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02-08-2011WS ON of las Cruces PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION WORK SESSION AGENDA The following work session agenda will be considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico, at a public hearing held on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers located in City Hall at 700 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico. The City of Las Cruces does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, ancestry, serious medical condition, national origin, age, or disability in the provision of services. The City of Las Cruces will make reasonable accommodation for a qualified individual who wishes to attend this meeting. Please notify the City Community Development Department at least 48 hours before the meeting by calling 528-3043 (voice) or 1-800-659-8331 (TTY) if accommodation is necessary. This document can be made available in alternative formats by calling the same numbers listed above. I. CALL TO ORDER Il. APPROVAL OF WORK SESSION MINUTES — February 16, 2010 III. NEW BUSINESS 1. Overview and input on the City's 2011 - 2015 Consolidated Plan and Analysis of Fair Housing Choice (Al). 2. Introduction and input on the proposed Community Planning Blueprint(s) process. IV. ADJOURNMENT I WORK SESSION OF PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION 2 FOR THE 3 CITY OF LAS CRUCES 4 City Council Chambers 5 February 8, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. 6 7 BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: 8 Charles Scholz, Chairman 9 Godfrey Crane, Vice Chair 10 Charles Beard, Secretary 11 Shawn Evans, Member 12 Ray Shipley, Member 13 William Stowe, Member 14 15 BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: 16 Donald Bustos, Member 17 18 STAFF PRESENT: 19 David Weir, AICP 20 David Dollahon, AICP, Neighborhood Services Administrator 21 Cheryl Rodriguez, Develoment Services Administrator 22 Lora Dunlap, Recording Secretary 23 24 I. CALL TO ORDER (6:00 PM) 25 26 Scholz: Good evening and welcome to the Work Session of Planning and Zoning 27 Commission for Tuesday, February 8, 2011. I'm Charlie Scholz, the 28 Chair. I'm going to call this meeting to order... 29 30 11. APPROVAL OF WORK SESSION MINUTES — February 16, 2010 31 32 Scholz: and ask for an approval of the Work Session minutes of February 16, 33 2010.; any additions or corrections gentlemen? 34 35 Stowe: Yes, I found on page three, line nine... 36 37 Scholz: I'm with you. 38 39 Stowe: Near the top of the page, University District Overlay, line nine says 40 municipal code purpose of. I think it should say for the purpose of. 41 42 Scholz: For the purpose, you're absolutely right. 43 44 Stowe: And on page four, line 35; is a sign of change in the new document. 45 46 Scholz: Thank you. 47 48 Stowe: That's it. 1 1 2 Scholz: That's it; anyone else? Okay, I'll entertain a motion to approve the 3 minutes. 4 5 Shipley: I move to approve the minutes of the Special Session of February 16th; is 6 that correct? 7 8 Scholz: Yeah, the work session. 9 10 Shipley: Work session. 11 12 Scholz: Okay, is there a second? 13 14 Crane: Seconded. 15 16 Scholz: Okay, so Shipley moves and Crane seconds. All those in favor, say aye. 17 18 COMMISSIONERS -AYE. 19 20 Scholz: Those opposed, same sign; and abstentions. Do I hear abstentions? 21 22 Unidentified 23 Person: Yes. 24 25 Scholz: Yes, okay; and there actually should be two. 26 27 Stowe: Yes. 28 29 Scholz: Yes, thank you very much because you weren't here yet. We weren't 30 even aware of you. 31 32 Stowe: I wasn't on the committee then. 33 34 Scholz: Thank you gentlemen. 35 36 37 111. NEW BUSINESS 38 39 1. Overview and input on the City's 2011 - 2015 Consolidated Plan and 40 Analysis of Fair Housing Choice (Al). 41 42 Scholz: Okay, let's see, the next item is New Business and Mr. Dollahon is going 43 to kick it off. 44 45 Dollahon: Thanks, Mr. Chairman; David Dollahon, I'm with the Community 46 Development Department. I supervise Neighborhood Services which is 47 actually kind of a misnomer; it's really the federal housing programs that 48 the City manages directly. 2 I We're actually doing something different for the first time. We're 2 actually getting Planning and Zoning Commissioner input on our HUD 3 mandated Consolidated Plan for the first time. It wasn't purposeful in years 4 past, it was a matter of timing and convenience. It is called a 5 Consolidated Plan and I'll go over part of the presentation and then we'll 6 have our consultant, Heidi Aggeler, who's with BBC Research and 7 Consulting out of Denver finish up the last part of it but we're here, actually 8 there's no real serious business for you. We are seeking for input but it 9 can be your personal input or it doesn't have to be that input of the 10 commission on the whole; it's your input as a commissioner and also as a 11 resident of Las Cruces so I'll start with the first part of it. 12 13 David Dollahon gave a Power Point presentation and following are questions and 14 answers throughout the presentation. 