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Alamogordo Zoning Rewrite. An Overview. Alamogordo Zoning Rewrite. Previous CD Director (Arthur Alterson) directed by City Commission in 2006/7 to undertake comprehensive rewrite of the City’s Zoning Code This is the product of that effort. Zoning Rewrite Group.

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alamogordo zoning rewrite2
Alamogordo Zoning Rewrite
  • Previous CD Director (Arthur Alterson) directed by City Commission in 2006/7 to undertake comprehensive rewrite of the City’s Zoning Code
  • This is the product of that effort
zoning rewrite group
Zoning Rewrite Group
  • Two main groups of participants:
  • Live participants
  • Email participants
zoning rewrite group4
Zoning Rewrite Group
  • The frequent in-person participants:
  • Mike Drunzer
  • Tommy Messer
  • Klad Zimmerle
  • Mark Goga
  • Bill Schimmer
  • Deb Alton
  • (con’t)
zoning rewrite group5
Zoning Rewrite Group
  • Wyatt Earp
  • Andrew (JR) Gomolak
  • Several members of the Community Development Department
  • And occasional visits from various other folks with an interest in the process
zoning rewrite group6
Zoning Rewrite Group
  • E-mail participants?
  • Won’t provide a complete listing, but the group included:
  • Commissioners Griggs and Cole, Former Commissioner Brockett, the Otero County Builders and Contractors Association, and 25-30 other persons or groups.
alamogordo zoning rewrite7
Alamogordo Zoning Rewrite

Fundamental Principles

  • Focus on Necessary Changes
  • Focus on City-Wide Impacts
why rewrite
Why Rewrite?
  • Present Code from 1950
  • Obsolescences lead to variances
  • Variances are not desirable; the rules should be clear and consistent
why rewrite9
Why Rewrite?
  • Zoning has changed significantly from 1950 to present
  • Biggest change is from “use-based” zoning to “form-based” zoning
use based zoning
Use Based Zoning
  • Specifies property uses in various zones
  • For example, you can have a little bakery shop here, but you cannot have it there
  • Very traditional and what Alamogordo has had since 1950
use based zoning11
Use Based Zoning
  • “The use-based zoning of the 1950’s deserves to die, but not simply to be replaced by a dumb “smart code” or a simplistic rating system.”

W. Paul Farmer, FAICP

Executive Director

American Planning Assoc.

in Planning: The Magazine of the APA (April 2009)

use based zoning12
Use Based Zoning
  • We didn’t do that (completely eradicate the old system)
  • What we tried to do was rework what we already had, add a number of items missing from our current code, and explore limited form based proposals in a couple of categories
form based zoning
Form Based Zoning
  • Began to be developed across the country in 1970’s
  • Focus is on “how it looks/how it works” instead of “what it is”
form based zoning14
Form Based Zoning
  • The fundamental approach of form based zoning:
  • Do we care what the use is? Isn’t our concern what the impact will be on surrounding properties?
  • Obviously a much more complex system
form based zoning15
Form Based Zoning
  • So, we’re recommending a very incremental approach, focusing on adding form based components in two zoning categories: R-4 and C-1
alamogordo zoning rewrite16
Alamogordo Zoning Rewrite

