Albuquerque holds meeting on Highland Park plans

Posted at: 08/07/2014 10:02 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Thursday, the city of Albuquerque held a public meeting to present renderings of a plan to renovate Highland Park, a historic space used primarily by the East Downtown and Huning Highland neighborhoods. Many people left the meeting feeling like the plan was a great start, but they wanted to make sure some facets got a second look.

The project process began around 2011 when neighbors came together with concerns about the safety of the park. Families with young children reported finding broken bottles and needles in the sand where kids were supposed to play; neighbors said vagrants made it a place for drugs and crime.

The city expressed interest in working on the project; Councilor Isaac Benton procured funding. The process took several years, including brainstorming sessions with residents.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department presented a plan they say they think was a good compromise between varying groups.

Nearby businesses, neighbors, and car club groups that host events in the lot near the park presented their thoughts, but many said they have concerns they want to make sure are addressed.

The Albuquerque Press Club expressed concerns about parking space near the park being eliminated. One neighbor said she'd like the new playground placed where more eyes can be on it. Others said they want to make sure lighting was a priority.

After seeing the great interest and concerns, the meeting facilitator said it's clear more meetings may need to be held. The Press Club and neighborhood associations expressed interest in meeting to discuss the issue and make sure all parties are satisfied with the results.