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11-01-2007 I METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION 2 TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (TAC) MEETING 3 NOVEMBER 1, 2007 4 5 Following are minutes from the MPO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting held 6 on Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 200 N. Church 7 St., Las Cruces, New Mexico. 8 9 MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Bartholomew (RoadRUNNER Transit) 10 Loretta Reyes (CLC Public Works) 11 Dan Soriano (CLC Public Works) 12 Henry Magallanez (EBID) 13 Terry Coker (Las Cruces Public Schools) 14 Henry K. Corneles (DAC Engineering) 15 Frank Guzman (NMDOT) 16 Debbie Lujan (Town of Mesilla) 17 Luis Marmolejo (DAC) 18 John Knopp (Town of Mesilla) 19 Orlando V. Fierro (DAC Flood Commission) 20 21 MEMBERS ABSENT: Tim Sanders (BLM) 22 23 STAFF PRESENT: Tom Murphy (Las Cruces MPO) 24 Andy Hume (Las Cruces MPO) 25 Dianne Wax (CLC — Recording Secretary) 26 27 PUBLIC: Joseph De La Rosa David Church 28 Klaus Wittern Brian Soleman 29 Daniel Sambrano Dr. Narendra Gunaji 30 Ray Carlson John Tapia 31 Daniel Kolson Ted Scanlon 32 Kyle Moberly Kirk Clifton 33 Chad Sells Philipp Philippou 34 35 1. CALL TO ORDER 36 37 Meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. 38 39 2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES 40 41 2.1 October 4, 2007 42 43 Tom Murphy stated that there was a clarification on the minutes. Although the minutes 44 were essentially correct in what transpired at the meeting, Tom did mischaracterize Mr. 45 Knopp's request of staff to the TAC. Mr. Knopp's actual request was that he wanted the 1 I Mesilla Hill's reclassification to be tabled until staff knew the outcome of the Mesilla 2 annexation. 3 4 Mike Bartholomew asked for a motion to approve the minutes of October 4, 2007. 5 6 Terry Coker motioned to approve the minutes of October 4, 2007. 7 Dan Soriano seconded the motion. 8 ALL IN FAVOR. 9 10 3. ACTION ITEMS 11 12 3.1 Intelligent Transportation Systems Regional Architecture 13 14 The Las Cruces Intelligent Transportation System Regional Architecture is a framework 15 for transportation systems integration in the region over the next 20 years. The update 16 of the ITS Architecture was funded through the New Mexico Department of 17 Transportation — ITS Bureau. The ITS Architecture has been developed through a 18 cooperative effort by the region's transportation agencies covering all surface 19 transportation modes and all roadway facilities in the region. 20 The first version of the Las Cruces ITS Regional Architecture was adopted by the MPO 21 Policy Committee in March 2004. An update of the Architecture was necessary to keep 22 up with the recent improvements made to the National Architecture as well as new 23 technologies that are now available. Also, the current Regional Architecture was only 24 available in a Word document, not in a digital, interactive medium. The new 25 architecture will now be more accessible to the member agencies who may be 26 interested in implementing projects based on ITS principals and guidelines. 27 Due to the size of the final draft document, staff requests that you view this through the 28 MPO website at: http://lcmpoweb.las-cruces.orq/committeesfTAC%20packet.asp 29 MPO Staff is asking for a recommendation from the TAC. Staff will present the updated 30 architecture to the Policy Committee for approval at their meeting scheduled for 31 November 7, 2007. 32 Andy Hume gave a brief presentation. 33 34 Mike Bartholomew stated that the Committee thanks the MPO for all the work that staff 35 has done on this matter. 36 37 Mike asked for a motion to recommend the ITS Regional Architecture to the Policy 38 Committee. 39 Frank Guzman motioned to recommend to the Policy Committee. 40 Terry Coker seconded the motion. 41 ALL IN FAVOR. 42 43 44 45 2 1 3.2 LC MPO Location Organization, Membership, and Structure Study 2 3 The New Mexico Department of Transportation is seeking a Contractor to provide 4 professional services to conduct a Study of the Las Cruces Metropolitan Planning 5 current location, organizational structure, membership, operations, composition, 6 agreements, and the fiscal agent designation. 7 8 The NMDOT wishes to have Policy Committee concurrence on the scope of the RFP. 9 The TAC reviewed and provided comments at the October 4 meeting. The changes 10 suggested have been incorporated. 11 12 Tom Murphy gave a brief presentation. 13 14 Mike Bartholomew asked for a motion to recommend, with minor changes in the RFP, to 15 the Policy Committee. 