Process Diary | May 22, 2015

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Plan Review Week Wraps With Las Cruces Discussion

The three-night tour to present and refine the latest drafts of Doña Ana County’s guides to future growth concluded in Las Cruces Thursday evening, May 21.

Attendees heard Susan Henderson of the PlaceMakers consulting team walk them through the results of almost three years of community collaboration that have helped map answers to key questions. Among them: Where and how do we grow to retain the character of our communities and rural lands, yet maximize opportunities for all?

For an overview of the process and its principal components, go here.

The Las Cruces program Thursday-night differed a bit from the Tuesday night version in Sunland Park. There, likely future growth in the South County requires planning for new residential and commercial construction and improving infrastructure in support.

The discussion differed, as well, from the focus of Wednesday night’s meeting in Hatch. There, the rural North County’s historic dependency on agriculture required lots of give-and-take with farmers.

What occupied most conversation Thursday in Las Cruces, the most urban of the three areas, was infill development and redevelopment and the range of options available to property owners in the environs around the city.

Those options, as they relate to the central portion of the county, become apparent according to the proposed zoning map currently being considered and revised:

Proposed zoning, central. Current draft.

Proposed zoning, central. Current draft.

Nevertheless, key takeaways from Henderson’s presentations over all three nights were these:

  • The draft plans have been shaped at every stage by extensive collaboration with residents and business people. Check out the project timeline on our homepage to see the steady march towards consensus. And see how that consensus is reflected in the latest draft of a framework for policy-making in the latest draft of the County’s new Comprehensive Plan.
  • Rules informed by the Comp Plan will find a home in the County’s new Unified Development Code. But those rules are being carefully refined to avoid depriving current property holders of rights they have under existing regulations, while, at the same time, broadening choices for development and redevelopment in line with residents’ preferences for how growth is to be managed.

We’ll be back in this space next week for a summary wrap-up of the review week, complete with all the documents and graphics used in the three meetings, to help you navigate through all the information. And we’ll provide an update of next steps towards consideration for adoption by the Board of County Commissioners.

In the meantime, here’s photos from Thursday evening in Las Cruces. Feel free to comment in the space below or contact County staff for more info.

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