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March 2, 2015

Thom Wright, our president, working with our attorney Tim Flyn O'Brien, has reached an agreement with the city regarding future APC use of the multi-use portion of the renovated park. The agreement now goes to the City Parks Department for their signature at which point, we are done for a while (fingers crossed). You may find the minutes of the special meeting with the full agreement appended at this link.

Results of the February 3 hearing

The Land Use Hearing Officer Recommended to the city council that our appeal of the LUCC decision be upheld and that the LUCC rehear the case with reference to the items that are critical to the APC. Currently we (Tim FlynObrien and Thom Wright representing the APC) are in continuing negotiations with the city parks department, the city legal department and the city risk management department over a contractual agreement for use of the multi-use area for parking.

Hearing February 3
Tim FlynObrien and I (Thom Wright) represented the APC in its appeal of the LUCC decision that did not include our proposed findings. What we wish to accomplish is getting recognition of our prior (1980's) agreement with the city that committed them to replacing some of the parking lost when Elm St, west of Highland Park Circle, was truncated.  

We continue to struggle with the city over a contractual agreement that will provide us with key access to the bollard that would block the "multi-use" area that could be our overflow parking. If we have access, our parking spots will number the same as they do now though configured differently. Without key access we will lose 25% or the number of parking spaces currently available to us. 

Negotiations, January 2015
We are negotiating an agreement with the city that will, if we can work this out, provide the APC with key access to the bollards that will close off the "multi-purpose" area. This area is what is currently the east parking lot (scroll down to see the designs). Key access will provide us parking when needed. This will provide us the same amount of parking we have now.

Though things are not completed, there is still some work to do, it appears we will be OK.

The December 10 Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission Meeting:
The meeting was held, the city presented its proposed plan to renovate the park to the commission. Representatives of the APC spoke in favor of including findings with the decision that would recognize the relationship between the park and the parking/access and the history of that relationship. Dave Smoker spoke of dealing with this very issue 30 years ago when he was president of the club and the current parking situation being the the agreed result of that series of meetings.  

The way the system works, the city presents it's side, we respond with our side, then they get a final rebuttal. After that, testimony is closed and the commission decides.  

During their final rebuttal, city staff, including a representative of city legal department, presented new information, their contention that it would be improper for the LUCC to consider our proposed findings. We were unable to challenge that, though we believe the law is on our side. 

The LUCC did not include our findings. The point of these findings is to insure that we have constructive access to the multi-use area. Without that, the city may refuse us access by refusing to provide a key to the bollard(s).  

We have filed an appeal with the city. This appeal appeals the decision of the LUCC to the city council. The reasons for the appeal are specifically that the process itself was flawed by allowing the city to present new information during their "rebuttal" time while not allowing the APC the opportunity to respond.  

We are in contact with the city parks department and will be meeting with them early in January 2015. The hope is that we can reach a written agreement that satisfies both the parks department and the APC so that the appeal of the LUCC decision to the council may be withdrawn.  

Where we stand on the parking lot situation:
  • We hired an attorney with significant experience working with the city in similar situations. He has been quite helpful.
  • We have participated in a number of meetings with city parks department and other interested parties. 
  • We have raised the awareness of our members and our community to the value the APC provides to our community and the critical need for parking. 
  • In doing the above, we changed the dynamic, the parks department has changed the designs to something that will work for us. 
  • The city parks and recreation department presented the most recent set of revised plans to the city Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission for their approval on December 10.  We supported that plan but, we asked that the commission also approve findings that would support our continuing right to parking and access. We believe that, as a direct result of an abuse of process, these findings were not approved. We will appeal that decision. We feel this is important. Dave Smoker had to deal with this same issue back in 1981 when the city truncated Elm St. We hope to preclude this from happening again.  

The current design presented to the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission.  

Note the vehicle graphics parked.

The area that is now our parking lot gets converted to a multi-use plaza, available as overflow parking when needed. It will be blocked with a bollard that, presumably, we will have a key to.   
 This graphic portrays the revised plan in black, overlayed on the existing configuration in gray. 

Note, the circle at the West end of Highland Park Circle becomes parking, a smaller circle is created at the East end where it meets Elm. 
The parking surfaces will be permiable pavers. The grade at the current lot area will change from ascending to the east to descending to the east with a walkway out to the street at the east end. 

The multi-use plaza will have a dense canopy of trees, allowing casual recreation, or parking, between the trees. 
Providing we can get an agreement that will allow the APC continuing use of the overflow parking with key access for the club, we believe this is an equitable plan that preserves our parking while incorporating community uses.  

You can meet some interesting people at the clubhouse.

Not seen in 70 years!
Our front porch is restored to being itself, a porch, and what a grand porch it is.

 We still need some paint, some stain, and additional lighting but, our porch is once again a porch and it is open for business. Come join us in celebration of the major accomplishments in restoring our historic clubhouse.
For those who have forgotten, a picture of the porch as it was. 

The NW corner of our porch was enclosed in the late 1930's or early 1940's to provide space to rent to boarders. This space has been used as an office (junk collecting room) since the Albuquerque Press Club purchased the building in 1973.  It has been a long time dream to restore this space to it's original glory. 


We Are:

  • Member Owned, with both professional press and social (non-press) memberships

  • A private club with disparate membership and a great spirit
  • A place to meet new friends or to hang out with old ones
  • Located in one of Albuquerque's most historic buildings
  • An affiliate of the National Press Club with reciprocity agreements with other press clubs
Benefits of Membership:
  • You are an owner of the club, allowing you to participate in its activities and management
  • You may use our facilities for personal and business events
  • You may participate in a variety of professional and entertaining activities
  • You Improve the value of our community with your participation
  • You pay less for drinks at the bar

The Roof project, finally.  Click this link for the full story.

Keep up with the porch foundation Repairs at
this link.