16 17 Frank Guzman motioned to recommend to the Policy Committee. 18 John Knopp seconded the motion. 19 ALL IN FAVOR. 20 21 3.3 Mesilla Hills Dr. reclassification 22 23 Recently, the MPO received a request from an adjacent land owner to amend the status 24 of the road to a major local. This request came at the September 12, 2007 Policy 25 Committee meeting. The Policy Committee directed staff to bring the issue to the TAC. 26 27 Findings: 28 • Mesilla Hills Drive is designated a Collector on the MPO's Major Thoroughfare 29 Plan. This designation was put into place during the 2000 Transportation Plan 30 update. 31 • The functional classification of Mesilla Hills Drive is a local roadway. 32 • Mesilla Hills Drive is not on the MPO inventory for traffic counts. 33 • Mesilla Hills Drive connects to the rest of the Major Thoroughfare Plan system 34 only at South Fairacres Road. 35 36 This item was discussed at the October 4 TAC meeting. Consensus was to bring the 37 item forward as a reclassification to a local road. Staff does not object to this based on 38 the findings. 39 40 Tom Murphy gave a presentation. 41 42 Henry Corneles stated that the County has some reservations on the downgrading of 43 Mesilla Hills Drive. He stated that the road is almost two and a half miles long and it is 44 the only road that acts like a collector on the west side of the river. There are at least 45 10 intersections where residential areas intersect the road. The County is not sure that 46 sometime in the future the road might become more heavily traveled and they are 3 I concerned about affecting the ability to reserve right-of-way for future improvements 2 including flood storage and highway improvements; and there is always the possibility 3 that the road could be extended in some direction in the future. The County feels that if 4 Mesilla Hills Drive is not the collector in the area, then what road in the area would be 5 the collector. The County envisions subdivisions coming into the area; there are major 6 lot acreage sizes in the area, but they also see the possibility of large lots being 7 subdivided into smaller lots. In general and for those reasons specifically, the County 8 doesn't support the downgrading at this time. If this proposal is to go forward, the 9 County would like to see a land use and transportation study for the area so the County 10 could determine if the downgrading would be a good idea. At this point the County does 11 not believe this proposal is a good idea and that Mesilla Hills Drive should not be 12 downgraded to a local street. 13 14 John Knopp was in agreement with Henry Corneles. John stated that the proposal 15 sounded preliminary without a land use and transportation study. 16 17 Henry Magallanez stated that the Mesilla Valley Bosque Park is just south and east 18 from Mesilla Hills Drive and Mesilla Hills is the only access route to the mesa going 19 south. He stated that there has been a study, the Rio Grande Study Corridor, to study 20 new river trails and the only bridge crossing is at Mesilla Dam. Henry agrees with Henry 21 Corneles that there needs to be more research as to what would be the future uses of 22 Mesilla Hills, because there are impacts to the State park. 23 24 Orlando Fierro stated the Committee need to look at the situation where it's easier to 25 downgrade a road versus upgrading a road. There tends to be more public outcry when 26 a road is upgraded. Traffic counts are needed for Mesilla Hills Drive to determine how 27 much traffic flows through the area. He stated a decision at this time would be 28 premature due to the drainage issues (arroyos, etc). 29 30 Debbie Lujan stated that the Town of Mesilla fully supports the reclassification 31 (downgrading) of Mesilla Hills because a lot of residents in the area don't want any 32 change. The Town of Mesilla. 33 34 Joseph De La Rosa stated that what is really being looked at is the examination of the 35 MPO's Major Thoroughfare Plan as a whole and the fact that for Mesilla Hills to be a 36 collector, it would basically have to be connecting within the Major Thoroughfare Plan 37 and the fact that traffic counts are not currently taken on the road is based on the fact 38 that it is functionally classified as a local road and it serves the local residents of the 39 area, and in order for it to become a collector it would have to be outlined in the 40 Thoroughfare Plan to connect to something. Joseph stated that there was public 41 comment at the last TAC meeting and the consensus was that the residents don't want 42 Mesilla Hills to become a collector. He stated that there should be an opportunity or a 43 discussion about whether or not right-of-way would need to be preserved and other 44 issues. He doesn't believe that downgrading the road necessarily prohibits setting 45 aside that right-of-way and planning for an eventual continuation or extension of the 46 road, but it is very hard to imagine that at some point connect something and be the 4 ON I only option for the road to become a collector. The current functional classification and 2 desires of the residents should definitely be taken into consideration. 