Process Diary | May 29, 2015


Heading into the Home Stretch: Here’s where planning stands

The latest county-wide planning review wrapped on Thursday, May 21, after a series of roadshow community meetings looking at the south, central and northern parts of the county.

That means that after more than two-and-a-half years of collaborative work, drafts of Doña Ana County’s new Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code are entering the last stages of editing before recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission and decisions by the Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners later this summer.

Here’s how to catch up quickly:

To understand general goals for these two planning documents, download an explainer for the Comprehensive Plan here and one for the Unified Development Code here.

Want to view the current drafts under consideration? Download the latest versions of the Comp Plan and UDC, along with the currently proposed zoning maps, here.

To get a feel for what residents heard from the project team during the latest round of presentations, watch this video summary from PlaceMakers project director Susan Henderson:

Corrections, clarifications and other edits that came out of the recent meetings are already in the works. When new drafts are available, they’ll be posted on this website. In the meantime, here’s a quick guide to the process that got us here.

Preceding this Diary post, dating back to the beginning of our collaboration, are step-by-step reports on progress, including the recent meetings in the south, central and north areas of the County. The timeline on our homepage contains benchmark events at each stage. To remind yourself of how all this fits together to guide future County growth, check out the project overview here.

What you’ll see in the history of this process is a steady, collaborative effort to evolve meaningful action steps in line with residents’ deeply-held values. The values are expressed in Livability Principles refined through community discussion, then used to test alternative strategies for getting to goals in line with the values.

In the Comp Plan’s early sections are details about the process and scenarios for planning in Doña Ana County. The later pages lay out specific goals and actions derived from idea-testing and priority-setting. While the Comp Plan doesn’t have the force of law, it gives County residents and officials a framework for policy-making in line with consensus-driven goals. The UDC, which includes all development-related regulations (zoning, subdivision regulations, and engineering standards), is the primary implementation device.

The three community meetings May 19-21 finished up the community-by-community phase of outreach. But there’s still time for final edits to the two documents under review prior to the public hearings. We continue to welcome online comments in the spaces below these diary posts and directly to County staff. Public hearings will precede votes on the proposals by both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.

Thank you for your continued participation. We’re nearing the completion of an historic effort. Stay tuned for next steps.

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