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11-18-2014 I PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION 2 FOR THE 3 CITY OF LAS CRUCES 4 City Council Chambers 5 November 18, 2014 6 7 BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: 8 Godfrey Crane, Chairman 9 William Stowe, Vice-Chair 10 Charles Beard, Secretary 11 Ruben Alvarado, Member 12 Harvey Gordon, Member 13 14 BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: 15 Joanne Ferrary, Member 16 Kirk Clifton, Member 17 18 STAFF PRESENT: 19 Katherine Harrison- Rogers, Senior Planner, CLC 20 Adam Ochoa, Planner, CLC 21 Robert Cabello, CLC Legal Staff 22 23 Krysten Aguilar, La Semilla 24 25 I. CALL TO ORDER (6:00 p.m.) 26 27 Crane: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Planning and 28 Zoning Commission meeting for Tuesday, November 18th. We'll start as 29 we usually do by introducing Commissioners present. On my far right is 30 Commissioner Gordon, Mayor's appointee. Then Commissioner Stowe 31 who represents District 1, he's also our Vice Chairman. Then 32 Commissioner Alvarado, District 3. Commissioner Beard who's also our 33 secretary, District 2. I'm Godfrey Crane, Chairman, and I represent 34 District 4. 35 For those of you who have been here before you may notice that 36 we do not have at the moment a recording secretary and we don't know 37 why, however we have ascertained that the audio, the record of this 38 meeting can be abstracted from the video of the television transmission 39 and that may not be quite so clear to the people who are doing the 40 transcription as is the case when we have our secretary. So members of 41 the public be particularly careful if you come up and speak, to speak into 42 the microphone in front of Mr. Ochoa so we can get a clear understanding 43 of what's going on. 44 45 46 1 1 II. CONFLICT OF INTEREST 2 At the opening of each meeting, the chairperson shall ask if any member on the 3 Commission or City staff has any known conflict of interest with any item on the 4 agenda. 5 6 Crane: Now I will ask as we usually do if any Commissioner or any member of the 7 City staff has a conflict of interest regarding anything on tonight's agenda? 8 Seeing nobody so indicating, we will continue. 9 10 III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES 11 12 1. October 28, 2014 - Regular Meeting 13 14 Crane: We'll go into the approval of the minutes of the last meeting. 15 Commissioners, anybody have any adjustments to make? Mr. Gordon, 16 anybody? Well I have, I have a few, page 55, line 19 the apostrophe 17 should be taken out of "it's'. Page 61, line 19 the word "her' should be 18 "here". And page 62, line 41, in fact go to line 40, 1 made ... "I will make 19 the comment as, as a Commissioner that I think there's a very (and then 20 she has an ellipses, three dots, and I say "That means the Community 21 Development wants to go home." That's a mystifying remark if we don't 22 put in there that the lights went out briefly at that point, so I will ask our 23 secretary to put that in. That's all I have. Any other people have second 24 thoughts about anything? In that case I'll entertain a motion that the 25 minutes be approved as corrected. 26 27 Beard: So moved. 28 29 Crane: Commissioner Beard moves. A second. 30 31 Gordon: I second. 32 33 Crane: Commissioner Gordon seconds. All in favor"Aye". 34 35 ALL: AYE (except Commissioner Alvarado who abstains). 36 37 Crane: Opposed? And one abstention, Commissioner Alvarado. It passes 4-0 38 and one abstention. 39 40 IV. CONSENT AGENDA - NONE 41 42 V. OLD BUSINESS - NONE 43 44 45 46 2 1 VI. NEW BUSINESS 2 3 1. Case A1727: Request for approval of a variance application of Rene Munoz 4 to reduce the minimum required 20-foot rear yard setback by 13-feet, 5 resulting in a 7-foot rear yard setback. The applicant constructed an 6 attached, unpermitted open-air carport 7-feet from the rear property line and 7 is seeking to keep the carport as it is zoned R-1a (Single-Family Medium 8 Density) and is located on the southeast corner of Alameda Boulevard and 9 Harvard Drive; a.k.a. 1700 N. Alameda Boulevard, Parcel ID#: 02-01885. 10 Council District 1 (Silva). 11 12 Crane: We have one item for new business and for those who again may not 13 have been here before the way we handle this is that first a member of the 14 City staff, in this case Mr. Ochoa, makes a presentation about the matter. 15 This is Case A1727. The Commissioners may then ask questions of Mr. 16 Ochoa. Then we ask the applicant if the applicant wants to say anything. 17 We may ask the applicant some questions. And finally we ask the public if 18 there's anyone who wants to say anything and we may ask some 19 questions of those people. And finally when all the (inaudible) is done, we 20 close to further discussion and the Commission will reach a decision by 21 discussion and vote. Mr. Ochoa, you're on deck. Right, you're in the 22 batter's box. 23 24 Ochoa: Ready to go. Just a minute while our computer thinks here a little bit. 25 26 Crane: We're having not only personnel problems but technological problems. 27 This might take several minutes. If it doesn't come up this time do you 28 think you can continue without it? 29 30 Ochoa: We'll definitely give it the old college try sir. 31 32 Crane: All right. We probably all, including members of the public, have the 33 information we need to follow this but if that's not the case perhaps we can 34 do something. Are we good? 35 36 Ochoa: I believe our IT people are looking at it right now sir. 37 38 Crane: Okay. 39 40 Ochoa: Give us a couple of minutes here. 41 42 Crane: For the record we're having a problem getting PowerPoint to bring up the 43 illustrations for Mr. Ochoa's presentation. 44 3 I Ochoa: Gentlemen I guess while they're trying to work that out I will go ahead and 2 start just a verbal discussion here about the, or presentation about our 3 case tonight. 4 5 Crane: You're doing A1727, right? 6 7 Ochoa: That is correct sir. 8 9 Crane: Okay. Well we all have information up here. Are you two folks the 10 applicants? Perhaps? Yeah, okay so you know what's going on. And the 11 few members of the public, do you have information that you need on ... 12 to follow this discussion if you're interested? Yes ma'am, lady in the white 13 coat, red coat, no? Have you got something you can give her Mr. Ochoa 14 so she can ...? 15 16 Ochoa: Sure. 17 18 Crane: Okay. Okay once again you have the floor. And could you pull the mike 19 up a bit. 20 21 Ochoa: Sure thing. Just for the record, Adam Ochoa for Development Services. 22 First and only case tonight gentlemen is Case A1727, it is a request for a, 23 approval of a proposed variance to the minimum required rear yard 24 setback requirement of 20-feet for a property located at 1700 N. Alameda 25 Boulevard. Subject property is located on the southeast corner of 26 Alameda Boulevard and Harvard. 27 28 Crane: Harvard. 29 30 Ochoa: Harvard Drive. Yes sir. That is correct. Subject property is zoned R-1a, 31 single-family medium density and it currently encompasses approximately 32 0.24 acres, a little under, about a quarter of an acre. The applicants ... 33 what we're looking at tonight from a variance standpoint is under the 2001 34 Zoning Code Article 4, Section 38 ... I'm sorry. We'll just go ahead and 35 make it a little easier, it's just the requirements for setback for property 36 zoned R-1a. For all properties within the R-1a zoning district, the 37 minimum required rear yard setback for those properties is a minimum of 38 20-feet. The applicants tonight have constructed a new attached open-air 39 carport to the rear of the home that is sitting currently at approximately 40 seven-feet from the rear property line, essentially encroaching 13-feet into 41 the required 20-foot rear yard setback. The carport was built without a 42 permit and the applicants were essentially cited by the City of Las Cruces 43 Code Enforcement Department and are here tonight seeking a variance to 44 keep the carport as it currently exists with that seven-foot rear yard 45 setback. The applicants have stated that the carport is needed due to the 46 need of some type of shelter for their vehicles and a proposed future, 4 1 future RV that they're looking at purchasing which is, if you've all done site 2 visits or seen your staff reports, there are a number of pictures there that 3 that carport is actually rather tall, taller than the actual primary structure. 