3 4 Klaus Wittern stated that from Mesilla Hills Drive to Rasaaf Circle is not a publicly 5 dedicated street. It's a private street. He stated there doesn't appear to be any desire 6 on the part of the County to make the street a publicly dedicated street and in light of 7 this, it is Klaus' opinion that it is disingenuous to classify it as a two and a half mile road. 8 The only dedicated streets in Rasaaf Circle are Rasaaf Drive and Mesilla Hills Road 9 from Fairacres to the intersection of Rasaaf Circle and Mesilla Hills Drive on the south 10 end. High Mesa Road and Pajaro Road have a far greater opportunity to be completed 11 in the near term than anything in the Mesilla Hills area, because there is a desire 12 expressed by the Governor to have the road developed as soon as practical. The 13 Governor has marked $500,000 out of his own funds to redesign the intersection at 1-25 14 and US 70, the Jack Rabbit Interchange and that has been dedicated to the City and 15 the City is in the process of attempting to redesign and define what kind of service 16 classification would be required in that area. Mr. Chavez has agreed to reserve by 17 easement rather than by dedication 85 feet of right-of-way. 18 19 Terry Coker asked the County if the right-of-way was preserved would that take care of 20 the issue or not. 21 22 Henry Corneles stated that the County's immediate concern was preservation of future 23 needed right-of-way. 24 25 Terry Coker asked if there was a route to get Mr. Chavez what he wants without having 26 to downgrade the road. 27 28 Tom Murphy stated that the route to do that would have been a waiver to the 29 improvements. Mr. Chavez did dedicate the right-of-way based on the requirements for 30 development along side a collector on the Major Thoroughfare Plan. His request was 31 for the waiving of the actual improvements, not the waiving of the right-of-way 32 dedication. 33 34 Terry Coker asked, if from the County's point of view, if Mr. Chavez was allowed his 35 waiver and the status of the road was kept, would that settle the matter. 36 37 Henry Corneles stated that he couldn't speak to the specific application that Mr. Chavez 38 made because he hasn't reviewed the application and wasn't familiar with it. He stated 39 that he is there to comment on the question on the table which is whether or not to 40 downgrade the road and the County thinks that it looks like a collector, it acts like a 41 collector and should be a collector. It was a designated a collector some time ago by 42 the people in charge at that time for some reason and as far as those kind of exchanges 43 that would have to be some kind of a legal representation between the applicant and the 44 County. 45 5 I Orlando Fierro stated that there are two different issues at hand. One is a subdivision 2 that Mr. Chavez is pursuing in addition to the MPO and what the MPO TAC stands for. 3 He stated that the Committee needed to be clear on what they are trying to vote on and 4 not let a subdivision skew what the MPO TAC stands for. He stated that that issue 5 needs to be addressed at the Community Development ETZ level on what Mr. Chavez' 6 could be and the Committee needs to stick to the MPO TAC's mission statement. 7 8 Mike Bartholomew asked if there was a recommendation? 9 10 Tom Murphy stated that since there appears to be no clear consensus, there is no need 11 to rush into a decision on this matter. He stated that as Mr. Knopp originally suggested, 12 the Committee hold off on any decision on this matter until the Committee knows what 13 happens as far as annexations go. Tom stated that staff could meet with the Town of 14 Mesilla and the County and try to resolve this matter outside of a committee meeting. 15 16 Henry Magallanez motioned to postpone the reclassification of Mesilla Hills Drive. 17 John Knopp seconded the motion. 