users of the platform.

REQUEST TO INSPECT PUBLIC RECORDS

To the above stated records Custodians, hello:

My name is Donald Clayton. My address is 1— Silver Avenue SW, Albuquerque NM 87104. My telephone number is 505 / 842-1—. My email address is cityofnikko@gmail.com

I would like to inspect the public records relative to, and relevant to, the projects as defined and stated above, and as defined in § 14-2-6. E. of the NM Inspection of Public Records Act. I specifically, first, and foremost, request records related to the “Walter Street Station and “bus platform” that constitute proposed construction for the potentially federally funded Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project.

I specifically refer you to HDR contracted records, to Studio Hill Design contracted records, to Bradbury Stamm surveys and contracted records, other architectural records, and records contained in the Office of the City Engineer, City of Albuquerque.

I also specifically refer to drawings, diagrams, special effects, and plans produced and created by Transit at public expense.

I specifically caution against the withholding of public records based on any general theory of competitive disadvantage, as the argument is herein made that the process of a proper public administration, and the issue of public input, and of the urgent issue of public safety, outweigh private party business decisions.

Signed: /s/ Donald Clayton

P.S. If, at any time, on any date, the above referenced Transit application is officially withdrawn, pursuant to published legal notice, and notice to me, I herein immediately withdraw any further performance pursuant to this records request.

APRIL 27, 2016, LUCC LEGAL NOTICE

April 27, 2016, second LUCC Legal Notice re: "bus platform."

April 27, 2016, second LUCC Legal Notice re: “bus platform.”

This Legal Notice was published in the Albuquerque Journal on April 27, 2016, for the City of Albuquerque Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (LUCC) Hearing proposed for May 11, 2016:

LEGAL NOTICE TO ALL PARTIES AND CITIZENS IN INTEREST:

Notice is hereby given that the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at 3:00 p.m., Basement Hearing Room, Plaza del Sol building, 600 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque, NM. Public comments are welcome. Copies of the applications may be examined on the third floor of the Plaza del Sol building, 600 2nd St. NW.

Project # 1010802
16-LUCC-50015
Application for Certificate of Appropriateness Elliot Treveston Agent for CTB Development requests approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness for new construction at 509 and 511 High street SE, described as Lot 3A and 3B, Block 30, Huning Highlands addition. (K-14)

Project # 1010796
16-LUCC-50013
Application for Certificate of Appropriateness City of Albuquerque Transit Department requests approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness for alterations and construction of a bus loading platform for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project in Public Right-of-way on Central Ave. between Union Square (John St.) and Locust Streets in the Huning Highland-East Downtown Urban Conservation Overlay Zone. (K-14 & K-15).

[continued in next column]

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES who need special assistance to participate at this hearing should contact Alfredo Salas, Planning Department, at 924-3370 (VOICE) or TTY users may access the voice number via the New Mexico Relay Network by calling 1-800-659-8331.

James Clark, Chair, Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission

APPROVED: Maryellen Hennessy, Senior Planner, Landmarks and Urban Conservation
Journal: April 27, 2016

The only “site map” for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project subject project area is HERE.

LUCC APPLICATION AND HEARING PROCESS RULES VIOLATIONS

this post presents the content of the FIFTH LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: LUCC APPLICATION AND HEARING PROCESS RULES VIOLATIONS

April 27, 2016

Maryellen Hennessy
Senior Planner
Landmarks and Urban Conservation
Current Planning Division
Planning Department
City of Albuquerque
600 2nd Street – 3rd Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Project Number: 1010796
Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013

Ms Hennessy:

During the past week I have sent you three carefully researched and detailed letters regarding the inappropriate, improper, and probably illegal, April 13, 2016, LUCC Hearing.

The letters sent were as follows:

  • On April 20th I pointed out that the required pubic notice signs were not properly posted.
  • On April 21st I pointed out that the required Legal Notice was not properly published.
  • On April 23rd I pointed out the improper and apparently illegal use of the name John Street in both legal notices, application submittals, and public discussion.
  • In a letter begun on April 23rd and sent April 25th I pointed out the errors, the inappropriate public misdirection, and the apparent deficiencies regarding the Neighborhood Association letters that were sent.

Today I write once again. This time the topic is the flagrant disregard of the LUCC’s own rules in the approach to, and the conduct of, the Hearing.