15 16 Scholz: Before you continue, will these funds continue to come to us? 17 18 Dollahon: Oh, that's a really interesting question. Let me put it to you this way; as 19 long as we meet the annual requirements and all of the reporting and 20 using the money for the intended purpose and do a consolidated plan and 21 we allocate the money through an annual action plan, we'll keep the 22 money. That's subject to Congress' authorization of the program every 23 year. 24 There's been talk numerous times to do away with the program 25 completely; it never gets past Congress. There is serious talk this year 26 because we're under a federal continuing resolution until at least March 4th 27 that the House and the Senate are both seriously considering eliminating 28 the Community Development Block Grant Program in its entirety. 29 1 can tell you there's a national lobbying campaign going on right now 30 at the political level at cities and county and state governments throughout 31 the United States. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is, the National 32 Association of Cities and the National Municipal Leagues have all weighed 33 in. CDBG is the largest entitlement program in the United States 34 government for municipalities and while there's concern about the deficit 35 and the use of the money and entitlement programs, when it comes down 36 to taking money away and the representatives and senators saying "Oh 37 I'm going to lose $20 million dollars to the State of New Mexico", they start 38 seriously considering, well do I want to be the one that cuts that funding 39 off. I would say right now this is the most serious time in my ten years of 40 doing this that there's ever been talk like this. 41 42 Scholz: Well, that's the reason I asked of course and I know people are looking at 43 the budget and saying, well you know what is this, what do they do and 44 obviously we've been justifying the program and I think we do an honest 45 job of it so you know I'm not concerned about that part but I am concerned 46 about the federal funding. 47 3 I Dollahon: My understanding is CDBG is on the chopping block nationwide. It was 2 $4.02 billion out of the federal government last year which was a slight 3 uptick from the previous year. HOME is not, but also HOME is my 4 smallest dollar amount the City receives between the two programs and 5 it's also the most restricted and so there's good and bad. I like the HOME 6 Program because it's very clear cut as to what you can do with it. CDBG 7 while it gives you a lot of flexibility working through the rules or sometimes 8 the quagmire of rules is a little more difficult but it does give you better 9 flexibility in my opinion. 10 11 Beard: As for per capita on the large city versus medium city or small city, who 12 gets the most money? 13 14 Dollahon: Well, CDBG allocation is made by Congress through a complicated 15 formula that HUD implements each year. I would say the larger you are, 16 the more money you get. For example, we get $1 million of CDBG. The 17 City of Albuquerque for the same period, gets $7 million and the State of 18 New Mexico which has a small cities program that they implement outside 19 of Farmington, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, they get $16 million a 20 year and then Rio Rancho gets I think $400,000.00, so does Farmington. 21 Santa Fe gets about $850,000.00 so there's a clear disparity between 22 Albuquerque and us because we're the second highest as far, not 23 including the state so we get $1 million and Albuquerque gets $7 million 24 so we do the best we can with what little we get. 25 26 Crane: Mr. Chairman; for Las Cruces and Albuquerque, that sounds as if it's 27 strictly proportional in population. Are you saying that for the smaller cities 28 they get more per capita? 