Council adopts Amador blueprint
By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
During a more than four-hour meeting Monday afternoon, Oct. 5, the Las Cruces City Council adopted the Amador Proximo neighborhood blueprint and the city’s arroyo management plan.
Amador Proximo is located in west Las Cruces, north of Amador Avenue, east of Valley Drive, south of Hadley Drive and west of the railroad tracks. The blueprint will make the neighborhood “more walkable and bikeable,” improve its “mix of commerce and housing” and “provide better connections between where people live and work,” city Community Development Director David Weir told the council at its Aug. 17 work session. He said it should also help to “develop an expanded range of housing and job choices.”
Not set in stone
Downtown Planning & Development Coordinator Andy Hume told the council the city Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the blueprint Aug. 25. He described the blueprint as a “framework to guide development,” and said it would help make Amador Proximo into “a healthy, prosperous community that provides a broad range of housing choices and convenient options for work and play.”
“This is a blueprint,” said Councillor Olga Pedroza. “It’s not something set in stone. I think it’s a very good way to go.”
“So many of us from different walks of life see com.
the value and excellence of Amador Proximo,” said Councillor Nathan Small, whose district contains the Amador Proximo neighborhood.
He said the blueprint will help “bring opportunity for our community.” The area, he said, has some “very bright spots” and some “incredibly difficult challenges.” Developing Amador Proximo “has been an area of interest, passion and focus for me,” Small said.
The council and Mayor Ken Miyagishima adopted the blueprint by a vote of 7-0.
Arroyo management plan
The council also adopted the city’s arroyo management plan, which Weir said has been in development since early 2009. The city Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the plan in October 2014. The council had work sessions on the plan in February and August 2015. It was approved at the Oct. 5 meeting by a vote of 6-1, with Miyagishima and councillors Pedroza, Small, Greg Smith, Miguel Silva and Gill Sorg voting “yes” and Councillor Ceil Levatino voting “no.”
Weir said the plan outlines 11 goals in four areas: land use, environment, community facilities and utilities and storm-water management. He said it provides a “holistic approach” that considers watersheds and open space and allows the city “maximum flexibility” to balance preservation and the need for cost effective implementation.
“Arroyos provide natural pathways for surface water runoff to flow from higher elevations to low-lying lands and ultimately the Rio Grande,” according to the plan. “Vegetation in and adjacent to arroyos provides habitat for many Chihuahuan Desert wildlife species. Arroyos are non-static, living systems and their shapes, sizes, depths and directions change in response to the frequency and intensity of storm events. Arroyos can also provide a variety of recreational opportunities.”
The plan encompasses major arroyos on both the east and west mesas.
“This is a very good plan,” said Sorg. “It’s a very good compromise for all the stakeholders.”
Sonoma Ranch Subdivision
The council also unanimously approved amendments to its 2000 agreement with Sonoma Ranch Subdivision LTD for construction of Northrise Drive and portions of Rinconada and Sonoma Ranch Boulevards to U.S. Highway 70. The amendments extend the date for Sonoma Ranch Subdivision’s final balloon payment of $1.35 million on the $8.5 million project from 2015 to 2020. The subdivision will pay interest of four percent per year until 2020, and cannot sell the 165 remaining acres in the project without the approval of the city manager and without the written acknowledgment from the buyer that the city holds the primary lien on the property.
The council’s next meeting will be a work session with Doña Ana County officials on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19 in the council chambers of Las Cruces City Hall, 700 N. Main St. For more information, visit http:// www.las-cruces.org/en/departments/ city- clerks- office/ city-council-meetings.