Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Plan Opens Road to Blocked Area.(Metro & New Mexico)

Byline: Dan McKay Journal Staff Writer

Access Fight Pits City Against Landowners

Mayor Jim Baca is recommending the city settle a land-use dispute near Four Hills by opening to the public a roadway that runs through the Manzano Open Space.

But city officials say the move would be years away, and by then, perhaps it won't be needed at all.

In a message to the City Council, Baca said the proposal could help Albuquerque avoid paying $8.3 million in damages sought by landowners who contend the open space blocks access to their property. Baca's recommendation is expected to go before the council's land-use committee later this month.

Lawrence Rael, the mayor's chief administrative officer, said that if the city has to pay out millions in damages, less money will be available to buy open space in other parts of the city. …

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