Community Workshops Examine County Land Use

Sep 18, 2013

A group of city planners and designers have gathered at the Butterfield Community Center on a weekday afternoon.

They’re here to get input from residents on what will be a comprehensive plan for all of Dona Ana County.

Susan Henderson is the Principal of the private firm, PlaceMakers.

“We ask, okay, what’s wrong with this plan…what makes the place? We get them to help us edit the plan and then we understand what that means to the code.”

In the room is what looks like a drafting table. That’s because there’s someone at every one of these meetings drawing pictures to show what these codes would actually look like.

Andrew is here creating those drawings. He talks to residents here at the Butterfield meeting…pen in hand.

Also here is the Community Development Director for Dona Ana County, Dan Hortert…he’s probably the closest to the action…especially once a plan is finalized.

“A lot of people’s attitudes have changed…starting to look at the way they want to live in their communities.”

When it comes to implementation of the plans, the comprehensive plan’s project manager, Will Gleason says a lot of these plans are filled with should’s.

“Probably more effective to have more shall’s than should’s…zoning code is the hammer for the comprehensive plan…which becomes more of a site-level decision-making body.”

This is the first time Dona Ana County’s development code has seen a major overhaul since 1995.

The workshops continue in Dona Ana County through  Friday, September 20. A full schedule is here on Viva Dona Ana's website.