Biggest Impediment

Zoning is supposed to follow planning not lead it

Zoning will be continue to be revisited after completion of comprehensive plan

alamogordo zoning rewrite17
Alamogordo Zoning Rewrite

Biggest Changes

  • Definitions
  • Planned Unit Developments
  • Conditional Rezonings
  • Parking
  • More form-based approach in R-4 and C-1
  • Absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of a zoning system
  • Almost totally missing from the current zoning regulation
  • Home based occupation rules are included in this section
planned unit developments
Planned Unit Developments
  • More commonly known as PUD’s
  • Allows for comprehensive development of a parcel of property according to the coherent design of the developer
planned unit developments20
Planned Unit Developments
  • PUD’s have been a standard planning and zoning tool across the US since the early 1970’s
planned unit developments21
Planned Unit Developments
  • A good local example of a development that could have been addressed more rationally by the city is Mesa Village on the northwest side of the city.
conditional rezonings
Conditional Rezonings
  • What is a “conditional rezoning?”
  • An example is the property @ White Sands and N. Scenic that First Baptist Church of Alamogordo
  • The church wants the property zoned C-3, but the neighbors want assurances in case the church ends up not using the property
conditional rezonings23
Conditional Rezonings
  • The conditional rezoning would allow the City Commission to determine that the property is being rezoned for a specific use. If that use doesn’t happen, or if the use ceases over time, then the zoning reverts to its previous classification.
conditional rezonings24
Conditional Rezonings
  • We thought we had conditional rezoning authority but a succession of city attorneys have concluded that we don’t
  • We will when this revision is complete
  • Actually required for the 1st time!
  • Minimum parking requirements will be somewhat less than current 3:1 open space rules
  • Maximum parking is also established @ 2X the minimum for each category, BUT
  • There isn’t really a maximum on parking; what’s proposed is a maximum on impermeable surfaces. As long as the amount greater than 2X the minimum is permeable, the owner/builder/developer can have as much as they can afford
  • Dirt and gravel are not permitted (we have enough dust already).
  • Also includes minimum parking space size (generally 10’x18’; parallel 10’x22’), but no restrictions on orientation of spaces (90O, 45O, parallel, etc.)
the r s
The R’s
  • Changes in Setbacks
  • Allowing of HUD-Plated Manufactured Housing Units, such as modular houses
  • Agreement to Disagree
  • Minimum ¾ acre lot
  • No requirements for curb, gutter, and/ or sidewalks
  • Would not be required to tie into the City’s sewer system
  • Full discussion/debate on this proposal at next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting (Thursday 1 October, 6:00 PM, Commission Chambers)
  • Currently Multi-Family plus professional offices
  • Will become a ‘transitional’ zone between residential and small retail/ office
  • But still allow multi-family
  • Proposal will be to limit the size of these “professional” offices and to also allow “small” retail establishments by limiting the size of the lots they can be on
  • What is “small”?
  • In both cases the size is under 10,000 sq feet
  • For reference: 10,000 sq ft is (approximately) an Allsup’s lot (the building is about 2,500 sq ft)
  • C-1 (Neighborhood Retail) is narrowed down to smaller scale (see next slide)
  • C-2 is new: Office with retail included (see later slide)
  • C-3 is regional retail: Mall, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.
  • Current rules result in very little difference between C-1 & C-3
  • New proposal is designed to encourage actual “neighborhood” retail
  • How?
  • Limit size of buildings in C-1 zone (to 25,000 square feet: about the size of the Hastings strip @ 10th & White Sands)
  • Pull the buildings closer to the street (so people in neighborhoods don’t walk across acres of parking)
  • One more change in C-1: Single family residential development would no longer be allowed in C-1 zones
  • Current single-family uses grandfathered
  • Recognize the development of office/professional building parks
  • Parking requirements scaled to the needs of offices rather than stores
  • Would still allow for some retail to accompany/service the offices
  • M-1 is new: Office with light manufacturing
  • M-2 is old M-1
  • M-3 basically says anything that’s industrial, legal and you can get P&Z and City Commission to agree to is acceptable
  • This is designed to be a mixed use type of facility: a professional office where some manufacturing happens
  • Examples: computer software, film production (on CD/DVD), a publishing (not printing) company
  • One other new wrinkle in M’s:
  • M’s & R’s can’t touch (except across 54, 70, or White Sands)
  • Old MH-1 disappears; single manufactured housing (HUD plated) units now allowed in R zones
  • Old MH-2 is now MH: this is for manufactured housing/mobile home communities
  • Current Chapter 25 is eliminated
  • Completely new category (h/t Klad Z)
  • RV-1 is for temporary stay RV’s
  • RV-2 is for a “condo”-style RV park where the RV owners actually own their own spaces (h/t Mesa AZ!)
  • We don’t currently have any of the RV-2 style developments in Alamogordo (because they are not currently legal) but the committee agreed that this might be something that a property owner/developer might want to consider.
  • Annexations will be allowed directly into any zone
  • A new zone to allow for annexation w/o designation of a specific zone
  • A holding pattern
  • Another new zone: for property that is governmentally-owned
discussion process
Discussion Process
  • October P&Z (1 Oct): R’s, MH, & RV
  • November P&Z (5 Nov): C’s & G
  • December P&Z (3 Dec): M’s & X
  • January P&Z (7 Jan): Final decision
discussion process48
Discussion Process
  • If approval is recommended, the proposal would be presented to the City Commission at either the 2nd January (est. date 26 Jan) or 1st February meeting (est. date 9 Feb).
a final word hooray
A Final Word (Hooray!)
  • All P&Z meetings are @ 6:00 in Commission Chambers.
  • If you have comments, ideas, opinions, please come and share them at those meetings.
  • Or come into Community Development @ City Hall: unless you hit a previous engagement I will be happy to meet with you at any time.
a final word hooray50
A Final Word (Hooray!)
  • Some CD’s of the draft proposed documents are available for the taking
  • The draft proposed documents and other ancillary documents relating to RR-1 will be on our website ( sometime tomorrow for downloading