Process Diary | January 16, 2015


Early Draft of Comp Plan:
What do you think?

As promised during the long process that led us to this point, we’re starting off 2015 with a first look at an initial draft of what will eventually become Doña Ana County’s new Comprehensive Plan.

Table of Contents (.pdf)
Purpose | Sections 1-5 (6.1mb .pdf)
Process | Sections 6-8 (19.4mb .pdf)
Performance | Sections 9-20 (12.5mb .pdf)
Appendix (50.5mb .pdf)

To reacquaint yourself with the goals for this process, check out the overview post here. And to follow each step in the process leading to this first draft of the Plan, read through the related news posts.

Remember: While we believe this initial draft gets us close to the Plan we want, it’s still a draft. Between now and the summer, we’ll be refining versions based on comments from County residents, staff, elected officials and experts in the topics the Plan addresses.

There will be public meetings and discussions of the drafts leading to a presentation of a final version before the Board of County Commissioners in the summer.

Keep an eye on this website for further updates and announcements.

Weigh In | Your Ideas Matter
Join These 12 Contributions
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  • Bob

    Would it be possible to provide a printer-friendly version of the draft plan? Most of the pages are completely filled with background and pictures that are good, but not essential – and they eat ink and interfere with readability on a BW printer. And if printed commercially, increase the expense drastically. We need to get copies distributed for study, and this might help a lot.

    • Viva Doña Ana UDC

      Hi, Bob. Thanks for checking in. A couple things that might be helpful:

      1. Residents have requested that, to whatever degree possible, the comp plan be made more inviting and accessible to non-planner/practitioners. In response, it’s rooted in “plain language” and designed in the magazine style and format you reference.

      2. In an effort to reduce paper waste, residents are encouraged to review the draft on-screen, then submit recommendations electronically to county staff. The post above has been updated with how to do so.

      3. All that said, the highly graphical pages you reference focus on background, methodology and rationale— in effect, answering the “why” questions — but the substantive bulk of the plan’s recommendations, which begin on page 48, are printer-friendly and can be printed in black and white to save ink.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for your interest!

      • Bob

        Thanks, Whoever you are..

        1. I agree completely with plain language.
        2. The document is 120 pages and 125mB which takes a long time to download, IF the user’s system can tolerate it, is too big to be emailed by most systems, and once you have it, it can be tough to navigate on a small computer screen – or even a big one.
        Then, it is not easy to sort out the commenting on the PDF.
        This is a very important document and I’m just looking for the widest possible dissemination, and feedback.
        3. If the first 48 pages are not all that important, maybe it would help to split it into two documents, appropriately titled, and make it easier to tackle each one?

        • Viva Doña Ana UDC

          Got it, Bob. We’ve broken the plan into four separate files, then compressed them to their smallest size possible. They’re reflected above.

          Did not intend to suggest that the first 48 pages are not important. Only that the bulk of suggested revisions will likely surround the plan’s policy recommendations, which are found in the final section. Thanks!


    Hi, all–I greatly appreciate Roberto/Sunland Park for allowing me to join their group when discussing the future of our “Hidden Gem of the World”, of which Dona Ana county is a crucial part. I strongly feel that in no way should Hudspeth County & El Paso County (TX) remain ignorant/opposed to the great Dona Ana County. This region has much more in common to each other than far-Eastern TX, especially the proximity to Northern Mexico/Chihuahua state. I have finally been able to lay out my proposal regarding bicycling and an effective East-West/West-East route, with very specific directions. Soon I’ll have the international route, between el Porvenir & San Jeronimo, available for your viewing. Please see my Facebook page for the text of this route. I welcome all feedback!

  • Jerry Wagoner

    A plan is always nice, but it is just a document! Many things change over time!
    Page 48 states, “The Importance of Social Equity”. What does that really mean. It sounds like a Socialist Manifesto. “The County is not a Business.” Maybe if the County was operated like a business, it would not be so ineffective. That whole section needs to be re-written.

