Albuquerque Commons Partnership v. City Council of Albuquerque

184 P.3d 411 (2008)

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Albuquerque Commons Partnership v. City Council of Albuquerque

New Mexico Supreme Court
184 P.3d 411 (2008)

  • Written by Robert Cane, JD

Facts

Albuquerque Commons Partnership (ACP) (plaintiff) held a leasehold for property zoned as SU-3 for high-intensity mixed uses. The property was in the uptown sector as designated by the Albuquerque’s Uptown Sector Plan, which was adopted in 1981 as part of the city’s comprehensive plan. In 1991, Albuquerque Commons sold its lease to Opus Southwest Corporation (Opus) which sought to develop the property as a low-density, big-box retail project. Opus submitted its site plan for the project to the city in September 1994. The city’s planning department indicated that retail uses were allowed in the SU-3 zone. In February 1995, the City Council of Albuquerque (the council) (defendant) placed a four-month moratorium on development in the uptown sector and subsequently proposed revisions to split the SU-3 zone into intense-core and outside-of-intense-core zones. Under the proposed intense-core zone, free-standing retail buildings were prohibited and retail was limited to 10 percent of new developments. However, redevelopment of existing space for retail was exempted from this limit. In June 1995, the council adopted the 1995 Uptown Sector Plan in a legislative proceeding, which limited the rights of ACP to present evidence or conduct cross-examination. A city commission later voted to defer consideration of Opus’s site plan, citing noncompliance with the recently revised sector plan even though several retail projects had been developed in the area between 1981 and 1995. Notably, the intense-core zone affected only three vacant properties that made up 6 percent of the total uptown sector, and ACP’s property comprised two-thirds of the affected land. ACP appealed to the appellate court, which found that the council failed to provide ACP with proper procedural rights. The council appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bosson, J.)

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