Headway made on land code

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The Santa Fe County Sustainable Land Development Code is getting closer to consideration by the county commission, but it isn't quite done yet.

An adoption draft was the topic of a public meeting in Edgewood on Oct. 15.

The SLDC lays out regulations for future growth and development in accordance with the Sustainable Growth Management Plan, adopted in 2010. After releasing the first draft of the code in September 2012, the Planning Division of the Growth Management Department held a series of public meetings to address concerns and hear suggestions.

Over the past year, Santa Fe the planning manager, Robert Griego, said the division has taken into account more than a thousand comments and worked toward including those that are consistent with the plan.

"One of the things the public identified is making sure community plans are incorporated into the code," Griego said. "Edgewood identified a need to create a plan, so we will go back out in the future and develop an area plan. The bottom line is we can work with communities to identify areas in need of attention."

Additions to the draft released last year include an official zoning map series, a section detailing archeological resource protection, and community plans for commercial or public institutional zones. Zoning designations had been a sticky subject for many residents in the past.

Griego said they also changed some of the language for clarity.

Part of the Sustainable Growth Management Plan designates land for target industries such as those generating alternative energy.

"We did identify some of the areas that might want wind facilities," Griego said. "We included the potential for large-scale wind facilities or amateur radio antennas in the code."

He said there is no timeline for when the document might be considered by the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners.

One of the main issues brought up during the Oct. 15 informational meeting was mining in the area. Penny Ellis-Green, director of the Growth Management Administration, said people have been receiving mailings about a proposed gold mine, leading to general concerns for land use. Mining will be addressed in code in the Developments of Countywide Impact section of the document.

While a lot of progress has been made in smoothing out the SLDC, Griego said the division will continue to take public comments into account as they move through the adoption process.