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Let Everyone Else Decide

Albo P Fossa—July 15, 2022

It’s something that’ll evolve through time.

That’s how Santa Fe planners described a “plan” for the Midtown Campus a couple blocks from our home.

It now holds a “designated encampment” for the homeless, with approved drug and alcohol use, and no clear city-described provision for sanitation. Pee puddles, shit piles, toilet paper, food and alcohol bottles and wrappers, hypodeemic nerdles and grocery carts. Right next to a school and along what was a public walkway.

The campus is based on a college bought by the City, twice failed, and vacant since (except for dorms as housing for the homeless, including those diagnosed with Covid19). It’s a superb showing for our tax investment in the purchase of failing imagination.

The campus is not a place we’d want to walk after dusk anymore. Vague answers (from well-paid by taxes) City Counselors at the meeting included development of affordable housing. It would be up to six stories high (blocking our sunset view) and built so as to avoid gentrification in the future. Our home, built and lovingly maintained since 1983, is a prime example of gentrification. We’re not welcome nearby. Ghettoization, not gentrification. Slums, not neighborhoods.

When a public question arose as to parking and traffic congestion arising from the new development, a Counselor described glowing ideas for making life within the Midtown Campus fully walkable. (“Keep’em in there.”) Right.

And for a more detailed answer on this and other issues about their “plan” the Counselors offered vague reponses like “We’re looking into that. New ideas will come out as times go by.”

The “plan” is to eliminate coding restrictions so “anything goes.” No limits. Let the City not dictate. Let Everyone Else Decide. LEED standards, the Counselors boasted.

I bet a nickel if any and all Counselors had such a development proposed near their remote well-established gentrified properties, they’d use their considerable authority to fight tooth and nail to put a stop to such a proposal immediately. NIMBY.

The Counselors will feel free to feed the prairie dogs, too. And perhaps humanely relocate them, though not into Counselors’ neighborhoods.

I place my shiny nickel in the center of Llano, where the homeless Arroyo Chamisos crosses. Claim it if it hasn’t been spent on a bottle of Ripple.

Plans, schmans. Have a nice day.