Las Cruces Planning and Zoning Commission, 28 September 2004

 Present: Commissioners Binnewig, Sanchez, Ford, Ludtke, and Buchman (Chair).

 The council chambers were packed with neighborhood residents concerned about a proposal to rezone 7.5 acres along Three Crosses Ave. to allow for the construction of a high density residential development, eligible for an affordable housing tax credit program.  Less than a year ago, the land had been rezoned to conditional C-3; the neighborhood had worked with the land owner at that time come up with a list of potential commercial uses that were acceptable to area residents.  Area residents wanted to keep that C-3-C zoning, citing concerns about neighborhood ambience, property values, crime, and traffic. Staff also reported a last minute phone call from the school district, who noted that local schools were already at or near capacity. 

 Many of the residents who spoke mentioned that they had recently addressed the commission about the zone change (to residential) for 30 acres of agricultural land along McClure Road.  Although staff recommended approval and the applicant presented a preliminary traffic analysis suggesting that the proposed residential zoning would generate less traffic than the existing commercial zoning, the commission seemed to be swayed by the residents’ concerns, and voted to deny the request (Binnewig dissenting).

 The commission then unanimously approved a master plan for a 250-acre development east of Del Rey Blvd.  Commissioner Binnewig noted the striking contrast between the level of concern about 7.5 acres versus the hundreds of acres affected by this proposal.

Lastly, the commission voted unanimously to support an annexation proposal for 39 acres along Jornada Road.  The land is adjacent to a 140-acre parcel annexed by the City earlier this year.  The only public concern related to an abutting private road in the ETZ; the applicant agreed to work with the land owners to help them improve the road and dedicate it to the City.