29 30 Dollahon: No, it's not straight per capita. There is a complicated formula; they tie in 31 poverty in part of the formula. I've looked at the formula a long time ago 32 but it required a higher degree of calculus than I was qualified for so I just 33 bother too... HUD sends me a letter telling me how much money I get and 34 that's what I work from and I know what Albuquerque and the state gets 35 but Albuquerque gets substantially more every year. They get $7 million, 36 anywhere from... I've seen a low of $4 million to upwards of $7 million for 37 Albuquerque. We get around $1.2 to $1 million dollars a year. It's just the 38 way the numbers crunch and it depends on how much Congress allocates 39 in the budgetary process, then they apply the formula. So our low has 40 been $992,000, our high has been $1.27 million dollars in any one year; 41 you can see in the chart. That's for CDBG which is on top and then we 42 hover between $400,000.00 and $550,000.00 for the HOME Program in 43 any one year. 44 45 Scholz: How does the City manage these programs? Does your funding come out 46 of this? 47 4 I Dollahon: There's an administrative component that's included in that. For the 2 HOME Program it's ten percent which barely gets me one full time 3 employee and then for CDBG, it's twenty percent of the total for 4 administration and I pay for a Public Services staff person, a Homeless 5 Housing person and a Fair Housing person. That's one position; the one 6 person does two things and then I also have a Labor and Environment 7 Compliance person does that and a bunch of other little things to get to a 8 full-time position and then I have a compliance person because you get 9 the government's money, you have to do the government's dance and part 10 of that is ongoing monitoring and compliance, so I have four staff persons 11 there. My secretary and I are paid out of the general fund because they 12 let us manage other grant funded programs too and then I have two Home 13 Rehab staff but their funding doesn't come out of Admin, it comes out of 14 the Home Rehab program so we pay for their salary and operating 15 expenses plus rehabbing the homes so that's how that works. 16 17 Beard: Are we talking only the city or are we talking the county also? 18 19 Dollahon: We're actually only talking to the city because I can only spend my money, 20 this money that comes to Las Cruces, I call it my money but the City's 21 money inside the city limits. There are two state programs; both CDBG 22 and HOME that are managed by state entities or quasi state entities. The 23 state CDBG money goes to the Department of Finance and Administration 24 for New Mexico and then the HOME money for the rest of the state goes 25 to the Mortgage Finance Authority. They can spend their money in the 26 unincorporated areas of Dona Ana County and the likes of Hatch, Mesilla, 27 Sunland Park and now Anthony because they're small cities. 28 1 do know that the county, Dona Ana County, does get... HUD does 29 provide colonias money and now the State of New Mexico provides 30 colonias money statewide. I think there's a $10 million fund statewide for 31 colonias money but I think most of the colonias money that comes from 32 HUD ends up in Dona Ana County. Dona Ana County has 37 colonias 33 within its boundaries and the only counties that are eligible for it are a very 34 small portion of Grant, Hidalgo, Luna and Dona Ana County which are all 35 the counties that are within 150 miles of the Mexican border. I know the 36 ETZ and outside the ETZ, the County spends a lot of money on it trying to 37 improve the colonias through HUD funding sources and the state money. 38 39 Input from Planning and Zoning Commissioners 40 41 Shipley: David, thank you very much that's a very good presentation. I guess the 42 one thing or couple of things that I just noticed and I'm gonna kind of jump 43 around; not going in sequence but on the slide number eight; you had the 44 reduced residential parking requirements to one vehicle per and 1 45 recognize that that low income families don't have lot's of money to buy 46 lots of cars but the one thing that everything we do, we see cars parked in 47 yards, cars parked on streets, etc. and... Some years ago I read a study 48 and my wife did some work when she was working on her master's degree 5 I about low income poverty and schools and that and the one thing that we 2 noticed was that the thing that most low income people pride themselves 3 on is their automobile and if they need two, they'll have two and even if 4 they're not the greatest they'll take pretty good care of them and if they 5 don't they'll put them up on blocks in the front yard and use them for parts, 6 etc. So the bottom line is, that recommendation to me reduces minimum 7 off-street parking requirements to one dwelling, one vehicle per dwelling 8 unit I think is... it creates problems because it's gonna... we're not gonna 9 build, we're not gonna design to the right size to handle the cars that are 10 parked there, the cars that don't work, people working on their cars and 11 that kind of stuff and it just detracts from the neighborhood. 