FRONT-YARD PARKING ENFORCEMENT: David Chavez says in a recent email, “A few months ago a person asked a question about people parking in the front yard of residential houses. The response from the city was that (it) was not legal to park in (a) front yard without some exceptions.
“Recently there has been quite a few houses in our neighborhood who are parking up to eight cars in a front yard. I have called 311 multiple times with no response, even when I have asked for a return call. Can you get a straight answer? Is the city enforcing this ordinance or not?”
Yes and yes.
Brennon Williams, Albuquerque’s planning director, says “the adoption of the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) specifically incorporated front-yard parking standards and these regulations are being applied to residential properties by our Code Enforcement Division.
“In a nutshell, parking is allowed within the front yard but there are limitation on how much of the front yard can be used for parking depending upon the size of the lot, with smaller lots allowing for more area to be used in this manner.”
My June 11, 2018, column, laid out the IDO rules:
NEW CONSTRUCTION: For homes built after May 17, 2018, “parking in residential zone districts or for low-density residential development is prohibited on any portion of the front-yard setback other than on a driveway or drive aisle meeting the standards of this IDO” and sets out limits to what can be made into a driveway – which must be paved or done with crusher fine and can range from 400 square feet to 85% of the front yard.
CONSTRUCTION 2007 TO MAY 2018: As for homes built between 2007 and the IDO, “improved parking areas that met the rules in place at the time they were built can continue to be used for parking. Parking is limited to those improved areas.”
CONSTRUCTION BEFORE 2007: For homes built before 2007, “if an improved parking area … was developed, that is the only area that can be used for parking in the front yard. The size is not limited to the size limits in the IDO and can be continued to be used for parking.
“If no improved parking area was developed, the amount of the front yard that can be used for parking is limited to the sizes in the IDO, but that parking area is not required to be improved.”
The main number for code enforcement is 924-3450.
VENTING ON 550: As the two-year construction project rebuilding the U.S. 550/N.M. 528 intersection, as well as the highway leading up to it from the east, continues, the gridlock has drivers sounding off. Bernalillo resident Patricia Dominguez emails this food for thought:
Thursday “was a particularly frustrating day for traffic because of a daytime lane closure. Lane closures for an area with this volume of traffic should be done solely at night. This is just the beginning of this needed project, but I’m already losing faith in the contractor’s planning capabilities.
“I also haven’t seen any type of community outreach to notify area residents about upcoming lane closures, changes in traffic patterns, etc. – again poor planning. (As for the website keepmoving550.com), there is nothing indicating that there would be a lane closure today.”
Patricia also reports that the lack of striping at 550/Camino del Pueblo means when “the traffic goes from two lanes here to four lanes … it’s impossible to tell if you are in a lane that continues east until the last second, which leads to a scrum! I fully understand that this project is ongoing and lanes will need to changed – if the contractor doesn’t want to put in painted stripes at least install the bright stickers. The lack of lane identification is a safety issue.”
A river crossing is a hard thing to reduce lanes on. As my Nov. 16 column noted, the New Mexico Department of Transportation has been living the project since it started a few weeks ago, with the secretary driving it multiple times, getting signal timing adjusted, rescheduling work around community events and sending out personal replies to everyone who contacted his office.
Here’s hoping that continues, though it will mean a long two years for NMDOT.
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.