The Honorable Timothy M. Keller Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico Office of the Mayor
PO Box 1293
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103
RE: Near Heights (Pueblo Alto) Storm Drain Improvements EC-17-371/P5938.92
April 14, 2020
Dear Mayor Keller:
We appreciate your comments and stated commitment to ending “Top Down” projects and ap- plaud your intention of creating a more inclusive and transparent approach to municipal projects.
— Project EC-17-371, known also as The Near Heights (Pueblo Alto) Storm Drain Im- provements/Job #P5938.92, is of serious concern to hundreds of neighbors who regular- ly enjoy the use of Twin Parks.
— This project attempts to correct a storm drainage problem in our sister neighborhood at the expense of a beloved residential neighborhood park.
— Without notice or discussion with us, this Near Heights project has been continually re- vised and modified by municipal departments as well as private sector contractors.
— Before it is too late, please suspend this project and meet with us. The McDuffie Twin Parks Neighborhood Association (MTPNA) and citizens who sign this letter request a re- evaluation to direct City divisions and departments to meet with us, a request previously denied.
Mayor Keller, we have great appreciation of the pressing matters in front of you. Our hope is that any on-going work on this project be halted until your full attention and review of the impact can be made after the COVID emergency has improved.
Affectionately known as Twin Parks in our neighborhood, Prado del Sol (Meadow of the Sun) and Campo Manana (Field of Tomorrow) Parks were given to the city in 1941 and 1946 to be an “area of Graciousness”. Our historic parks are almost 80 years old and have been enjoyed by residents of the neighborhood, adjoining neighborhoods and by thousands of Albuquerqueans who visit to walk, socialize, picnic, play with their children, practice youth sports and enjoy the wonderful ambiance of a beautiful open space within city limits. Bernalillo County Movies in the Park shows a movie every summer that draws a large crowd, and in December neighbors make luminarias to light the perimeter of the park while singing carols with hundreds of visitors on foot and in cars. In fact, the COVID crisis has shown just how precious Twin Parks is to us all with its ability to provide outdoor “social distancing.”
The McDuffie Twin Parks Neighborhood Association and all neighbors believe that without your immediate help and intervention we will be faced with a loss of lifestyle for users of a neighbor- hood park. Many of us are also concerned about the potential safety issues of a surface deten- tion pond in an urban neighborhood park.
We are referring to the City’s plan to convert Twin Parks to a detention pond for storm water runoff as part of the city’s rainwater sewage management program. The genesis of the proposal was EC-17-371, a “Top Down” project proposed under Mayor Berry’s administration that was introduced and approved with no notice or consultation with neighborhood residents on August 21, 2017. A video clip of this meeting may be viewed at http://cabq.granicus.com/player/clip/ 206. In the clip, Councilor Gibson notes residents being “a little nervous” and instructs the De- partment of Municipal Development (DMD) director to “give (residents) a seat at the table”. Not only have we not been given a seat at the table, only after strident efforts were we able to ascer- tain information that has only heightened our concerns about the status, scope and timing of this project. We have been told to await the options at a public meeting that has yet to be sched- uled. What we understand:
— The planned project is a detention pond for storm water runoff to be constructed in the lower park of Twin Parks. That lower park is slightly less than an acre. A 5.8-acre-foot storage-capacity pond, 11-feet-deep, was recommended by Smith Engineering in an ini- tial study, and now the DMD is proposing an even-bigger, 10-acre-foot pond.
— A plan for a submerged series of tanks presented at a neighborhood meeting in 2017 by City officials appears to have been abandoned, while other possible solutions have not been discussed with the MTPNA or Pueblo Alto Neighborhood Associations.
Unfortunately, Counselor Gibson introduced and the City Council approved a project they did not fully understand, both in terms of options and impact on our neighborhood. That plan has continued to be changed and modified without notice or discussion with neighbors of the park and community. A “Meadow in the Sun” will be converted into a drainage structure. This is Top Down management in its truest and worst sense.
We are sensitive to city-wide problems with storm drainage and recognize that our fellow neigh- bors in the Pueblo Alto Neighborhood have had issues with storm drainage. Even with these problems, we have had overwhelming support and concern from our Pueblo Alto neighbors that destroying Twin Parks is not an acceptable solution. Twin Parks is their park as well!
We seek your help and ask that you instruct the DMD to cease any further work on the project and vacate the legislation. All information from prior flooding surveys and analysis should be redirected in a manner consistent with the tenet of your consensus leadership with Citizen and CABQ partnership. As Friends and Neighbors of Twin Parks, adjoining neighborhoods and all who enjoy and celebrate this wonderful park, we solicit your leadership to work for a better solution which will not destroy a park at the center of such a strong community. Please meet with us to insure that Twin Parks remains “an area of Graciousness.” Thank you.
The McDuffie Twin Parks Neighborhood Association
Cathy Drake, MD. Twin Parks Committee Chair
Mark Hyland, President
Kristen Oreskovich, Vice President
Maggie Peterson, Secretary
Carol Morris, Treasurer
Neighbors of Twin Parks:
Terry Edwards and Denise Fligner, MD
William and Margaret Fanning
Dianne and Richard Reidy
Robert and Robin Younger
Vaughn Gangwish and Kelly Seis
James and Mary Ann Moreno
Beth and Mike Spafford, MD
Irene Agostini, MD
Margaret and Reg Strickland, MD
Steve and Jean Hile
Mike Kuhn and Jane McIntyre
Jay Guthrie and Mona Ghattas,
Shana Drake-Lavelle, MD and Ricardo Galicia, MD
Anna O’Connell and Kim Lerohl
(+when you open the clip, you should see an index of items below the video box. Scroll down just past item 9 “CONTENT AGENDA” and click on “b. EC-17-371” and you will see the video of Gibson recommending and the council approving)
Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Operations Officer Lawrence Rael, email@example.com
Patrick Montoya, Director DMD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Gibson, City Councilor, District 7, email@example.com
Elizabeth J Kristen Keller, PhD., firstname.lastname@example.org