4 The carport is needed because as the applicants have stated there 5 is actually ... the garage that used to be on the property which fronted on 6 Alameda as actually enclosed and is now part of ... was used now as part 7 of the primary structure for the living area in that primary structure. The 8 applicants have submitted as you've seen in your staff reports as well a 9 petition from adjacent property owners supporting the proposed variance 10 of 13-feet to the minimum required 20-foot rear yard setback. Those 11 being property owners adjacent to the southeast along Harvard and north 12 as well along Harvard as well. Other than ... we might already have 13 something here. Here we go. Thank you to IT. 14 Again showing it here on the subject property, in primarily all R-1a 15 single-family, single density zoned area. Staff and all most reviewing 16 departments in the City, all reviewing departments in the City of Las 17 Cruces actually had no significant issues with the proposed variance here 18 looking at the, that proposed carport on the site plan here with that seven- 19 foot rear yard setback. And here are those aerials as I stated before. I'm 20 sorry, aerials, these photos of the property as stated before. And here is 21 an aerial showing that subject property and the property owners that did 22 sign the petition of support in the red stars and the one letter of concern or 23 e-mail of concern that you all have before you was from the property 24 owner directly across the street from the subject property. 25 Essentially for your decision tonight the P&Z is required to review 26 several things, one being the goals, objectives, and policies of the 27 Comprehensive Plan, its elements and other applicable plans. The 28 purpose and intent of the 2001 Zoning Code. And P&Z is also required to 29 consider the following hardship criteria. In other words, criteria for, to all 30 for the approval of a variance, one being a physical hardship relative to 31 the property, some type of topographic constraint or right-of-way take 32 resulting in a, resulting in the removal or reduction of a, of the 33 development of a property; 2) being the potential (inaudible) economic 34 development at a neighborhood or citywide level; And 3) but not wholly is 35 monitorial consideration, basically stating that the applicant's objective 36 would be so costly to them that it'd be, it's a monetary hardship to meet 37 the code's provisions. 38 With that, although staff sees no significant issues with the 39 proposed variance, the variance does not meet the criteria staff feels as 40 specified for a hardship under the 2001 Zoning Code. Staff reviewed the 41 request and finds no basis for granting the variance and therefore does 42 recommend denial based on the findings found in your staff report. With 43 that gentlemen your options tonight is 1) to vote "yes' and approve Case 44 A1727; 2) to vote "yes' and approve Case A1727 with conditions deemed 45 appropriate by the Planning and Zoning Commission; 3) to vote "no", deny 46 the variance request as recommended by staff; or 4) table and postpone 5 1 and direct staff and the applicant accordingly. P&Z does have final 2 authority or action on all variances, so it is essentially up to you all tonight 3 for this variance. That is the conclusion of my presentation. I stand for 4 questions if you have any questions for me. And the applicant is available 5 for questioning as well. 6 7 Crane: Thank you Mr. Ochoa. Commissioners? Commissioner Gordon. 8 9 Gordon: Adam if, if the petitioner had, had gone through the proper procedure 10 before he constructed this, this carport, do you think you're in a position 11 now to say whether or not staff would have approved it? 12 13 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman and Commissioner Gordon. That's really tough to say. 14 Staff does, well first of all the proposed carport still would not meet the 15 required setback requirements of the R-1a zoning district, so essentially 16 staff would potentially or possibly be open to approving this 17 administratively, staff does have the, the option to try to approve variances 18 administratively, but if we did we would've needed some type of a, a public 19 benefit and so forth like that and we would have seek ... for adjacent 20 property owners support as well for the proposed administrative variance 21 or flex development standard. So it's really tough to say if the property 22 owner would agree to providing the public benefit for the City; and 2) being 23 able to obtain all adjacent property owners to his property signing off on 24 the, the administrative variance sir. 25 26 Gordon: Considering that the petitioner I think has realized that an error has been 27 made and now they have to take the form of, of asking for a variance, 1 28 personally took a site visit and I looked at the structure and I've come to 29 the conclusion that even if he had gone to the 20-foot limit the size of the 30 structure, it wouldn't really be much different in size, in looking at it, than it 31 is from seven-feet. And also considering the fact that every one of his 32 neighbors have no objection to those who are going to look at it, I don't 33 see any reason personally why the variance shouldn't be granted. That's 34 what a variance is for, for someone to, to have a situation and come 35 before the City and ask for some help in doing something that they need 36 or require so it, I think it's a matter of, that's the point of the variance. 37 38 Crane: Commissioner Beard. 39 40 Beard: The height of the structure looks like it's higher than the house. And ... 41 42 Ochoa: Mister ... I'm sorry, go ahead. 43 44 Beard: And I thought that that was not a, I thought you couldn't attach something 45 to a structure that was taller than the existing structure. 46 6 I Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Beard. You might have that confused with 2 an accessory structure. Accessory structures, freestanding accessory 3 structures are not permitted to be taller than the primary structure on the 4 property. This structure's actually, is, was freestanding first of all, but the 5 applicant did attach it to make it part of the home so now it's, it needs to 6 meet the requirements of the R-1a zoning district, so it's capped at a 35- 7 foot height since it's now attached to the home, is part of the home so now 8 it meets the requirements for the, the height requirements of the R-1a 9 zoning district. 10 11 Beard: The pictures that we have here, do they show the attachment? I didn't, 1 12 can't see the attachment. 13 14 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Beard. I believe, well the pictures I have do 15 not show that attachment but staff did work with the applicant trying to, 16 about his options and what he needed to do in order to make the structure 17 work and the applicant has assured staff that the structure has been 18 attached and that would be inspected by our inspectors when, when and if 19 the variance is approved, would go out there and make sure that the 20 structure is attached to the primary structure. And the applicant has let 21 me know that he does have photos on his cellphone showing that he has 22 attached it to the home sir. 23 24 Gordon: Doesn't this ... Adam, doesn't this picture here ... 25 26 Crane: Commissioner Gordon. 27 28 Gordon: Doesn't this picture here show the structure to the rear of the home? 29 30 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Gordon. The, the photo there actually 31 shows that it's right next to the home, but it's not necessarily touching the 32 home. It's, it's kind of overlapping the roofline if you will but it does not 33 make contact with the home. So it, it, the pictures are a little deceiving 34 kind of looking at the actual, when I pulled up to it to start taking pictures it 35 looked like it was attached but further inspections the structure was not 36 attached but it has been. 37 38 Crane: Commissioner Alvarado. 39 40 Alvarado: If the structure originally had been attached to the home would there still 41 have been a problem or not? 42 43 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Alvarado. Yes sir there would have been 44 cause it still does not meet the required setback requirements of 20-feet. 45 It's still only seven-feet from the rear property line. 46 7 1 Crane: Any ... Commissioner Stowe. 2 3 Stowe: I was going to ask, where, where is the front of the house? 4 5 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Stowe. The front of the home is actually, is 6 actually located on Alameda Boulevard. The secondary front is along 7 Harvard Drive and just for reference the side property line or the side yard 8 is located kind of parallel with Harvard Drive to the south and the rear yard 9 is located east on the property, parallel to Alameda. 10 11 Stowe: Can you tell me where the mailbox is? 12 13 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Stowe. I'll let the property owner answer 14 that for you if you like. 15 16 Stowe: Thank you. 17 18 Crane: Any other question, Commissioner Stowe? Your light's on. 19 20 Munoz: My name is ... 21 22 Crane: Any other Commissioner have a question for Mr. Ochoa? (inaudible) 1 23 guess this is Mr. Munoz, the applicant? 24 25 Munoz: Yes. My name is Rene Munoz. 26 27 Crane: Okay. 28 29 Munoz: And mailbox is located on the front of the house right underneath the front 30 door. 31 32 Beard: Did you swear him in? 33 34 Munoz: So the door. 35 36 Crane: Yeah, I have to swear you in Mr. Munoz. 37 38 Munoz: Facing Alameda. 39 40 Crane: Okay, I'm going to go by memory. Mr. Munoz do you swear or affirm that 41 the presentation you give will be the truth and whole truth under penalty of 42 law? 43 44 Munoz: Yes sir. 45 46 Crane: Okay, go ahead please. 