Byline: THE NEW MEXICAN
County to help film studio as fiscal agent
Santa Fe County agreed to act as the fiscal agent Tuesday for a $10 million state economic-development grant that will be used to help a private company build a four-stage film production studio in the county's media park on N.M. 14.
Commissioner Jack Sullivan voted against the measure Tuesday, saying he was concerned the deal didn't give the county enough authority over how the project was built.
James Rubin, the attorney for Santa Fe Studios, the company that intends to build the studios, said the fact that the money will be disbursed only in the form of reimbursement for approved expenses should offer plenty of checks and balances on expenditures.
The Project Participation Agreement between the county and Santa Fe Studios requires the studio to begin work on the project within three years. But Rubin said Tuesday that he believes his clients intend to start sooner than that.
Council to hear neighborhood project
A proposed city ordinance that would allow neighborhoods to place restrictions on development is scheduled for a 7 p.m. public hearing tonight before the City Council after nearly seven months of inactivity.
The Neighborhood Conservation District ordinance was originally proposed by Councilor Karen Heldmeyer, but did not have a final vote before she left office. Councilor Miguel Chavez, a then co-sponsor, has picked up the torch.
In April, the council voted to postpone a final decision on the idea so city neighborhood planners could make more inroads on a pilot project. Chavez said Tuesday that project seemed to be off track, and he hoped to have enough votes to establish the conservation district's rule as part of the city's Chapter 14 Land Use Code.
The rule would allow neighborhoods to designate boundaries and choose features to preserve or prohibit with consent of a majority of landowners. One neighborhood that expressed interest in creating such a district succeeded instead with approval of a downzoning for properties within its territory.
City pans state's garage plans
Although the city has limited jurisdiction over state buildings, members of the Santa Fe Historic Design Review Board on Tuesday criticized the state's exterior design for the parking garage it plans to build near the Roundhouse.
Board Chairwoman Sharon Wood asked a state contractor to appear again before the board with revised plans and answers to questions. She particularly criticized window details called "an aluminum horizontal muntin pattern."
"You can't do that," she said. "That would look like a tract house. It would be a travesty to do that with the windows."
Other members said they wanted different stucco colors, better renderings of the proposal and details on materials for certain features.
Paula Tackett, director of the Legislative Council Service, which will inherit the state building upon its completion, said she would attempt to work with a contractor to make appropriate changes if possible.
"We have worked very hard with the H-board and to collaborate with the city's historic design review, but we do have a budget ... and we have 112 legislators who are already mad that we won't have this until April," she said.
The New Mexican
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