To begin, I reference my letter dated April 23, 2016, entitled in part “400 Roma,” and by this reference refer you to, and incorporate into this letter, the content, the advisories, the qualifiers, the reservations, and the requests previously made.

LUCC Rules – Background:

On April 14, 2016, the day after the LUCC Hearing regarding an approximately .4 mile section of the proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project, I met with both you and Alfredo Salas in a conference room on the 3rd Floor of 600 2nd Street in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I note that the meeting began about 3:00 PM, that 600 2nd Street is also widely known as the “Aztec Building,” (due to it’s Mayan Pyramid type shape) and by some, mostly employed by the City, as “Plaza Del Sol.”

The purpose of the meeting was to review the LUCC Case File #16-LUCC 50013. Pursuant to immediate concerns that I had regarding the “Exhibits” submitted pursuant to the Hearing, I requested from Mr. Salas, a copy of the LUCC Rules. He returned shortly with a seven-page document entitled, Rules of Procedure and Conduct – Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission. He presented me with a copy.

As I am sure you recall, I asked about the paucity of design and project details regarding the structures proposed as part of the project, specifically what has been promoted as a $400,000 Walter Street BRT Station. You responded that the Exhibits were more “Illustrative” than “Details.”

I believe that the Rules of Procedure and Conduct – Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (hereinafter: “LUCC Rules”), adopted by the LUCC June 12, 2013, should put to rest any confusion regarding the above stated issues and matters.

LUCC Rules:

Note: The following passages are unnecessarily long due to the fact that the LUCC Rules are not (as of this date) available on line. Given the “transparency” initiative of the City Of Albuquerque, one would expect the LUCC Rules to be available on line.

PURPOSE AND INTENT – The LUCC Rules begin by establishing legal authority under the heading Purpose and Intent. I quote in relevant part:

  • These Rules define procedures for the application, notification, and decision-making by the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (LUCC).
  • The Boards and Commission Ordinance § 2-6-1-4 C provides for Rules to be adopted for each board or commission and filed with the City Clerk bearing the signature of the presiding Officers.
  • These Rules replace previous and all Rules contained in other LUCC handbooks and guideline documents.
  • These Rules incorporate procedural issues in the LUC Ordinance § 14-12 and other ordinances, resolutions, plans, and guidelines under the LUCC’s jurisdiction.  These Rules may be revised or amended by a majority vote of the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission in accordance with provisions of Boards and Commissions Ordinance § 2-6-1-4-C.”

C. APPLICATION – In most relevant part this section states:

  • 2.  Applicants should review their proposed projects with City staff prior to preparing final plans and submitting an application.  Staff will determine the level of review required for the circumstances of the case.
  • 3.  An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of Compliance shall be in writing on forms prescribed by the City.  The application must include all items, as indicated by City staff and check/marked on the applicant’s Form L Checklist and other Project Drawings Checklists provided by the City.  The applicant shall provide sufficient copies of the submittal for the review as determined by the City.  Incomplete submittals are grounds for a deferral or denial.  Inaccurate information provided is grounds for a denial.
  • 4.  Drafting standards:  In order to document and understand the exact nature of the proposed work, drawings must be submitted with the application.  All drawings must be to scale, with the scale indicated on each drawing. Drawings may be by hand, but must present the project in a clear fashion.  Drawings shall show the relationship of the project to the existing building(s), the surrounding neighboring structures, and the street context as applicable.
  • Major design elements shall have the dimensions clearly indicated on the drawing(s).  Examples of major design elements to show dimensions include roof heights, trusses, porches, overhangs, windows, doors, awnings, walls, fences, steps, decks, and every major design element intended for the final project. (Italics added.)
  • All plans submitted to the LUCC review must be able to be built as drawn.  If the City of Albuquerque requires a licensed design professional’s stamp for the building permit, then a licensed design professional must design and draw the submittal for LUCC review. (Underlining and Bold type added.)
    Note: The proposed project is a public works project, a licensed design professional’s stamp is required.
  • 5.  Any documents, photos, plans, or other information provided to the City in conjunction with an application shall be available to the public.
  • 6.  For applications requiring a public hearing, all supporting materials and project plans must be submitted by the application deadline in order to allow time for analysis and preparation of a staff report and review by other agencies as appropriate.  Any materials intended to be distributed to the LUCC with the staff report must be submitted at least a week prior to the hearing.  If visual materials such as photographs are submitted, they should be identified as to location, photographer, date, and categorized into an exhibit sequence so that the LUCC may refer to one specific photograph or document as an exhibit.  The LUCC may accept new materials at the public hearing subject to majority vote.