8 1 2 Munoz: The mailbox is facing towards Alameda Street near the front door, right in 3 this, right here, right in this area right here. And this is Alameda and this is 4 the front door right here and it sits right underneath the ... 5 6 Stowe: The fence encircles the property. So it's a little difficult to tell where the 7 front actually is. 8 9 Munoz: Yes. The fence is right here on the backside. Here's the front of the 10 house and here's the front door area and the mailbox sits right here on the 11 corner. 12 13 Stowe: Okay. Thank you. 14 15 Munoz: You're welcome. 16 17 Crane: Any other questions for Mr. Munoz? I have one or two Mr. Munoz. That's 18 an impressive fence you have. Does it have a sliding gate in it? 19 20 Munoz: Yes sir, towards the back where the carport's at. 21 22 Crane: And it's a two-lane wide driveway? 23 24 Munoz: Yes sir. 25 26 Crane: And is the carport made of the same material as the fence, it looks like it. 27 28 Munoz: Yes sir. 29 30 Crane: Okay. And those, the, looking at the two pictures over here, are those 31 canvas or fabric sheets that are hanging down? 32 33 Munoz: Yes. It's just a (inaudible). 34 35 Crane: And they can be rolled up, pulled up. 36 37 Munoz: Yes sir. 38 39 Crane: Okay. And you did not know that you needed a permit? 40 41 Munoz: Well sir I pulled the permit for the, for the fence but I did not know I had to 42 pull a permit for a carport. 43 44 Crane: You didn't discuss that with the City when you came to get the fence 45 permit? 46 9 1 Munoz: I actually I had a contractor build the fence for me and he pulled the permit 2 for me. And when I put the carport up I did not know that I had to pull a 3 permit for that. 4 5 Crane: Okay. 6 7 Munoz: And, and when Codes came, Officer Bigelow I believe, he left a note for 8 the fence requiring a permit and when I contacted him regarding the 9 permit that I had, the permit number for that fence then he asked me 10 about the building structure in the back if I had pulled a permit for that and 11 1 told him I had not. I didn't know that I had to pull a permit for a carport. 12 And what his, what his same, the same response from him was the height; 13 that he could see it from the road, so that was, so I later on went to the 14 City and attempted to pull a permit and the permit was denied because of 15 the, cause of the setback. 16 17 Crane: Thank you. Commissioner Beard. 18 19 Beard: Can you explain how you attached this structure to your house? 20 21 Munoz: Can I, can I step up to the front so I can show you on my phone? 22 23 Crane: Yeah, please, we all need to see that (inaudible) assure us. For the 24 record the applicant is bringing his phone with a picture of the attachment 25 and showing it to the Commissioners. 26 27 (MR. MUNOZ APPROACHES THE DAIS SHOWS PICTURES ON HIS CELLPHONE.) 28 29 Crane: Any other questions for Mr. Munoz. Thank you sir. 30 31 Munoz: Yes. Thank you. 32 33 Crane: Would any member of the public like to address this? Do you want to 34 speak ma'am? Okay. So there being no ... is there a problem 35 Commissioner Beard? 36 37 Beard: No, no, no. I would like to have a discussion though before ... 38 39 Crane: We shall have a discussion. 40 41 Beard: Okay. 42 43 Crane: Treading on my lines. There being no further discussion we will close this 44 to public input. Mister, yes, you want to come up again? Mr. Munoz is 45 coming back up. 46 10 I Munoz: Mr. Ochoa had a, had added earlier that there was neighbors that were in 2 agreement with this building and I got, I was able to get signatures and 3 phone numbers and addresses to everyone of the neighbors around the 4 home and if you had any questions for them, none of them are here, so, 5 but I do have their addresses, their signatures, and their phone numbers 6 in case. 7 8 Crane: Is that in addition to the names that we have? 9 10 Munoz: I believe those are probably the same names. 11 12 Crane: We have another person, is that? 13 14 Munoz: No that's ... 15 16 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman they are the same that you have in your staff report. They 17 are the same people. 18 19 Crane: Okay. And we have one person who has sent an e-mail saying she will be 20 unable to attend, she lives across the, across Alameda from you and she 21 wonders whether this is, the fence and the substantial space that you are 22 protecting indicates that you're going to run a business behind the fence. 23 24 Munoz: No sir. No business behind the fence. 25 26 Crane: No business. Strictly for personal ... 27 28 Munoz: Yes. 29 30 Crane: Cars and your RV that you don't have yet? 31 32 Munoz: Well, we have no; we don't have an RV yet. But we do have, we have 33 four children that are starting to drive now, two 14-year-olds that are about 34 to start driving so we have about seven, eight cars and they don't all fit in 35 the front driveway so we have storage, enough storage in the back area 36 for that. 37 38 Crane: Okay. Thank you. 39 40 Munoz: Yes sir. 41 42 Crane: So once again Commissioners we have, close this to public input. 43 Commissioner Beard you have something to say? 44 45 Beard: Well I have a lot of concerns with this. One of the reasons we have 46 setbacks is so that there is fire access to the firemen when they go to call 11 I on a fire. I can already see that if there's vehicles in this structure that a 2 fireman would be, have difficulty in passing to the back of the yard with the 3 stuff that's already sitting there. So fire access is very important and we 4 have to consider that. The second item is the structure does not conform 5 architecturally to the existing structure and I think it should. This stands 6 out like a sore thumb compared to the structures that are along that street. 7 Thirdly if we, if we allow this structure to be put in sticking way up high like 8 that and it's, it's very visible, then it's a, it's a calling card that everybody 9 else in the neighborhood can do the same thing. And I don't think that that 10 neighborhood would look very good if everybody would start putting 11 structures like this in that neighborhood. So I'm personally against this 12 particular structure being put there. And I would, would deny this, the 13 petition. 14 15 Crane: Thank you. Any other Commissioner want to speak? Commissioner 16 Stowe. 17 18 Stowe: Just a comment. Driving around several streets near the, near this house, 19 it doesn't look out of place. The entire neighborhood seems to be full of 20 stuff. Every yard seems to be loaded as storage area, whether that's 21 covered by zoning or not I'm not sure. But it doesn't look that much out of 22 place. 23 24 Crane: Commissioner Alvarado. 25 26 Alvarado: If somebody wanted to build a second story on their home, would it be 27 acceptable or not? 28 29 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Alvarado. Yes it would be permitted. They 30 could even potentially build on top of the structure now that's attached to 31 the home as well. (inaudible) maximum height permitted for primary 32 structures in the R-1a zoning district is 35-feet, so essentially two-story 33 building. 34 35 Crane: Anyone else? I share Commissioner Beard's concerns about the way that 36 carport stands up above the fence. If it weren't so tall it probably, we 37 probably wouldn't all be being here discussing this because it'd be 38 invisible behind the fence. This is one of those unpleasant situations that 39 come up from time to time and give us all a good deal of trouble when 40 somebody puts up a structure that is illegal but though generally just 41 inadvertence to not get a permit for it beforehand and then we have the 42 problem of saying whether or not the variance can be granted. I agree 43 that this is a potential fire hazard particularly, I mean it's, it's an 44 obstruction, a potential obstruction to the fire department, particularly if 1 45 think Mr. Munoz said you have seven or eight cars in there. And if the fire 46 department can't get in and the cars catch fire and we've got gasoline in 12 I the tanks it could be a nasty mess. But the major problem here is one of 2 precedent and if we grant this variance because the structure is in place 3 then if precedent is established that anybody can do, I wouldn't say 4 anything but they can do something not unreasonable but still against 5 code and then say I didn't know but let me have a variance. So I'm not 6 inclined to, to grant this variance. Any other Commissioner? 7 Commissioner Gordon. 8 9 Gordon: Well I happen to disagree with your argument about a fire hazard. If this 10 structure wasn't there ... 11 12 Crane: Sir, Mr. Gordon, get on your mike a little closer please. 