ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry signed a new law Friday morning hoping to end a long-running fight and spur construction and business in the city.
The city will now charge developers less to build in Albuquerque.
The change affects impact fees, charges developers pay to help the city build roads, utilities and parks.
The new law cuts those fees, particularly on the sprawling West Side where developers have paid more than twice as much in some cases compared to projects east of the Rio Grande.
The mayor says the law will level the playing field around the city.
“The impact system we have now is much more fair, much more predictable,” Berry says. “It will actually incentivize investments, and it stops pitting neighborhoods against each other as they try to bring development jobs and housing to their neighborhood.”
The Albuquerque City Council approved the changes last week in a 6-3 vote.
That’s after community members and business owners had been fighting for an overhaul for years. Klarissa Pe a was among them.
She works to try to bring developers to the Southwest Mesa.
She says the new law will make it easier to replace empty lots with major retailers like Target and Costco now that businesses won't face increased impact fees to build in that area of the city.
“When you're looking at an area that is already struggling to bring in housing and development, it really hinders our plight,” Pe a says.
With the struggling economy, the city hopes this will bring in more businesses and kick start the homebuilding industry.
Impact fees will go up across the city gradually over the next five years as the economy improves.
Albquerque has collected $28 million since implementing impact fees in 2004.
With the new law, the city says it is tough to predict how much they'll be collecting in the future.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.