The reality:
The actual reality of what has occurred since March 4, 2016, when Dayna Crawford took the first step in the Albuquerque Transit Department’s efforts to push through the total redesign, rebuilding, and fundamental removal of Central Avenue (as anyone now knows it) in the EDo (east downtown area of Albuquerque) is very different than what the LUCC Rules, as stated above, require.

Not a single document or drawing was submitted that had a “scale indicated on the drawing.” Not a single document or drawing had provision for “a licensed design professional’s stamp.” Not a single document or drawing was “to scale.” Not a single document or drawing or plan showed “the street context as applicable.” No maps or plans were submitted showing BRT lanes, traffic lanes, traffic signal light relocations, electrical conduits, irrigation plans, ADA ramps, drainage, road surfacing, roadway plans, permanent signing, sign removal, tree removal, striping plans, loop detectors, drive pad details, intersection details, utility relocations and abandonments, that met the LUCC Rules requirement of “All plans submitted to the LUCC review must be able to be built as drawn.

Even the $400,000 “Walter Street Station” had no correct drawings or plans. A few artist sketches substituted for architectural and/or engineer drawings. Even the “information kiosk (aka the $400,000 Walter Station)” had no foundation plans, no elevations, no “dimensions (that) include roof heights, overhangs, doors, awnings, walls.” No “Walter Street Platform” dimensions were given, no lengths, no width, no depths. There were no details regarding ADA access at Walter Street, at Union Square Street, at Locust Street, or at any location along the subject .4 mile corridor.

There was no information about the location of bus stops to be abandoned and which, and where, bus stops would remain. There was no indication that “review by other agencies as appropriate” had ever occurred. There was no sign-off from police or fire. There was no indication that Municipal Development had ever seen or approved ANY drawings. Even the Parks & Recreation Department, to be eventually charged with median maintenance and care of street trees was not in evidence at the hearing, in the documents, or in any discussion.

The application itself is fatally flawed. The applicants contention is that “no structures” are involved in the project. (See: Form L of the application) This despite the fact that LUC Ordinance § 14-12-4 Definitions states, “STRUCTURE. Anything constructed or erected above ground level which requires location on the ground or attached to something having a location on the ground but not including a tent, vehicle, vegetation, or public utility pole or line.” It appears that not one person from the City of Albuquerque Transit Department ever read the applicable regulations or LUCC Rules, or that if they did, they just didn’t understand the most basic of basics, or they just didn’t care.

The reality is that the City of Albuquerque actually has been very busy hiring qualified engineers and architects to develop all the drawings and plans. They hired HDR, a world-wide organization with local offices at 2155 Louisiana Boulevard, Suite 9500, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110. The relevant drawing that SHOULD have been presented at the April 13, 2016, LUCC Hearing are contained in a reduced size in a Volume entitled: City of Albuquerque, New Mexico ABQRIDE Construction Plans for Transit Department ABQ RIDE Central Avenue Albuquerque Rapid Transit COA Project No. 631991.

The only problem is that the plans are not finished. The drawings cannot be able to be built as drawn. Not only that, there is no evidence that the drawings and plans even exist in the scale that is required for a project to be “built as drawn.”

It is an interesting aside to review the actual “documents, photos, plans, or other information provided to the City in conjunction with an application.” I have a full list. I can easily explain the situation and how I became aware of all of the probably (mostly) irrelevant information contained in the LUCC file.

Summary:

Complaints have been made about secrecy and false representations made by the City in regard to the ART Project. Most of those complaints involve the fairly distant past. In the case of the LUCC Hearing, the apparent ongoing abuses are very evident, and very timely. The concerns involve the immediate here and now.

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

400 ROMA / MAYOR RICHARD J. BERRY

Note: The Feature Image above is courtesy of the Marc Valdez Weblog, the link is HERE.

this post presents the content of the FOURTH LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: 400 ROMA / MAYOR RICHARD J. BERRY

April 25, 2016

Dayna Crawford
Project Manager
Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project
City of Albuquerque Transit Department
100 1st Street SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

Maryellen Hennessy
Senior Planner
Landmarks and Urban Conservation
Current Planning Division
Planning Department
City of Albuquerque
600 2nd Street – 3rd Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Project Number: 1010796
Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013

I refer to three emails that I submitted to the public record of the LUCC containing the above referenced Project Number and Case Number. The three emails constitute a part of this communication and the requests and statements are incorporated herein by reference, and are repeated as a part of this letter document.