13 14 Gordon: I said I happen to disagree with your premise about a fire hazard. I think if 15 this structure were not there you'd still have the same number of cars in 16 the backyard that the firemen would have to crawl over, so I don't think the 17 structure within wall that's sticking x number of feet up in the air is going to 18 make a difference as far as someone having access to the property in 19 case of a fire. I think there is plenty of room behind this structure and the 20 fence if necessary for firemen or policemen or rescue people or EMT or 21 someone to get through this yard to take care of the problem. And as far 22 as setting a precedent is concerned, this is not a question of; this is not a 23 question of precedent. This is a question where probable all of us at some 24 time in our lives have made a mistake and not have done something that 25 they should have done either through ignorance or perhaps someone told 26 us that we didn't have to do it. The petitioner failed. He did get a permit 27 for the fence; he didn't get a permit for this structure. If you go and look at 28 this property, I don't know whether or not you had, I was there and 1 29 looked at it, actually I thought it was quite neat, good looking, I think it 30 served his purpose. If he puts an RV in there I think I'd rather look at that 31 structure than look at big 40-foot RV sitting in the back if that's what he's 32 planning on buying. 33 So I have to heartedly disagree with you on this matter. I think that 34 this is not a question of precedence but a question of, of perhaps doing 35 the right thing. You have every neighbor who lives on that side of the 36 street is in agreement with him, they don't have a problem. If you look at 37 the neighborhood I don't think there's anything there that, that this is 38 detrimental. If anything I think it enhances the neighborhood. He has a 39 tall fence. No body's questioned that fact that he has a high fence behind 40 his house. So this structure goes a few feet above that. On the other 41 hand, I'm, I would grant his variance. And, and Adam could you just, 42 excuse me, just to digress for a second, before we vote on this I would like 43 for you to give me my four options again please. 44 45 Ochoa: Sure thing. Just for clarification, I'm sorry I was trying to raise my panel a 46 little higher there. Our fire department is not here tonight to answer 13 I whatever questions you might have, but I did want to just let you know he 2 did contact me and if you saw in your staff report the fire department did 3 approve the, did recommend approval for the proposed structure, that they 4 had no issues with the structure as it has been constructed on the 5 property. 6 Just for your information. Again, your vote, your options tonight 7 gentlemen is 1) to vote "yes" and approve Case A1727; 2) to vote "yes" 8 and approve the case with conditions deemed appropriate by P&Z; 3) to 9 vote "no" and deny the case; or 4) vote to table and postpone the 10 proposed variance and direct staff and the applicant accordingly. 11 12 Gordon: So Adam on number three then if I vote "no" that gives the petitioner the 13 variance? 14 15 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Gordon. No, essentially when you make 16 your motion it's for, in the affirmative is how the motion would have to be 17 made and seconded, and then you just vote whether are you okay with the 18 variance would be a "yes', if you're against the variance it's a "no". 19 20 Gordon: So we're talking about two votes then. 21 22 Ochoa: No sir, just one vote. It's a motion, the motion has to be done in the 23 affirmative and seconded, and then you're voting on whether the motion is 24 to approve the proposed variance, so if you want to approve it you vote 25 "yes', if you don't want to approve it you vote "no". 26 27 Gordon: I'm, I'm so sorry but I'm still a little confused. What do I have to vote to 28 approve the variance? 29 30 Ochoa: You'd say "yes" essentially sir. 31 32 Crane: Commissioner Beard. 33 34 Beard: I was going to make a motion. I move to approve A1727. 35 36 Crane: Is there a second for that? 37 38 Alvarado: Second. 39 40 Crane: Seconded by Commissioner Alvarado. Let's do a roll call vote starting 41 with Commissioner Beard. 42 43 Beard: I vote no based on site visit, presentation. 44 45 Crane: Alvarado. 46 14 I Alvarado: I vote yes to approve based on site visit and presentation. 2 3 Crane: Commissioner Stowe. 4 5 Stowe: I vote yes based on site visit and presentation. 6 7 Crane: Commissioner Gordon. 8 9 Gordon: Again if I vote yes" I am approving the variance? 10 11 Crane: Yes you are. 12 13 Gordon: In that case based on site, discussion, and findings I vote yes. 14 15 Crane: And the Chair votes no based on findings, discussion, and site visit. So 16 the variance application passes three votes to two. 17 18 VII. OTHER BUSINESS 19 20 1. Discussion of Urban Agriculture and the potential for a City of Las Cruces 21 Food Policy Plan. 22 23 Crane: Mr. Ochoa, what is next? The discussion of urban agriculture, is that you? 24 25 Ochoa: No sir, Katherine Harrison-Rogers will be taking care of that. 26 27 Crane: Okay. Thank you. 28 29 H-Rogers: Good evening Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission. I'm simply 30 here to introduce Krysten Aguilar who is from Las Semilla. She's going to 31 give a presentation on urban agriculture and food policy in order to seek 32 policy guidance from this Commission in regard to whether or not this 33 Commission would want to entertain whether the City should develop a 34 food policy plan or whether we should try to encompass that into our 35 Comprehensive Plan that's currently undergoing revisions. She's going to 36 speak to a lot of wonderful information. She's worked closely with staff 37 and ultimately I'm here to answer any procedure questions in regard to 38 how this would work. Ultimately once we seek or once we determine what 39 sort of direction you would like to give us, she will work closely with staff in 40 order to develop a plan or at least support staff and help us do research in 41 terms of how this can be wrapped into the Comprehensive Plan or turned 42 into a plan ultimately. I'm going to turn this over to Krysten so she can 43 give you all of the information and answer any questions you might have 44 about this. Let me see where we are. 45 46 Crane: Do I need to swear in Ms. Aguilar? 15 1 2 H-Rogers: This is, this is really just a discussion item so I don't know that you need 3 to, to do. We're not swearing into anything. It's more of an informational 4 piece. 5 6 Crane: Okay. 7 8 H-Rogers: Let's see if IT can work their magic. She's really good on her feet though, 9 she might be able just to, to wing the presentation. 10 11 Crane: For the record again we're having trouble with PowerPoint. 12 13 Aguilar: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record my name is Krysten 14 Aguilar. I am the Food Planning and Policy Coordinator for La Semilla. 15 16 Crane: A little more on the mike please. 17 18 Aguilar: Yes sir. I am Krysten Aguilar with La Semilla food center. While this is 19 loading, it seems like it's going to take a minute. I'll just quickly introduce 20 myself. I'm with La Semilla food center. We're a non-profit based in 21 Anthony, New Mexico. We work throughout the region. We coordinate 22 some school gardens. We have a community farm in Anthony, New 23 Mexico, sell at the Farmer's Market in Las Cruces and Anthony, or I mean 24 in EI Paso, excuse me. I'm also here in my role as the coordinator for the 25 Mesilla Valley Food Policy Council. I'll tell you very briefly about that. This 26 is taking a minute so I'm going to go ahead. I had prepared a PowerPoint 27 but it's mostly pictures to look at, kids with fruit and vegetables, so that's 28 always nice to see, but I'll go ahead and get started. So what we're, we 29 have been working on through the Food Policy Council has been to 30 identify where action is needed in our community in order to create a more 31 healthy food system. 32 So just a very quick background. The Mesilla Valley Food Policy 33 Council grew out of a task force and started in 2011. This was with my 34 organization, La Semilla Food Center, the New Mexico Department of 35 Health, New Mexico State University, and other interested organizations, 36 community members. And what we did was hold various community 37 meetings throughout the county and really asked people what their, what 38 they thought was most important related to food and agriculture in our 39 area. And through this we came up with the need for Food Policy Council, 40 a coalition of organizations, institutions, and community members 41 dedicated specifically to focusing on food and agriculture issues in our 42 region. And one of the questions might be "Well, why is it important to talk 43 about food as a very specific, it seems very specific, food and ag is one 44 specific thing". And food really touches everything that we do, it's one of 45 our very few commonalities that every single person has. We all have to 46 eat. And the food system also touches on a lot of different issues. And 1 16 I had a handy little graphic which maybe we'll get to see in a moment. But 2 whenever we're talking about the food system we're talking about 3 everything from seed to plate and food waste, so if you want to kind of 4 think about the food system either tomato grown in Anthony somewhere 5 and where the seed or transplants come from, the farmer who's putting it 6 in, what that means to him and his family, who's harvesting it, where it 7 goes, and who eats it, or who's not eating it. And then what happens to 8 the waste of that. You can also think of the same thing with a banana, you 9 know it's coming from Ecuador, it's traveling forever to get here, it's finally 10 coming into a grocery market, a grocery store or food market in a 11 community. And then all of these aspects; you have distribution, 12 production, processing of these foods, there is quality of life and economic 13 issues tied to each and every one of those stages. So it's a really 14 complex system but it's also a fairly somewhat contained system and it 15 also affects the health of our communities, economic development. It has 16 a lot of social impacts as well. 17 So one thing that I think we all know to be true is that agriculture is 18 a very large part of our community, specifically in Dona Ana County. We 19 have a really long agricultural tradition going back thousands of years. 