12 The other thing is I think that's very important is education and there 13 are times we talk about choices and the point is that if we don't start 14 teaching people in grade school and earlier that they have got to stay in 15 school, they've gotta do this because if they don't then they're not going to 16 be able to afford to buy a house. It just goes without saying they can have 17 the heart of gold and work like crazy but if they can't get a job because 18 they don't have a fairly good education and they can't read or they can't 19 write or they can't spell, it's gonna detract from what we're trying to do and 20 they're never gonna be able to qualify. And it comes about there's more 21 of an education aspect that needs to be focused on which there was no 22 mention of anything in here about education for that. You know we're 23 trying to put a band aid on the problem now and say there's so many 24 homeless people and we're doing it the reverse order. You've got to start 25 at the front end of the supply chain and work your way back before... to 26 get the results that we're really looking for and I think there needs to be a 27 little more emphasis on education. 28 As far as funding and how you're using the funds, I think that's been 29 fairly well covered and it's done very well. 30 With regards to proactively reducing or increasing the heights in R-4 31 and those kinds of things, I think that goes without saying. I just know from 32 driving around town and looking at various places that no matter what you 33 do, when you start to put commercial into certain areas where it hasn't 34 been there before and it's adjacent to residential, it's gonna be a problem 35 because people are gonna object to that. Sonoma Ranch Boulevard is 36 gonna be the next major area that there are certain commercial parcels 37 along there and people are gonna do that and there are areas that you 38 could do housing with commercial; live-to-work house type housing along 39 those thoroughfares, bus routes and things like that but you're gonna have 40 residents that are gonna fight you tooth and nail about doing that and 41 there's nothing, I mean it's... we've built the wrong things there first to try 42 to include that. We've had talks about inclusionary housing in all 43 neighborhoods and that's been something I said two or three years ago. 1 44 mean we've talked about in our other committees that we had and I don't 45 know when we start to push inclusionary housing upon developers and 46 builders because you can't build areas that are strictly low income in 47 certain areas. We've seen that happen in major cities like Detroit and 48 Atlanta and Chicago and other places and it doesn't work. It doesn't bring 6 I the neighborhoods up, it's gotta be people helping people work together 2 and so you've gotta spread the low-end moderate-income housing 3 throughout neighborhoods and getting developers to do that and you know 4 that's probably the biggest challenge that we have and you can't just throw 5 dollars at it, we've basically got to regulate that because it's very 6 unpopular. I will let somebody else have the floor now and I think if there's 7 something else comes along, triggers another thought, but thank you, it 8 was a very good presentation. 9 10 Beard: I'd just like to make a comment. There's not very much money to do an 11 awful lot of things and unfortunately I don't go into the areas very often to 12 see what needs to be done. I go to the area where it's already been done 13 so I really don't have a good comment as far as... I'm not educated 14 enough to know what it is that needs to be done to tell you the truth so we 15 need the input from those people that know more about what needs to be 16 done. 17 18 Scholz: I was wondering if the City has ever done a, what I would call a rent-to- 19 own project. I recall that in England the... seems to be the council houses 20 that were built after World War II were eventually sold to their inhabitants 21 weren't they and I think it was done during the Thatcher Administration. 1 22 don't know what the price was or what the deal was but could we do 23 something like that in the city? You know like a condo development where 24 people buy in, they rent but the rent goes toward paying their mortgage or 25 investment. My question is, has that been tried and is that a viable 26 solution? 27 28 Dollahon: It is a viable solution and it is allowed. We haven't done it at a condo 29 development stage or what you would look if you're looking at it from the 30 outside, an apartment complex, we haven't done it at that level. We've 31 done lease-to-purchase or lease-to-own through some of our non-profits 32 for homeownership activities, but they've all been single family. It works 33 best for those people who are at the upper end of our income limit that 34 have had poor credit history and so what that lease-to-own period allows 35 is they're cleaning up their credit history and the rent payment that they're 36 making now goes into an escrow account to become their down payment 37 in the future. Tierra del Sol is probably the champion of it and does it 38 better than anybody else. A lot of their programs, however, are still 39 focused on self-help homeownership and they get their clients who 40 contribute time to the construction of their home just like Habitat does. 41 Most I would say over the history of the program the lease-to-own has 42 probably been less than 20 units of all the units that we've created for 43 homeownership which is probably pushing close to 500. 