Process Diary | August 4, 2015

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Your Ideas Shaped a 4th UDC Draft with Lots of Expanded Options

The hours upon hours of community discussion have resulted in this fourth draft of a Unified Development Code (UDC) to guide future development in Doña Ana County.

From here, the draft is considered for recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Commission before going to the Board of County Commissioners for final action. Watch the County website for dates for public hearings.

There are lots of reasons for the hundreds of County residents and business people who participated to be proud of what they’ve achieved. Not the least among the successes is the Code’s accommodation of key concerns of not only those who live and work in the most urban areas of the County but also those in rural areas.

In just about every case, property owners throughout the County have more options for how to use their property than they have under current rules. Take, for example, the choices available to those in the R Zones, the rural lands that make up most of Doña Ana County. They can:

  • Continue to use their land for rural or agricultural uses, which have been expanded to include ag-related retail, agricultural production related to value-added processes and the ability to do family claims of exemption per the current 3/4 acre NMED standards.
  • Develop a small mixed use community that permits a range in housing densities, a mix of commercial uses, and a reservation of 20% open space to serve as a buffer between the community and adjacent commercial farming. This option provides, on average, six times the development potential than the current Performance District standards.
  • Rezone and develop according to the use districts that allow for conventional subdivisions, retail strip centers, or industrial uses.

Final refinements of these options came from discussions and specific edits from numerous participates. So, again, credit widespread participation in the UDC workshops for the strength of these sections.

In fact, thanks to everyone for making this effort a success.

To refresh your memory of how we got to this point, follow the step-by-step progress in the posts preceding this one. They’re arranged in reverse chronological order.

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