Please note contents and include a copy of this letter document in the LUCC file located at 600 2nd Street NW, 3rd Floor, City of Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.

Ms. Crawford:

Controlling documents:
Reference is made, and by such reference such documents are incorporated, to Albuquerque Code of Ordinances, Article 14: Zoning Code , specifically § 14-8-2-7 and § 14-8-2-6; Albuquerque Code of Ordinances, Article 12: Landmarks and Urban Conservation (hereinafter: “LUC Ordinance”); and to Rules of Procedure and Conduct – Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (hereinafter: “RPC”).

I refer to an application dated March 9, 2016, and to a letter in support of that application submitted by City of Albuquerque Transit Department Director Bruce Rizzeri, dated April 6, 2016. I make note that the letter calls for, “major city development and redevelopment projects and changes in services by the city which will have a direct, significant impact on that neighborhood; permanent and temporary street construction and major repair, total closing of streets, …, building of new city facilities, relocation or reconstruction of privately owned utilities which require a permit, or rerouting of bus service …” (See: § 14-8-2-6 (a), (B), (C)).

If there is any question as to the nature and scope of the Plans, I refer to City of Albuquerque, New Mexico ABQRIDE Construction Plans for Transit Department ABQ RIDE Central Avenue Albuquerque Rapid Transit COA Project No. 631991 – Volume 3 – Segment 3 – Sheet 97 through Sheet 103, a public record.

I refer to a five (5) page document dated March 7, 2016, from Stephani Winklepleck, Neighborhood Liaison, Office of Neighborhood Coordination, Planning Department, City of Albuquerque, regarding letters of notification pertinent to the proposed LUCC Hearing of April 13, 2016.

I refer to the twenty-nine (29) letters written under your signature, and under the letterhead of Mayor Richard J. Berry, dated March 9, 2016, and to the associated 29 Certified Mail receipts. (See: Copy of first letter in the series as an Attachment below.)

Representations of fact and Discussion:
1.) 400 Roma:
Albuquerque Code of Ordinances, Article 14: Zoning Code Article at § 14-12-10 (C), as cited in the Albuquerque Code of Ordinances, Article 12: Landmarks and Urban Conservation “LUC Ordinance”), the “LUC Ordinance” states, “Prior to filing an application, the applicant shall notify neighborhood associations covering the subject site or adjacent premises of their proposal; notice by certified letter, return receipt requested, is normal. (See: § 14-8-2-7.)”

The requirements of § 14-8-2-7 are remarkably sparse. The only lawful guidance is, “give written notification of their proposal…” However you went above and beyond that simple requirement by directing letter recipients (and to pass-on recipients, often large in number, who the recipients often communicate) to a “Hearing Room in the basement … at 400 Roma NW.” (See: Third paragraph, first sentence, March 9, 2016, letter.)

400 Roma NW, is the building housing the Police and Sheriff Department. 400 Roma NW is a long three blocks away from where the LUCC Hearing was to have been actually held. While 600 2nd Street NW has dedicated parking, a person driving to 400 Roma would most likely use the Civic Center garage. Relocating misplaced parking decisions would inevitably make a person late for a Hearing, precluding the opportunity to sign in to speak.

This is the second time in three days that I have publicly addressed the fact that the City of Albuquerque Transit Department’s highest administrators are demonstrably very weak in their personal knowledge of the addresses and streets of central Albuquerque. While there is no violation in a Project Manager sending a letter recipient to a wrong address, the practice is alarming. Legally the Hearing could be stated to be just about anywhere and perhaps any statement made, truthful or not, would still be in compliance. The larger issue is how does one (a citizen) address this very disturbing fact?

2.) The Mayor:
Due diligence regarding anything beyond a rote and mechanical adherence regarding § 14-8-2-7 would very naturally lead to a reading of § 14-8-2-6. (See: PDF file page #6, and document number page 6.)

Regardless of discovery, the fact remains that § 14-8-2-6 is relevant law. By the fact that the Project Number on the LUCC Application does not comport with the existing City of Albuquerque Project Number is proof that the representation is that the “roadwork” project that was the subject of the proposed Hearing was somehow different than the ART Project. I can’t understand how, but the LUCC Application makes this fact, a matter of fact.