1 think the 44 housing market has changed recently and people's credit is actually 45 getting worse unfortunately, because people are facing some foreclosures 46 or they're defaulting on a great deal of debt because they've lost their jobs 47 or whatever, even here in Las Cruces, so I think we're seeing an uptick in 48 more lease-to-purchases through Tierra del Sol recently. We just did five 7 I houses through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program which is a whole 2 another story which was a special allocation from the state with Tierra del 3 Sol and all five of those were lease-to-purchase/lease-to-own. It just 4 depends on who the developer is, how it's designed and how it's 5 marketed. I can tell you in the past Habitat's had problems with 6 townhouses because they have a common wall and there's a stigmatism 7 that; about is that ownership or not. Some people don't see townhouses 8 as ownership where they have a deed and it's because of that common 9 wall. Habitat has told us that in the past. They're working on it now and 10 they've actually built recently two townhouses because they needed to 11 make it work for a lot and they educated the family and they did a really 12 good job and so there's that stigma associated with townhouses. I would 13 say condo type development is allowed and lease-to-own is clearly 14 allowed; it just depends on the project and where it is, I would say we 15 would want to be doing something where it's mixed income or mixed 16 market where you have half of it market rate units and another half of it, 17 low income and you build the whole thing and you house the low-income 18 first and then you sell the market rate units, but the condo financing is very 19 difficult. Also the banks just don't like it and you have to have a developer 20 who really is in a position, in my opinion, to front the financing on the first 21 one-third of all the units in a condo. They need to personally front the 22 financing or have a mechanism because the banks don't like it until the 23 condo complex is about 50% full. They don't trust the financing on a 24 regular mortgage. That's my experience, but it can work and it's allowed 25 and it's maybe something we need to consider. 26 27 Crane: Regarding what Mr. Beard said, Commissioner Beard, it occurred to me, 28 does the City actively reach out to neighborhood groups to find out what 29 their areas of the neighborhood needs are? The low income areas I'm 30 thinking of. 31 32 Dollahon: Well, that's what the community meetings and public forums are about 33 and that's the reason we sent out 5,600 letters recently, so I'm hoping 34 there's a lot of people up at Sunrise tonight. We do interview key... part of 35 BBC's work over the last two consolidated plan and part of this one, is 36 they do a key person interview and what they do is they interview 37 economic development professionals, lenders, people in affordable 38 housing developments, neighborhood associations that we give them 39 contact persons to and then they also talk to the builders and the realtor 40 industry and from that they get the names of other individuals that might 41 be key person interviewers so they have an extensive list of people to 42 interview. And so if we get the name of a person who represents the 43 neighborhood association, they'll make outreach to them so we do it and a 44 lot of it is by word-of-mouth or reference from one agency they will start 45 talking to that gives us the name of another person that you need to talk 46 to. So, yes we do that, we do it through key person interviews and through 47 the community meetings. 