20 And currently agriculture is one of the real economic drivers in the region 21 and really important generally. And when you're talking about food the 22 Convention and Visitors Bureau hear in Las Cruces has found that 23 whenever they're doing surveys of people outside of our community the 24 one thing that everybody thinks of among some negative connotations that 25 people and ideas that they have about our region, one of the big positives, 26 the main positive in fact is our food and how good our food is. And so our 27 cuisine is a real, a really big part of our economy and our cultural identify. 28 So there it goes. See if we can get the slide show started and to where 29 we need to go. 30 So whenever we're talking about ... so here's just again briefly, 31 there's some of the things; the Mesilla Valley Food Policy Council who's 32 been doing, and one thing I forgot to mention the City Council of Las 33 Cruces voted to support the Food Policy Council and the work that we 34 were doing as a coalition. And so this is just a really simplified version of 35 what our food system is, the distribution, actually starting at the, over here, 36 processing, preparing, eating, retailing, all of those steps affect a lot of 37 people. And then these also affect you know jobs in our communities, 38 individual health, food security, economic development, farm land 39 preservation, community and social viability, and so all of these things, it's 40 a very complex system and whenever we don't look at it as a whole we 41 end up with a lot of problems; health problems, agricultural issues, things 42 aren't as sustainable for farmers in our area, that type of thing. And like 1 43 said really fantastic history and culture of agriculture and food in the 44 region. 45 And so what we wanted to do, the Food Policy Council and 46 partners is really take advantage of this opportunity. People are really 17 I entrusted in urban ag and food planning and what that, like the potential 2 that that has for our community basically. Some of our partners include 3 Horse N Hound and other small businesses whose, if you have somebody 4 growing a garden that's going to boost up their business as well. If people 5 need help they can go to Dona Ana County Extension. A lot of people 6 don't know about that. So there's a lot of organizations and businesses 7 that are really interested and invested. And we really want to take 8 advantage of the interest that is rising right now. In May of this year we 9 held kind of a kick off envisioning event here at City Hall actually and 90 10 people came out on a Friday evening at five o'clock, it's kind of hard to get 11 a lot of people to come to events like that and really to hear about the 12 possibilities that urban agriculture presents and to give their ideas about 13 what they would like to see, and what they'd like to see our community be 14 common advantages, what advantages we could take. So it kind of 15 sounds simple in a way but it's also very complex. 16 So if you break it down what is urban agriculture? Most simply 17 urban agriculture includes any activity that is connected with the growing, 18 processing, and distribution of food and food related products in and 19 around cities. So this is growing food, canning your grandma's secret 20 salsa recipe and selling it. It's eating food, shopping at the Farmer's 21 Markets and local businesses, and then you know composting your food 22 afterwards. So what, there are a bunch of different, that's a big thing to 23 think about and some things that are included in this are community 24 gardens, school gardens, and youth education, community kitchens. It's 25 really difficult and it can be expensive to get a commercial kitchen or 26 licensed kitchen to do small entrepreneurial activities like bottle salsa for 27 example. So if you create opportunities for people to get a fair price lease 28 to do that for a weekend you're creating, you're opening a lot of doors and 29 creating a lot of markets. And one question is so if we're looking at this 30 why. And one of the handouts that, or the only handout I should say that 31 was included with your packet was kind of these talking points and a really 32 brief introduction to urban agriculture. And what we mean when we're 33 talking about that and food policy in the City. And there are documented 34 and researched benefits to prioritizing and supporting urban agriculture. 35 There was a review of articles and reports from all across the country. 36 And just across the board it showed positive social impacts in 37 communities, increasing public safety, people have more buy-in, and 38 safety in communities would increase because people are out, they were 39 invested more in their communities, they were talking to their neighbors 40 more and there was less crime. (inaudible) impacts access to land, 41 community development, education and youth development opportunities 42 which are always important. There are positive health impacts. 43 Whenever people are near community gardens or taking advantage of 44 things like farmer's markets, they automatically have a higher intake of 45 fruit and vegetables which has a huge impact on health issues which are 46 very costly for society both in economic terms but also quality of life terms 18 I and it affects our communities. It also just generally increased well being, 2 mental health, and physical activity of those areas. 3 There's a huge potential for economic impacts as well and there 4 have been some documented economic impacts to really focus on these 5 types of activities. You have job creation, market expansion for farmers, 6 there's a huge market; we had a market analysis done by a contactor 7 formerly of NMSU, and has background in the vegetable industry. There's 8 a huge market for locally grown produce far more than we're actually 9 producing and keeping here in our community. That's a really big deal 10 and there's some really big numbers that we're talking about. Economic 11 savings on food. If you have a family, any family and they happen to have 12 a large backyard or an empty lot next to them and they're growing one, 13 even two hundred dollars worth of produce that they're consuming or 14 selling, and extra two or three hundred dollars per family per month say for 15 eight months out of the year, that's a really really big deal when you're 16 looking at small term economic development. 17 And so what we're really building on are a few policies that are 18 already in place and they kind of lay the groundwork. And what we want 19 to do is act on those and then take it to the next level. So the 2040 Plan, 20 the City of Las Cruces Comprehensive 2040 Plan and the administrative 21 update, there is one goal specifically I think it's goal three and policies 3.1 22 to 3.6 and that's the one paper I didn't bring with me so I can't read them 23 out to you but those all specifically support local food and urban 24 agriculture activities. It's kind of, those goals are things like support urban 25 ag initiatives. And taking the next step to create this plan which gives 26 specifics including zoning or including supporting or incentivizing 27 somehow farmers markets. That's, we would like to go there and take that 28 next step. There's also support in the 2014 Strategic Plan, there are 29 multiple goals and, throughout the plan that directly and indirectly involve 30 urban agriculture and local foods and as well as the sustainability plan. 31 Those were supported as well. 32 So, one, again the reason this is important is because there are 33 multiple benefits. Whenever cities and municipalities take the time to 34 address this specifically it's making a statement, it's saying "Yes we think 35 this is important. We know that this touches all of these different aspects. 