Where the issue of “400 Roma” is not a regulation, a proper notification by the Mayor’s Office is. The examples are clear, and among the examples there was no mention of:

  • permanent and temporary street construction and major repair,
  • total closing of streets,
  • building of new city facilities,
  • relocation or reconstruction of privately owned utilities which require a permit,
  • rerouting of bus service.

All of the above are fundamental aspects of the proper subject matter of the LUCC Hearing.

§ 14-8-2-6 provides the time for notice, “notification shall be when the application is filed.” It is only prior to LUCC approval that a member of the public can give voice to concerns regarding massive construction, and massive projects, not after they are already “approved.”

The “application” for the project was made on on March 9, 2016. No proper notification was made to, “Recognized and non-recognized neighborhood or homeowner associations.”

Requests:
1.) I herein request that proper letters, with proper addresses for Hearing location be mailed to those entitled to proper notice, pursuant to law.

2.) I herein request that the City Council of Albuquerque consider the wisdom of providing specific guidelines and requirements for notification letters to, “Recognized and non-recognized neighborhood or homeowner associations.”

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

One of 29 LUCC certified mail neighborhood letters with directions to Roma.

One of 29 LUCC certified mail neighborhood letters with directions to Roma.

JOHN STREET

this post presents the content of the THIRD LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: JOHN STREET

April 23, 2016

Bruce Rizzeri
Director
City of Albuquerque Transit Department
100 1st Street SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

Maryellen Hennessy
Senior Planner
Landmarks and Urban Conservation
Current Planning Division
Planning Department
City of Albuquerque
600 2nd Street – 3rd Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Please note contents and include a copy of this letter document in the file.

Project Number: 1010796
Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013

Mr. Rizzieri:

I make reference to an Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (LUCC) dated March 9, 2016, by Lawrence Kline, Principal Planner, City of Albuquerque Transit Department. I make reference to three (3) City of Albuquerque AGIS maps that constitute a part of the above referenced application; to wit: Zoning Map, Land Use Map, and History Map.

I reference your signed seven-page letter of April 6, 2016, to Ms. Maryellen Hennessy of the Planning Department in reference to proposed project #1010796, a revised copy of an earlier letter apparently written in support of the above referenced application.

On page 4 (6th bullet) of that letter, you make reference to requested changes on Central Avenue beginning with “John” Street, (in relevant part) “John Street to Broadway Boulevard: One BRT lane in each direction.” Apparently this is a repetition of text contained in the original (unrevised) letter.

Evidence of this fact is contained in the fact that a Legal Notice (See: April 21, 2016 LUCC HEARING PROJECT #1010796 LEGAL NOTICE letter document contained in LUCC public file; also refer to Attachment below) was prepared on, or prior to March 29, 2016, that states, “Application for Certificate of Appropriateness City of Albuquerque Transit Department requests approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness for Roadwork in Public Right-of-way on Central Ave. between John and Locust Streets in the Huning Highland-East Downtown Urban Conservation Overlay Zone. (K-14 & K-15). (Bold type added.)

It is my information and belief that the legal notice was prepared by LUCC staff in reliance on your statements, and in the belief that your representations regarding the location of the proposed project was accurate, correct, and legally truthful.

My alternative information and belief is that LUCC staff is of the belief that, “an applicant controls their own application,” and under such theory, merely transcribed, and/or transferred, the information you presented into the Legal Notice, with little effort made to research or evaluate the veracity of statements made on the application.

Representations of fact:
The following information constitutes the information, knowledge, and belief, of me, Donald Clayton, a concerned citizen, and a resident of 1— Silver Avenue SW, in the City Of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I do not represent, nor am I a member of any government, organization, business or competing business, that is a matter of record in this matter. My telephone number is 505 / 842-1—, and my email address is cityofnikko@gmail.com.

On April 13, 2016, I attended what was advertised as a Public Hearing of the LUCC regarding proposed Roadwork on Central Avenue. (See: Albuquerque Journal, March 29, 2016, Section C, page C6, 2nd item – first column). The occurrence was scheduled to commence at 3:00 PM.

Pursuant to the provisions of City of Albuquerque City Council Resolution Bill R-16-24, I had very good reason to be concerned about the “roadwork” on Central Avenue, between the first alley east of Broadway, and Locust Street. It was apparently very clear by the Council Resolution that any decision by the LUCC could have a very major and substantial impact on proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit (hereinafter: ART) Project construction on portions of Central Avenue near my residential property, located southeast of Old Town.