18 Vote: 10 in favor of postponing — 1 opposed 19 20 3.4 Mesa Grande Realignment 21 22 Representatives from the Sonoma Ranch partnership proposed to the Policy Committee 23 at their September 12 meeting that the alignment of Mesa Grande Drive (a Proposed 24 Principal Arterial) be shifted to the east to not impact the Pat Garrett historical marker 25 and to address terrain concerns. The alignment shift would move Mesa Grande Drive 26 to the east a maximum of 340 feet off the section line. The State Land office owns the 27 property on either side of the existing and the proposed alignment. The Policy 28 Committee has requested that the TAC provide a recommendation on the alignment 29 request. 30 31 This item was discussed at the October TAC meeting. Representatives from the Vistas 32 at Presidio (VAP) were present to speak against the new alignment. 33 34 The following issues were identified: 35 36 1. Ownership 37 2. Historical issues regarding affect on the alignment relative to the Pat Garrett 38 monument 39 3. Cost and feasibility of proposed alignment vs. Major Thoroughfare Plan 40 41 The State Land Office owns the property on both sides of either alignment. Each party 42 has or is in the process of obtaining a business planning lease for property on each side 43 of the future Mesa Grande. 44 45 The applicant has surveyed the location of the Pat Garrett monument and located it 46 within 10 feet of the section line. Representatives from VAP assert that the roadway 6 I can be designed to respect and/or avoid the monument in its current location and gave 2 assurances to the Las Cruces City Council that it would do so. Another possibility is 3 that the monument could be relocated with the concurrence of the State Historical 4 Preservation Office (SHPO). Although this option has not yet been explored, there is 5 precedent from similar incidents. 6 7 The cost and feasibility of the proposed alignment vs. the Major Thoroughfare alignment 8 is unknown. Neither party disputes the feasibility of either alignment. No party has 9 performed any cost analysis for the Major Thoroughfare alignment. The applicant has 10 prepared at cost estimate for their proposed alignment that seeks to minimize costs. 11 Their alignment also seeks to provide the best route for a City of Las Cruces water line 12 within the Mesa Grande alignment. At the time that alignment was developed the 13 business interest of VAP was unknown to the applicant and they believed that only the 14 State Land Office had an interest in the property. 15 16 Relevant 2005 Transportation Plan Policies 17 18 Policy 1.6 of the Thoroughfare Element states: 19 The locations of the corridors on the Major Thoroughfare Plan are preliminary 20 alignments. The final alignments of the corridors are to be set as development 21 occurs and engineering studies determine the most viable route for the roadway. 22 The final alignment of a roadway may be shifted due to changes in topography or 23 the presence of significant features like dams and detention/retention ponds. 24 25 This Policy allows the alignment of a particular thoroughfare to be adjusted without 26 amendment to the Transportation Plan. This policy has been used in lieu of 27 amendments and, therefore, only alignment changes that transfer the burden of ROW 28 dedication and road construction are brought to the Policy Committee. In this instance, 29 the owner of record for all property involved is the State Land Office. 30 31 Policy 3.6 of the Thoroughfare Element states: 32 Street construction or reconstruction should be sensitive to applicable historical 33 guidelines and to the aesthetics and character of adjacent land uses. 34 35 This policy allows for consideration of the Pat Garrett monument as there are historical 36 guidelines for the marker. This allows for a historical feature to be treated as significant 37 under Policy 1.6 along with dams and ponds. 38 39 Conclusion 40 41 The alignment of Mesa Grande Drive is an important issue for the MPO area. However, 42 the alignment shift does not merit an amendment to the 2005 Transportation Plan. 43 Policies exist that allow both interested parties in cooperation with the land owner to 44 develop an alignment that is respectful of historical and topographical concerns. 45 Therefore staff recommends that the proposed resolution for amendment to the 2005 46 Transportation Plan be denied. 7 1 2 Tom Murphy gave a presentation. 3 4 Terry Coker stated that he concurred with staffs recommendation. Terry did a little bit of 5 an investigation of his own. He states that the biggest thing he sees that it is State land 6 on both sides and these people have a right to do what they want to do and given the 7 opposition of some of the other parties, he thinks it is incumbent upon the Committee to 8 deny the realignment. 