Phaedra Haywood | The New Mexican
Posted: Saturday, November 06, 2010 - 1
"The Santa Fe County Commission is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a plan for managing growth over the next 20 years.
Land Use Director Jack Kolkmeyer said the Sustainable Growth Management Plan is an evolution of the county's 1999 land-use plan and addresses some of the same topics — community planning, open space, affordable housing and targeted development districts. But it also contains new elements.
Kolkmeyer said the plan, which the county has been working on for the past two years, includes maps that clearly identify those areas of the county where growth will be encouraged. One component of the new plan is a Capital Improvements Plan that will allow residents to see the order of priority for different county projects.
Overall, Kolkmeyer said, the growth-management plan is a tool designed to balance the rights of individual landowners with the rights of the public and give residents "more clarity about the process."
Much of the nearly 300-page document is devoted to outlining conditions in the county as they exist now.
It also contains suggestions for fostering clustered, mixed-use developments and walkable communities to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, and directing growth to areas where infrastructure already exists.
Requiring new development to pay its share of the cost for new infrastructure and service-related needs is also central to the plan.
The county has held an estimated 100 meetings on the plan and dozens of organizations — including schools, farms, acequia associations and conservancy groups — have weighed in during the process.
Still, there are some groups and individuals who aren't comfortable with the plan.
People who live in the most southern part of Santa Fe County have said the plan's emphasis on clustered development and the preference for surface water over groundwater does not reflect their lifestyle choices or the realities of water use in their part of the county. " More>>>>