48 8 I Crane: One other point if I may. Commissioner Shipley made an excellent point 2 about education and getting people into the state of mind of which they 3 see that they've got to get serious about their education to have a decent 4 standard of living. I want to vent a little bit as a person who did 10 years of 5 high school teaching about the narrow focus of teenagers which is the age 6 at which a lot of important decisions are made and it is very difficult to 7 belabor them or encourage with the idea that they are laying the 8 foundations for the standard of living they are going to have for the next 50 9 years. The people who have made the personal effort to go to college and 10 stay in, the battles already essentially won because they've decided to 11 make an investment that will say never get them a guarantee of high 12 salary and warm indoor work, but I'm afraid the horse never leaves the 13 barn when it comes to the pressing on the high schools. We did not allow 14 ourselves when I taught and this was in a suburb of EI Paso, to think that 15 any of our students would not go to college and major in engineering but 16 in point-of-fact we know that some of them are gonna disappear before 17 they graduate from high school. So I'm not a cynic, I'm a realist. The 18 difference is very thin I think but... 19 20 Dollahon: Commissioner Crane and Commissioner Shipley, related to that we can 21 do educational efforts using the CDBG funds. We can do home buyer 22 education out of the HOME funds as part of a housing development. I will 23 tell you though that pubic service... the education out of CDBG money is 24 restricted by the public services category on the screen. We can only 25 spend 15%. Our priorities in the past have been on homeless people 26 who... general services for homeless, food for the hungry, victims of 27 domestic violence. One of the categories that we could make a priority is 28 the use of CDBG pubic services money for education. There are pros and 29 cons associated with it and some of it's a little bit restrictive so we'll take 30 that into consideration and we'll look into our opportunities within the 31 community to see if there is something that we can do. One of the areas 32 that were on the screen was education about fair housing and then also 33 some residents and neighborhoods have difficulty accessing credit. I can 34 tell you because of a lack of money from our two programs for CDBG and 35 HOME, we haven't been able to do anything related to helping people 36 access better credit in the low income neighborhoods. We just don't have 37 the funds enough to spread it around. If there was a CDFI, Community 38 Development Financial Institution, or a bank that is chartered for those 39 purposes, it'd be great but we have programs to implement and I don't 40 have time to recruit CDFIs or other activities like that to Las Cruces. But if 41 it's something that you think would... I'm a strong believer that 42 homeownership creates wealth for the low income, it truly does but at the 43 same time I'm also the biggest advocate for the people not everyone 44 should be a homeowner. That is clearly evident in the United States 45 housing market by the way the people who got us there are the bankers 46 and the homeowners; I attribute them equally. So if we need to do 47 education and we want to create wealth I think homeownership is right for 48 some people and it's not right for others and I think accessing credit from 9 I our standpoint is a very serious issue for low-income people; they don't 2 have conventional credit or what they do have credit is very poor when 3 you look at their credit report and so if there's ideas or suggestions that 4 you have to improving that or if you think that's a concern within the 5 community, please let us know. 6 7 Crane: I'm very encouraged that some thought is being given to what I think you 8 called homeowner education. It seems to me several times looking back 9 on the catastrophe that's enveloped virtually the whole developed world in 10 the last three years, that there is nobody who did not have a vested 11 interest in seeing the, I'll say unqualified homeowners, unqualified people 12 buy homes. All the people who could have given advice, realtors, brokers, 13 bankers and so on, had a vested interest in seeing the loan went through 14 and they didn't even get saddled with the bad paper because they sold it 15 higher up the food chain and we know that tax payer has, in part, suffered. 16 If there had been some municipal area agency which could have taken a 17 proactive stance and said "Come to us all ye that are likely to be burdened 18 with bad mortgages, and we will see." We will explain them to you and see 19 if you're getting a good deal and look at the fine print that says what's 20 going to happen two or three years down the road when the interest rate 21 bumps up and you have balloon payments, whatever tricks they got up to. 22 There would be weeping and gnashing of teeth but some people would 23 not have gone into the mess that they got into. 24 25 Dollahon: I will tell you that I've been doing this for ten years now and I can honestly 26 say and if I were a betting man I would actually put money on that we've 27 actually foreclosed on fewer than five percent of all of our clients served. 