huning castle neighborhood association (HCNA) October 2017, board meeting

HCNA Board Meeting
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Albuquerque Country Club (ACC) Board Room
7 pm

In attendance: Harvey Buchalter, Max Cowton, Monica Martinez, Jan Yates, Susan Feil, Len Romano, Debbie Allen, Steve Kotz, Michael Barndollar, Julie Lawrance

Guests: Sgt William Thomas, Patrol Officer Tyler Carman; APD
Joran Viers, Certified Arborist CABQ Parks & Rec

1.   Call to order. Open forum and Community input:

Call to order 7:05 .  Open forum and Community input.  No input.

2.   MOTION to approve minutes, September 6, 2017:

MOTION to approve minutes, September 6, 2017; carried.

3.   APD officer Nicholas Sanders and Crime Prevention Specialist Bailey Scanlon:

Report by APD officers William Thomas and Tyler Carman: “crime in our neighborhood is still very low compared to surrounding neighborhoods.”  Harvey suggested APD use police substation as a police presence in the neighborhood. Officers said they would relay this suggestion to higher authorities.

4.   Guest Dan Humbles, certified arborist with COA Solid Waste Management Department. MOTION to address safety concerns in regard to elm limbs overhanging Laguna median and Oxnard Park:

Guest Joran Viers, Arborist/ City of Albuquerque (COA) Parks and Recreation Department appeared in lieu of Dan Humbles. He stated that Oxnard Park is part of Parks and Recreation Department and not part of the medians, which are under the jurisdiction of the Solid Waste Department.

Concerns in regard to elm limbs overhanging Laguna median. Potential liability to the city. Health of trees indicated by past failures (lots of stubs on trees from pruned limbs). Dead branches are not what typically fall off of trees; usually it is live wood that falls. City can implement “managed decline” which involves carefully pruning trees as they decline. Advice of Mr. Viers: remove worst trees, watch the rest. Then replant all trees at once; wait 20 years and the yield might be a uniform canopy. Some good options in his opinion are: hybrid elms, oaks, hard rubber tree, cottonwood. But trees available are up to the contracted vendors. Recommends less density of trees (75% of what is there currently), in two rows, and staggered like they are now.

Department of Solid Waste maintains all COA medians because of available federal funds diverted from Clean Cities federal funds budget. Solid Waste Department can generate funds by raising garbage removal rates slightly, but not necessarily for trees.

Harvey feels number 1 issue is safety. Dave Hanson, neighborhood resident voiced support for a written tree-trimming plan. Harvey felt such a plan was not necessary, just let the city contractor do it.

MOTION to address safety concerns of low hanging limbs on elms on Laguna median and defer removal of dead elms and selection of replacement trees – and timetable for doing so – deferred. Motion carried.

5.   Harvest Fest (Sunday, October 29, 3 -5 pm, Forest Park). Additional planning and assignments:

Harvest Fest (Sunday, October 29, 3 -5 pm, Forest Park) Additional planning and assignments
Will have food truck – from Malaguenas live music, refreshments from Pop Fizz; all confirmed. Need games for kids; Monica, Max and Lauren will work on this.

6.   Treasurer’s report:

Balance as of 9/6/17 $17,873.29
Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Chiefs Over Time (COT) dollar donations available is $3,671.11.  HCNA Remaining non-COT balance is $14,202.18

7.   Membership report:

Membership remains basically the same at @ 130 residences (111 paid members in September).

8.   Long-range planning for Laguna Boulevard – formation of sub-committee:

Need subcommittee to keep an eye on grass maintenance, broken sprinklers, etc.  Len, Debbie and Susan all volunteered to be part of subcommittee.

9.   COT planning (October 11 – November 8, 2017).  Discussion of alternatives – Monica:

Monica suggested getting “Feet on the Street” by forming walking, dog walking, running groups; strategically timed for presence in neighborhood between the hours of 1:00 and 7:00 p.m., when many pedestrians are present.  Monica will be the contact.

Len wants to get businesses in Country Club Plaza to contribute to COT, but they never see a patrol car in the plaza.  Harvey will explore this.

10.   Report on recent work at CRP / ALF facility at 1711 Park Avenue SW:

Construction / deconstruction has begun at 1711 Park Avenue SW.

Construction began approximately one week ago on remodeling the residence into a Community Residential Program to house up to ten clients, and an additional upstairs apartment.  HCNA Board has gone on record twice to oppose the conditional R-1 Permissive Use project. The commercial building being built is the result of a City Permit to remodel a former residence which lies in an R-1 residential zone.

Guests Thomas J. Horan and Maryanne Campbell-Horan spoke recently with real estate development attorney John A. Meyers whose opinion it is that nobody could win if they tried to ask for a ruling on lawful property covenants in a New Mexico court.

Mr. Horan stated his belief that property covenants were, “settled law,” citing Hill v. Community of Damien of Molokai.  The apparently absolute differences between that case and the 1711 Park Avenue situation appeared to be of no legal consequence in his opinion.

Lots of “No Trespassing” signs to keep people away from the right-of-way.

HCNA resident Donald Clayton has worked hard to make neighbors aware of what the COA is not doing or is doing wrong.  He stated that the proposed commercial Assisted Living Facility (ALF) project intended for 1711 Park Avenue SW is a clear violation of a Huning Castle Addition lawful property covenant.  He stated an interest in starting a Go Fund Me type site to raise necessary funds for a possible pro se action.

11.   Old business:

a.   cross-walk striping, ADA cutouts, request for traffic study – discussion tabled.
b.   Art Installation-scheduled for Spring ’18 – any change to schedule to begin work
has not been given to HCNA board.
c.   review of yard sale – approximately 8 residences participated.

12.   New business:

Intersection of Laguna and Central was closed October 12th. No date given by the COA about when thoroughfare will be reopened.

13.   Executive Session:

14.   Additional Open forum/community input:


HCNA Board has held numerous discussions on the issue of the Assisted Living Facility (ALF) going in at 1711 Park Ave.

HCNA Board has gone on record as being opposed to this Assisted Living Facility; based on neighborhood input. Many residents oppose this facility. Some do not.

Assisted living facilities can be located as close as 1500 feet of each other and we have a neighborhood with a lot of large houses that might be desirable for such facilities. Allowing this particular ALF could set a precedent for more in the neighborhood. Neighborhood concerns about this include: ambulances at all hours of the night and an overabundance of street parking and delivery vehicles. It is possible that we could end up with as many as 3 or 4 such facilities in the neighborhood.

HCNA resident Donald Clayton has worked very hard to make city aware of what they are not doing or are doing wrong. He might be willing to file a pro se action (i.e., on his own and possibly with additional legal representation) regarding a HCA lawful property covenant that pertains to the proposed Assisted Living Facility at 1711 Park Avenue SW.  He  would appreciate a minimum of support from the HCNA neighborhood association.

It is the HCNA Board’s position that, while we oppose this facility, it would not be good use of neighborhood funds to obtain legal representation and try to fight this in court. We could potentially lose big and it would likely generate a lot of ill will with the City of Albuquerque which would not benefit our neighborhood.

The Board will leave this issue up to individuals in the neighborhood to fight as they see fit.

15.   Executive Session:

The second scheduled HCNA Board Executive Session to discuss the issue of 1711 Park Avenue property use as a CRP-10 / ALF was not necessary.

16.   Adjournment:

Board meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.