  • Jerry Wagoner

    The plan continually mentions Transportation choices, but admits the County is rural, and the County is barely maintaining current roads. Spending millions of dollars on an underutilized bus system is not feasible at this time. The voters have spoken on this issues multiple times!

  • Jerry Wagoner

    An Office of Economic Development should be at the State Level, and not the County! Government needs to streamline, and not get bigger!

  • Jerry Wagoner

    Page 83 “Keep money from leaking out of the economy”. When our GRT tax surpasses El Paso, many of us will be lured by the goods and services of Texas, rather than Las Cruces! The County seems to be out of control on the GRT tax.

  • Jerry Wagoner

    Page 79. “Poor Distribution of Income and Equity.” That phrase needs to be re-written. It smacks of Socialism! Equal Opportunity is what needs to be stressed!

  • Wayne Miller

    The tag line under the Viva Dona title on the website is “Building
    a Sustainable Future”. I was surprised
    then in reviewing the first draft of the Comprehensive Plan to find no language
    explicitly defining the term “sustainability” and helping the reader to understand
    the principles and conditions that will create that future. The use of the word “sustainability” is
    complicated because it contains within its meaning many different things: preserving and perpetuating existing
    community assets, community and economic resilience, and operating within the ecosystem’s
    ability to provide services and absorb and utilize wastes, for example. While the “livability principles” set out
    county wide development objectives, they are not in fact principles.

    There are key principles that relate directly to the issue of
    the meaning and achievement of sustainability.
    The first is that “sustainable” development is that which occurs within
    system limits, be those systems natural (ecosystem) or of human origin
    (economy). Limits are not static. They
    change over time and through human activity, and that can allow for sustainable

    The second principle
    is that available resources are equitably distributed to preserve the commons
    and create the greatest wellbeing. The
    third principle is that development should not just be “sustainable” but also “regenerative”,
    addressing social and economic inequities, maintaining environmental health,
    and increasing the capacity for growth without doing harm.

    Why the inclusion of language which directly addresses development
    within limits is more than an intellectual or academic concern: it is extremely
    practical and necessary for good governance and appropriate decision making to
    have a clear mandate to balance growth, resource use and waste reduction and
    recycling. For example, if as many
    research studies now suggest that the climate will continue to change, the
    southwest will grow hotter and stay hotter longer, drought will persist for
    much longer periods, and water become scarcer and more expensive, should growth
    occur if resources (water, energy, and infrastructure) are no longer adequate to
    support it?

    I realize that the principles I have listed above are not
    likely to be added to Comprehensive Plan as guiding principles at this
    point. But I do believe that some
    discussion needs to be included that
    gives decision makers the ability to reference this guiding document with
    respect to mitigating impacts, particularly climate change, and building resilience
    in the face of what could be a long emergency.
    In the absence of such a mandate, it will be far easier to avoid making
    tough decisions in the future. Perhaps
    this mandate can be summarized as simply as strive to “do no harm” and “restore
    what has been damaged”.

    Finally, most development is not initiated by any
    governmental entity, but rather the marketplace. The built environment does not change easily
    or quickly and has enormous impact on “livability”. Over 40% of carbon emissions can be
    attributed directly to the construction and operation of buildings. A bad decision can have negative consequence
    for many years. Developers and
    businesses should be held accountable for their economic efforts and should attempt
    to demonstrate in advance that what they propose does no harm and seeks to
    restore what has been previously damaged.
    Near term economic growth should not take precedent over long-term
    viability. Perhaps this requirement for
    project assessment should occur more appropriately in the Uniform Development

  • Las Cruces Home Builders Assoc

    The LCHBA has several members whom have ACTUALLY BUILT homes to the highest standards recognized under both the LEED and NM GREEN BUILD programs. The premium costs associated with construction under those programs and others that utilize similar “green” methods of building cannot be understated. GREEN BUILDING IS EXPENSIVE and risks pushing many potential new homeowners out of the marketplace. Sustainable or “green” building standards need to be tempered to meet the ACTUAL demands and economic capabilities of the citizens of Dona Ana County.