36 And we're going to make this a priority for our community." And it's also 37 building on policies that are already in place. We're saying it's important 38 in the Comprehensive Plan, now let's take it that further step and act on it. 39 And the reason why we're also looking at this as a comprehensive food 40 plan, that food system is really large, even if you're just talking about Las 41 Cruces, it can get pretty complex. Just really quickly for an example, so 42 food waste is up to 40% of the food in the U.S. is wasted, is thrown out. 43 That's a huge amount. Whenever you're talking about 40% of food that's 44 $165 billion each year, well what does that mean for us? Food waste is 45 the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste. So at our 46 landfill what we're paying to throw into the trash is food waste basically. 19 1 Now you could take that and turn that into some kind of opportunity; 2 there's potential there because composted food waste is really, I was 3 going to say really valuable like whenever you're planting it and you're 4 having to build up your soil and you're growing food we have a lot of ag 5 land and a lot of people who need compost. If you take that and turn it 6 into something that's just waste and you turn it into something that's a 7 value added product almost, that's a pretty significant deal, especially 8 considering that that's the single largest component of municipal solid 9 waste. So that's one very small issue in this larger plan that we're talking 10 about. So it can be very complex, but the opportunities there are really 11 fantastic. We have been going through and looking at best practices 12 across the country, what other cities have done, Tucson, Santa Fe, Austin, 13 a bunch of smaller municipalities, and I have a list of those as well if you 14 all are interested 1 could send those your way. We're really going through 15 and looking at what's working, also what doesn't, why it would work here, 16 why it wouldn't, and then trying to put that into something that would work 17 for us. Looking at rainwater harvesting, community gardens, things like 18 farm stands if somebody is growing this can they sell it, how can they sell 19 it, and are there zoning regulations that aren't supporting this, how come, 20 and then mitigating any possible issues that might come up beforehand 21 because there is growing interest in this. 22 Another thing that's, just to add to all of this information, one other 23 thing is landscaping. The City does landscaping already. It's something 24 that's a cost that we all agree on and one thing would be to do more edible 25 landscaping and then whatever is grown since we're already using the 26 water, we're already using the land, grow something that's edible and is 27 water-wise that can then be donated for example. So it's just things like 28 this. These really small parts that come together to create communities 29 that are really focused on using food and agriculture as a driver for 30 healthier communities and healthier local economies. And with that, that 31 kind of takes us to the next steps as Katherine was mentioning earlier, we 32 need to move forward on this and one of the things that we've come to a 33 point now where we need direction to say we're either building this as a 34 food plan, a comprehensive urban agriculture and food policy plan, or 35 going to be put somehow into the 2040 Comp Plan I believe. And I would 36 be happy to answer any questions that you may have to the best of my 37 ability. 38 39 Crane: Thank you Ms. Aguilar. Commissioners? Commissioner Beard. 40 41 Beard: Which do you prefer, to put it in the 2040 or to have it as a separate 42 policy? 43 44 Aguilar: We ... Commissioner, Commissioner Beard, sorry, we prefer a separate 45 policy because I think it'll streamline the process. Then in addition it'll also 46 serve as added possibilities that we'll have all of our policy and our plan in 20 I place in one, under one umbrella. But as we go through the process it'll 2 make it a lot easier to do education outreach which my organization does 3 already, this will make it kind of give that added weight to say "Okay if you 4 want to know more about this, look it's very simple, it's right here, it's 5 straight forward, something that's easy to understand for the community 6 and something that's easy to access'. Cause I know sometimes policy 7 can seem a little overwhelming and so I think from our group's prospective 8 having it as a standalone plan would really prioritize it and give it that extra 9 oomph so to speak. 10 I1 Crane: Thank you. Commissioner Alvarado. 12 13 Alvarado: What's the source of your funding? 14 15 Aguilar: We have really La Semilla food center who is my employer, we have 16 diversified funding, we have private donations, private foundations, and 17 some federal grants for our farm. We also have a lot of different 18 programming and they all do various. So farm has USDA grants 19 specifically and then advocacy and education planning has, health 20 foundations, Paso Del Norte Health Foundation is one. A lot of private 21 contributions from the community. It's pretty diversified, but mostly private 22 foundations, some grants, and personal contributions. 23 24 Alvarado: So you're going to be around for a while I presume? 25 26 Aguilar: I hope so. I would hope so, yes. 27 28 Alvarado: Thank you. 29 30 Aguilar: Thank you. 31 32 Crane: Commissioner Gordon. 33 34 Gordon: Just as a point of interest and something that I think about when we talk 35 about food, it's, what's driving, what's driving the bottom line here is water. 36 1 mean that's the key element for this whole thing. Without water you don't 37 have any food, you can't grow it, you'll have no point for your irrigation. 38 There's a tremendous fight going on here in the valley between the pecan 39 growers for the demand for water, so many inches of acres of water, 40 whatever, however they measure it, plus the need of the farmers. There is 41 1 believe and I'm not sure that there is only one water facility producing 42 plant in this City that produces effluent water or grey water. And that plant 43 is up I think up off of Lohman and Sonoma Ranch Boulevard out quite a 44 ways away from the agricultural district. I believe to get some of that 45 water down to the agricultural district to be used is to lay a large pipeline a 46 considerable distance. I don't know if anybody's considered what the cost 21 I of that would be. I'm sure it would be very very expensive, but without the 2 need for water, this plan whether it's a proposal and something you want 3 to do separately or something with the 2040 is going to be very very 4 important as I think, I personally think that it should be tied into the 2040 5 because it's going to take that many years for them to probably develop 6 the means in which to distribute this water. I don't know if you know what 7 effluent water is. I don't know whether the other Commissioners know 8 what effluent water is, it's sewage water that's been treated to the point 9 where if it goes one more step you could drink it. But for irrigation 10 purposes it's fine. Sonoma Ranch Golf Courses use, Sonoma Ranch Golf 11 Course uses effluent water and I think they are the only user. Whatever is 12 left over goes down the gulch, down the drain. So I don't know what they 13 have done in thinking about how they will be able to get some of this water 14 cause just think about it, there's a tremendous source. I mean there's, 1 15 don't know how many millions of gallons or square foot gallons or however 16 they measure it goes through our sewer system that could be reclaimed 17 and used for this purpose. And I think you've touched upon it just briefly 18 just item number one, just grey water and rainwater. But I think it's a heck 19 of a lot more important than just touching upon it. I think without that the 20 rest of all your plan just isn't going to work cause it's not going to be there. 21 22 Crane: Commissioner if I may interject something, you do know that the effluent 23 goes into the river and they drink it in EI Paso. So we are actually, you 24 know it's the Texan's or us, what you recommend. 25 26 Gordon: It's our loss. 27 28 Crane: Yeah. Okay. Commissioner Beard. 29 30 Beard: Well I was going to say that the main sewage plant does put out effluent 31 water and it's putting it into the, into the river. But, but using it for 32 agricultural here it is not. There are water courses probably the most 33 important thing to talk about and if you're not in the 2040 Plan your water 34 is not going to get very much attention. And the 2040 Plan it's going to get 35 1 think more attention if it's in that plan. But there are things that I think 36 that your group I would think would be in your plan would be, well one of 37 them is water. Does a person up in a sandy area start growing corn in 38 their backyard when the water just goes straight down? It's probably more 39 efficient to grow corn out in the cornfield where they have irrigation. So 40 talking about parts of the, of the City that can actually have a garden in 41 their backyard efficiently should be addressed by something like this plan. 42 See the other area was recycling of garbage. We do that. There are, 43 there are machines, drying machines that you put wet garbage into, the 44 drying machines then dry it and it becomes a compost. Trying to buy one 45 of those things in this town is impossible, you can't find one. I would think 22 I that would be addressed by this plan, where and how are these things 2 accessibly located so the people can use them. 3 4 Crane: You talking about household size thing or a ... 