9 10iaof Magallanez stated that he also did some research and he quoted from Section 11 the State Statutes. He concurred that there should not be a realignment. 12 13 Dr. Gunaji stated that he is aware that the landowners on both sides is the State Land 14 Office. He stated that if the decision of the Committee is that it should be on the section 15 land and the landowner has already taken that position so he has no particular objection 16 to that. He would like to know what the cost would be for that particular alignment. 17 18 Mike Bartholomew asked for a motion for a recommendation on this matter. 19 Terry Coker motioned to deny the realignment and keep the alignment as it is. 20 Henry Magallanez seconded the motion. 21 ALL IN FAVOR. 22 23 3.5 NMDOT Coordinated Public Transit— Human Services Plan 24 25 Beginning in October of 2007, FTA requires that projects funded from Sections 5310, 26 5316 and 5317 programs must be derived from a Coordination Plan. The New Mexico 27 Department of Transportation has developed these six Coordination Plans based on the 28 State's Regional Planning Organizations' boundaries. 29 The New Mexico Department of Transportation is requesting comments from the 30 general public, local governments, Regional Planning Organizations, and transit service 31 providers on the Final Draft Coordinated Public Transit - Human Services 32 Transportation Plans. Comments that were received on the first two chapters of the 33 Coordination Plans in June and July, 2007, have been incorporated into these Final 34 Drafts. 35 Tom Murphy gave a brief presentation. 36 37 Mike Bartholomew stated that the concern that he brought up last time was that just 38 strictly going on the criteria that FTA sets for developing the plan; basically that 39 recipient's shall certify that the plan was developed through a process that included 40 representatives of public, private, and non-profit transportation. Mike stated it wasn't 41 really clear on the private and non-profit; however, he has spoken with the NMDOT 42 about this. Mike stated that he wasn't quite sure if the FTA would approve this plan. 43 But if FTA does approve it, the funding is needed for New Freedoms, JARC, and 5310 44 program funding. Mike stated the NMDOT needs some more involvement with the 45 public and non-profit can be included. 46 8 I Joseph De La Rosa stated that he agreed with Mike. He stated that this was handled 2 out of Santa Fe at the Transit and Rail Burea and was not very well coordinated with the 3 NMDOT districts and other personnel within the DOT itself. Several local governments, 4 local agencies that have mirrored Mike's comments state wide. Joseph stated that it 5 should to FTA and they can return it with their comments and what improvements they 6 feel need to be made. 7 8 Mike asked for a motion on the recommendation for NMDOT Coordinated Public Transit 9 — Human Services Plan. 10 11 Frank Guzman moved. 12 Terry Coker seconded. 13 ALL IN FAVOR 14 15 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS 16 17 4.1 Development Review 18 19 Development review process information was included in Committee members packets 20 for their review. 21 22 5. PUBLIC COMMENTS 23 24 Joseph De La Rosa stated that regarding Item 3.3, which has been postponed, Joseph 25 would like another presentation and to invite Mr. Chavez back before the TAC. Joseph 26 would also like a presentation on the criteria for functional classifications. 27 Classifications of roadways in terms of what is a collector and what improvement would 28 need to be made at Mesilla Hills Drive to actually meet the criteria of a collector. 29 Joseph stated that the current functional classification is a local road and based on the 30 fact that it meets the criteria of a local road. It does not meet the criteria of a collector 31 and again in the plan even though at some point it was identified as a future collector, 32 even applying the current functional classification of collector to it at a point in the future, 33 it doesn't seem like it jives. There is a disconnect there and Joseph provided the 34 information at the last meeting. He stated that perhaps in the next TAC packet, the 35 various actual details of what the classifications of roadways are would be included. 36 37 6. ADJOURNMENT 38 39 Meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m. 40 41 42 ' 43 C irperson 44 9