There was a letter from the fifities - before zoning - to the County Commission in which the writer warned against the commercialization of what was the then still the fair northern gateway to the City. Fifties guy argued that the land at the railroad sidings or off of the sensitive valley floor would be better for other uses, especially if you want to carry through-traffic on then recently paved Second Street. The businesses on Fourth Street were just to the west. Why create more stop and go congestion?
The same arguments have been made since and were adopted in some policies. But like elsewhere, zoning gets established and changed in response to a variety of pressures. And planning policy is only a guide.
In today's Albuquerque Journal North we hear about the zoning case appellant who wants a convenience-carwash-packageliquor-store at El Pueblo and Second, just south of Paseo. He points out the future commuter rail station site down the street. It is "no longer an agriculture area" he says, and, "we are the first but we won't be the last," to request a zone change. He says residents of the "multi-generational" apartments across Second Street "are begging" for services.
Well, he sure wasn't the first to request rezoning. This isn't even the first time his location has had a request for rezoning. And like it has been said before, strip commercial, like this request, caters to the driving public and will hinder traffic flow. It can be viewed as the scale equivalent of allowing a driveway onto the interstate.
This is not a "village center" mixed use thing. The proposed use is aimed at the motoring public whose flow it will disrupt to the maximum degree. The retirement apartment residents on the other side of Second Street will literally risk their lives crossing six lanes of traffic for a six- pack.
Fifties guy shakes his head in disbelief. Coco