On the three (3) maps that are part of the City of Albuquerque Transit Department (CATD) application there is no indication on any of the maps of the existence of “John Street.” In fact, on the map marked HISTORY MAP, the street that you seem to believe is named “John Street” is actually labeled as Union Square Street.

During the evening of April 20, 2016, I searched the web to try and locate a John Street, at or near the location that was marked Union Square Street. I found a link to an Albuquerque Geographic Information System (AGIS) map on the City of Albuquerque official web site. The map that I found can be found HERE (or HERE). I could not locate a relevant “John Street.”

On April 21, 2016, at approximately 10:00 AM, I visited the Albuquerque Geographic Information System – AGIS Office in Room #420 in the Plaza Del Sol Building at 600 2nd Street, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102. I talked to Ryan Trollinger, GIS Coordinator. I asked Mr. Trollinger about the location of a “John Street” near Central Avenue as a legal street located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After about twenty minutes of diligent searching, the AGIS Office could find no “John Street” near Central.

On April 22, 2016, in the morning, I visited the street indicated on the project maps as being the beginning of the project to determine if the “on site” street signs said “John Street.” I photographed both street signs at the location. One of the two (2) street signs that read Union Square St. is Attached below.

Based on the above research, I arrived at One Civic Plaza, 9th Floor, and visited the City of Albuquerque City Council office. I asked appropriate staff if there was a Council Resolution creating Union Square Street. After significant effort and search by staff, I was put in contact with Andrew Webb, Policy Analyst / Planning, City of Albuquerque City Council. Mr. Webb informed me that John Street, at the location in question, had not existed since the 1970’s when the Union Square project was developed. He stated that the Council Resolution renaming the street still had not been found.

I note that the published legal advertisement in the Albuquerque Journal, dated March 29, 2016, referring to the name “John Street,” is incorrect, misleading, and legally inaccurate. The correct legal street name is Union Square Street.

Commentary:
The announced purpose of the proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project is to fundamentally change and alter the existing Avenue and most of the existing streetscape. Such a process and project require the winning of public confidence, and a public trust.

I have written three (3) letter document emails in four days that illustrate and document an apparent disregard for the law, an indifference regarding the proper placement of signs, a repeated inability to create proper, and required, legal notices.

The implication is clear. Why should a government that can not successfully complete small tasks (in this case a proper LUCC Hearing) be trusted with large tasks, like the ART Project?

Requests:
1.) I herein request that a proper legal notice be published, with correct street information, prior to any lawful Hearing.
2.) I herein request that the LUCC Hearing process in the above referenced case should be abandoned, and that a new application should begin a new and proper LUCC hearing process.
3.) I herein request that an affirmation be made a part of the LUCC Application process, wherein the applicant attests to the truthfulness of the representations made pursuant to an application.

I note that a simple credit card application requires an affirmation. The fact that a public works Road Work project involving many millions of taxpayer dollars does not require any affirmation whatsoever on the application is, I believe, a misplaced wonderment.

My fourth request deserves a brief explanation. The fact is that the Albuquerque Transit Department had to pay no fees whatsoever for the application and hearing, not even a fee for the failed and faulty legal notice. I believe that this LUCC Hearing process was a disaster, it wasted a great deal of time and public resources and money; it also wasted a great deal of the public’s time. I also believe that it is (or was) a tremendous embarrassment to the City of Albuquerque. There is no sanction that can remedy the loss, it is, I believe, irreparable harm. A small measure to reduce the possibility of a repeat situation is the subject of the following request.

4.) I herein respectfully request that the Rules of Procedure and Conduct – Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission be amended to require that all applications and attendant representations of fact be notarized.

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

LUCC improper Legal Notice for April 13, 2016, Hearing

LUCC improper Legal Notice for April 13, 2016, Hearing

Union Square St. sign at the corner of Union Square and Central Avenue in Albuquerque.

Union Square St. sign at the corner of Union Square and Central Avenue in Albuquerque.

[Note:  The Albuquerque City Engineer has jurisdiction to rename “minor” streets without a City Council resolution. Apparently “John Street” (in this location) was renamed by the City Engineer circa 1983.]

This LUCC Hearing "History Map" identifies Union Square St. at the location.

This LUCC Hearing “History Map” identifies Union Square St. at the location.