5 6 Beard: Right. Right. Right. 7 8 Crane: Or commercial? 9 10 Beard: No this would be household. That's a, if you look on the internet it's a 11 thing smaller than, well you can actually get them smaller than a 50 gallon, 12 but I mean you can get them in the two gallon size where you just put two 13 gallons worth of stuff in there and in two weeks it's a compost. 14 15 Crane: Just by drying. 16 17 Beard: Just by drying. 18 19 Crane: Cause I've done it outside, I've done it in the, in a bin with (inaudible) in it 20 that it dries naturally but no doubt takes longer but we've got good 21 compost out of it. 22 23 Beard: Right. Right. This would be done faster than doing it naturally. But those 24 are the types of things I should think would be in your plan to get people 25 involved or people not to get involved if it's inefficient to put something in 26 your backyard. 27 28 Aguilar: Right. Mister ... 29 30 Beard: So the 2040 thing I think is, I would favor the 2040 if you can get 31 everything that you want to address into it. 32 33 Aguilar: Mr. Chair, Commissioner Beard. I do agree with you and I know that a 34 large part of this is going to be an education aspect, especially from our 35 end. It's just because a lot of people don't know the best way to grow, 36 what's efficient and what's not and that's important. And addressing the 37 water issue, yeah I completely agree, it's the huge you know, it's not even 38 an elephant in the room, we all know it's there right? And farmers are well 39 aware of it. We're well aware of it as well and it's something that's going 40 to have to be addressed. It's something that's also very complicated so 1 41 know that we have some limitations on what we can and cannot address. 42 And looking, our focus so far has been looking at the purple pipes, the 43 grey water, the wastewater, how best to utilize that cause a lot of it's going 44 unused and it's perfectly fine for growing crops which is something to keep 45 in mind. Rainwater harvesting which is also a big potential. Urban 46 agriculture and growing on empty lots, gardens, those type of things are 23 I really good at stormwater management which is also another big issue 2 here and there are certain design standards that can be met that really 3 effectively use and harvest that water and manage stormwater as well, 4 things that we've looked at. So those are all things that are very much on 5 our mind and things that we would like to address for sure. 6 7 Crane: What can we as the Planning and Zoning Commission do to further your 8 plans right now? 9 10 Aguilar: We would like to have the Planning and Zoning Commission support this 11 effort to do a comprehensive urban ag and food policy initiative/effort. 12 Either if it's going to be a standalone plan in and of its self or hopefully 13 somehow keep it comprehensive within the 2040 Plan as well and include 14 all the components. 15 16 Crane: So you have in, in mind what I might call moral support rather than actual 17 work right? 18 19 Aguilar: Correct. Yeah. 20 21 Crane: All right. 22 23 Aguilar: And City staff has been incredibly supportive. I've gone to them a few 24 times and asked, but if they have that as well then that's helpful for us to 25 be able to say that I, so I can call and they have some direction. And 26 knowing that this is a priority to work on. 27 28 Crane: Would it be helpful to you to have us vote on a resolution to support your 29 plan? 30 31 Aguilar: I believe so, yeah. 32 33 Crane: Yeah, I mean it would make a tidier wrap up. 34 35 Aguilar: Right. 36 37 Crane: Would it not? 38 39 H-Rogers: Correct. Chairman and Members of the Commission. Indeed staff is 40 looking for again policy direction. This was just your first introduction to 41 this concept to see if you'd be interested in, in moving forward with this 42 and we would be glad to prepare a resolution in order to, to get the ball 43 rolling so to speak and move this forward. Of course we would work 44 closely with La Semilla and of course staff would provide the assistance in 45 order to help draft any sort of documents that would be associated with 24 I this and of course take it to the public. But a resolution, yes we would love 2 to be able to, to prepare that for you. 3 4 Crane: Commissioner Beard your light's on. You want to say something? 5 6 Beard: I was, I was going to make a comment here pretty soon. 7 8 Crane: Go ahead. 9 10 Beard: I'm getting off the subject now but one of the ... the third thing that I, 1 11 have a concern about, I live right next to a pecan orchard and I have a 12 swimming pool. This year was not a problem because the aphids were 13 not a problem but last year the aphids were much of a problem and so 14 when the aphids were sprayed or the pecan trees were sprayed last year 1 15 must've had two to three hundred dead bees in my swimming pool that 16 evening. I mean it killed the bees left and right. I don't know why that's 17 not being addressed by anybody. 18 19 Aguilar: Mr. Chair, Commissioner Beard. In talking specifically about pesticide use 20 and killing of the bees and for their pollination, I'm assuming is that what 21 you're talking about? Yeah. We, there's some that we can do for 22 education and outreach. I believe that pesticide use is governed by state 23 law and there are certain things that municipalities can do but I'm not sure 24 if they can do a lot, have a lot of teeth to override any state laws regarding 25 pesticide use. But education on bees and the importance of pollinators, 26 every third bite of food that we eat, it's because of bees, so. 27 28 Beard: But you were using the word Mesilla Valley, I mean ... 29 30 Aguilar: Right. 31 32 Beard: That's in the Mesilla Valley. 33 34 Aguilar: Right. 35 36 Beard: I think it should be addressed. I think it can be outlawed I mean in the 37 County. If they, if they're using the wrong pesticides I think it should be 38 definitely addressed more than just a warning. 39 40 Aguilar: I think pesticide use should be addressed as well as, especially with the 41 bees and the importance that they play in our food supply. It's, I know you 42 hear about people importing bees from overseas even to bring them to 43 almond groves in California or wherever cause they have no natural bees 44 left which is tragic, so. 45 25 I Crane: Does any Commissioner feel competent to frame a resolution that we can 2 vote on that would be supportive or do you feel at the moment things are a 3 little too vague for you to (inaudible) on something? Commissioner 4 Gordon. 5 6 Gordon: I just have a question. If you're asking us to formulate a resolution is this 7 something that will come back to the, to the Commission to discuss or is 8 this going to be forwarded to the City Council? 9 10 Crane: I had in mind something just generally supportive, not very explicit that Ms. 11 Aguilar can as it were take home as a result of her presentation. She is 12 seeking support and while this may not be quite in our bailiwick we are 13 people who think about these things. We've had a presentation, or we 14 can just say thank you very much and. 15 16 Gordon: The, the only thing is, is that you're talking about two different directions. 17 You want to do something now or do we want to wait to get this formulated 18 and approved and incorporated into the 2040? If it's something that we 19 wanted to resolve and, and come to a conclusion now, that's one thing. 20 That's something that we have to deal with. If it's something that's going 21 to be in the 2040, we've given her some direction in our comments and 22 our, and our discussion. 23 24 Crane: Yeah. 25 26 Gordon: As to where perhaps there could be some changes or, or additions or 27 deletions to the 2040. The 2040 doesn't really ... I've looked at it, it 28 doesn't really have that much meat at this point. 29 30 Crane: Ms. Harrison-Rogers do you have a ...? 31 32 H-Rogers: Just a point of clarification. Essentially what staff is seeking, of course 33 what La Semilla is seeking again is just some policy direction on where all 34 this information, it's still being gathered, it's still being put together so to 35 speak and where of course that needs to fit; does it need to be it's own 36 plan, should it be incorporated in the 2040? The 2040 as most of you are 37 aware went through an initial amendment last year, that was, 38 administrative amendment but is now going into its second phase which is 39 a much more encompassing amendment and this is an opportunity if, if 40 you all so wish to take all of this information, much more detailed of course 41 than this, and wrap it up into that or turn it into it's own separate plan so it 42 has some focus. And ultimately we would be happy to prepare a 43 resolution in terms of allowing staff to move forward with La Semilla to 44 develop it, either as its own separate plan or as part of the, the 45 Comprehensive Plan, the 2040 Amendments. And we'd be happy to 46 prepare a resolution but we're, we're seeking guidance which way you 26 I would all prefer, or drop it all together. I mean of course you have that 2 option as well. 3 4 Crane: If it goes into the 2040 Plan ultimately it will come back to us. 5 6 H-Rogers: Either plan would come back to this, this body. 7 8 Crane: Perhaps Mr. Gordon ... 9 10 H-Rogers: Either plan would ultimately, what would happen once we receive that 11 direction, we would go behind the scenes, we would develop a, a work 12 plan, probably bring that back to you as Paul Michaud did in terms of the 13 2040 Plan if you recall, he brought that to you all I would say probably a 14 year and a half ago, two years ago maybe. In terms of what the next 15 steps were, we would give you updates along the way, there would be of 16 course several public meetings in regard to that. And then once it goes 17 through that process then it would probably get put on, on a, once you all 18 are satisfied with where it was, then it would be put on a, a work session 19 for City Council. There are several steps before we ever actually get to 20 City Council. This is ultimately just, do you want us to continue forward. 21 22 Crane: In that case and I have not forgotten you Mr. Beard, 1, 1 understand what 23 Mr. Gordon is getting at and it'd be better for us to wait until we have 24 something, some sort of hard text that we can look at and vote on rather 25 than do something vague perhaps. Do you want to speak Commissioner 26 Beard? 27 28 Beard: I just thought our action tonight was to decide where this plan should go. 29 Should it be its own plan or whether it should be a 2040 Plan? So we 30 haven't seen the plan yet but I think it would be ... my personal opinion 31 would be better than, at 2040. 1 do believe it's going to come back to us 32 and we can put in what the things that we want to put in. She can be here 33 and also participate in, in that resolution of that plan. It's true it didn't have 34 a lot of meat to it. These plans are hard to put meat to them, like the 35 Arroyo Plan. I mean you just can't put meat into them so it takes a lot of 36 reiterations to get the thing the way we want it. 37 38 Gordon: Yeah, I agree exactly with what you're saying. 39 40 Crane: Commissioner Gordon. 41 42 Gordon: 1, 1, agree exactly with what you're saying, it's just I feel that the 2040 Plan 43 is something of substance. It's, it's a living body now but not in its final 44 form. And it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of input to bring it to its 45 final condition, whatever you want to call it. And I think that to, to just 46 separate this now and try to come up and, and make a final decision, 1 27 1 think is the wrong way to go. I think we can do that, work on this, integrate 2 whatever we can assimilate now and put together and finalize and forward 3 it so that it should be incorporated in the 2040, because I think that's 4 where it's going to finally rest and, and have it's greatest impact. 5 6 Crane: So you're asking in effect of Ms. Aguilar and her organization prepare 7 something more detailed for us to look at in the future? 8 9 Gordon: Or let us prepare a resolution that, let us prepare a resolution that staff 10 can put together and let them come back and let us address what they've 11 managed to put together, but to give us something ahead of time so that 12 we have an opportunity to look at, think about it, make a comment, make, 13 you know make proposals, rejections. So that (inaudible) come up with to 14 start to pick apart this plan so that when you do finally have something 15 that'll work you can forward it into the 2040. 16 17 Crane: Ms. Harrison-Rogers. 18 19 H-Rogers: Again Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission. I'd like to reiterate what 20 Mister, Commissioner Beard said earlier, the plan currently does not exist. 21 This is, this is just, we just need policy guidance so that we can begin the 22 process of preparing something. If you all choose to, to not give us 23 guidance we, we can deal with that, but ultimately staff and La Semilla 24 probably would just, La Semilla wouldn't, but staff essentially would have 25 to end their relationship with as detailed a plan as is being proposed. 26 We're seeking that guidance to just move forward, and then be able to 27 prepare the documents to then bring back to you as Commissioner 28 Gordon was stating. 29 30 Crane: So what you seek from the Commission right now is some explicit 31 instructions as it were as to how to proceed? 32 33 H-Rogers: Correct. Would you like us to move forward? If you, if you prefer that we 34 not determine whether or not it goes into a food policy plan or the 35 Comprehensive Plan at this point in time, we would like that direction, but 36 if you're having some discomfort with that, we could at least prepare 37 something knowing that it's going to go either place. I mean at least we 38 have the direction that, yes you value these concepts and we can move 39 forward. 40 41 Crane: So a simple resolution that we support the continuation of this plan would 42 meet your needs? 43 44 H-Rogers: Correct. 45 28 I Crane: Okay, will somebody care to move to that effect and we can have some 2 further discussion if necessary. Commissioner Beard. 3 4 Beard: I'm not sure that I'm moving the right thing. I move that Ms. Aguilar put 5 together a, a beginning of a plan, bring it before us so that, that we can 6 hear it, but I think that this, I move that this plan should be part of the 2040 7 Plan. 8 9 H-Rogers: Point of, point of order, we don't need an official motion. We just need 10 some direction. This is just a discussion item. This is not, this is not a, 11 and so we just need, if you all want us to come back with a resolution we 12 would be happy to do that but this is simply just a discussion item this 13 evening to seek policy direction. We don't need a formal motion as it was 14 not advertised that way. 15 16 Crane: So you would be happy to just have us each speak briefly as to how we 17 feel about it. 18 19 H-Rogers: Correct. And if your direction is to then prepare a more formal resolution, 20 we would be happy to do so. But ultimately this evening this is just a 21 discussion item to get the ball rolling to see what direction you would like 22 to give us. 23 24 Crane: Very well. Commissioner Gordon. 25 26 Gordon: I, 1 think we're all saying the same thing. 1, 1 think what we're talking about 27 now is let's talk about the basics. And, and then once we can agree upon 28 where this is going to go and what it's going to be comprised of and if we 29 could really be, have a good initiative here and develop this into 30 something that is a little more formal and everybody's in agreement, then 31 it is possible to move it forward into the 2040. But you can't get to the 32 2040 unless you get to the basics and I think that's what the panel can do, 33 is that they can, they can, they can prepare some kind of presentation that 34 1 would love to see in advance so I could think about it other than try to 35 think like we have tonight and so that we could then maybe move forward 36 into something that staff could do. Do I make myself clear? 37 38 Crane: Pretty well. Well Ms. Harrison-Rogers if you don't want anything specific 39 that we can vote on then we are reduced to and I don't mean that in a 40 derogatory way, just a sort of sense of the, the Commission. All right. 41 And let me then state that the sense of the Commission is that this is a, an 42 excellent process to continue and we wish you all success at it and if you 43 can bring us back something more solid, explicit, detailed, we'd be happy 44 to remark on that. Now before you write anything more down, does 45 anybody on the Commission disagree with what I've just said? Okay so 1 46 think you have a sort of floppy motion. Doesn't sound quite right, but ... 29 1 2 Aguilar: Mr. Chair, Commissioners. Thank you. 3 4 Crane: Does that help you? 5 6 Aguilar: Yes. 7 8 Crane: Well thank you for your presentation. Mr. Ochoa, any other business? 9 10 Ochoa: No sir, no other business tonight. 11 12 VIII. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 13 14 Crane: Any further public participation? I think not. 15 16 IX. STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS 17 18 Crane: Staff announcements. 19 20 Ochoa: I would just like to remind you all the meeting that happened this month 21 did happen the third Tuesday of the month. Just a reminder for December 22 it's going to be the same thing, the Planning and Zoning Commission 23 meeting if we have one, we're still not 100% sure if we have cases for 24 that, will be the third Tuesday of December as well which would be 25 December 16th I believe. 26 27 Crane: Yes, sounds about right. Okay. 28 29 Ochoa: To make room for the holiday. To make room for the holiday. 30 31 Crane: Thank you. 32 33 X. ADJOURNMENT 34 35 Crane: In that case we are adjourned at 7:27 p.m. 36 37 38 39 40 41 I 42 Chairperson / 43 44 30