28 Primarily, because we help them get to that point and there are certain 29 clients that we turn away and say you are not ready or will never be ready 30 to be a homeowner, we need to help you improve your rental situation. We 31 have had foreclosures. Some through our Home Rehab Program and 32 some through our home ownership efforts between, I don't think Habitat 33 has ever had one and I would say that Tierra del Sol has had less than 34 ten. So the programs that we run are much more successful because we 35 go into it with the reality of qualifying the clients and getting them ready 36 and giving them enough subsidy so that they can afford the home. That 37 aside, we can do home buyer education and we can do limited foreclosure 38 education and intervention activities, but I don't know that we have an 39 agency that is in a position to do that specifically and that would have to 40 come out of our CDBG pubic services, but we'll ask around the community 41 and we'll get feedback. Thank you for the idea. 42 43 Beard: I agree with the philosophy a lot. I do know that when the President and 44 the Congress put in the plan to help buy homes, just I guess, it was just a 45 year and a half ago, really didn't help them to buy the home because they 46 still had to come up with the down payment and that's the hard part. Only 47 after they come up with a down payment, started making their payments, 48 they re-filed their previous taxes in order to get that money back and so it 10 I didn't really I don't think, helped them to buy that house to tell you the 2 truth. I think that HUD should help them to buy a house and I'm glad 3 you're discriminating on who qualifies and who doesn't. I'm glad you're 4 helping the people to get out of the rental type problems too, that's a big 5 step. 6 7 Dollahon: Thanks. We don't discriminate; I will say that we're highly involved and we 8 educate people and we point out the realities of the situation, so whoever 9 needs assistance from us will get it. It may not be the answer that they 10 want or the answer that they like and they may not be eligible for our 11 programs, but I want to reiterate we do not discriminate and that's why we 12 ask the fair housing question. 13 14 Scholz: I wanted to make one comment and I'm not sure how this would work. 15 Since Commissioner Crane was talking about the lack of foresight that 16 teenagers have, I remember being a teenager and lacking considerable 17 foresight, but is it possible to get teenagers involved in something like the 18 public services projects on a summer basis or something like that? 19 20 Dollahon: We have funded programs that involve the youth; we have proposals. 21 Currently our public services funding is managed through a staff person 22 that's dedicated to that which you have a counterpart committee called the 23 Health and Human Services Advisory Committee who reports to the City 24 Council and they make a recommendation on those public services. 25 Those applications are done on a competitive basis so it depends on the 26 agencies that are out there that need funding to operate a program that 27 provides a service to the community. We don't actively recruit agencies or 28 allocate funding along that basis, but we have imposed certain restrictions 29 on certain activities that priority is given to either youth activities or that 30 have a youth component to it so that is something that we could do, we 31 could look at a priority... that could be a priority for the upcoming 32 Consolidated Plan that we want to focus on youth activities or specifically 33 youth education activities and that could be financial literacy, 34 homeownership or civic involvement, for that matter, so we could look at 35 that as well. So those are opportunities that are available to us. I would 36 say Commissioner, that we would have to do it, that's one of our priorities, 37 how whether we're actually able to have an agency that will do and will 38 pursue that funding and can meet the needs of the community and meet 39 the requirements of the CBDG program, that's a completely different story. 40 41 Scholz: I'm thinking of Job Corp., Youth Corp., that kind of thing rather than you 42 know... not make work for people and certainly not my concept of 43 activities is you know having ball games and things like that. No, I'm 44 talking about getting them to work and getting them to understand what's 45 involved in maintaining a building or working with people or something like 46 this. 47 11 I Stowe: I'm looking at the code enforcement. What do you do or how do you 2 interface with the existing code enforcement of the city? 3 4 Dollahon: The Neighborhood Services Section of the City doesn't have any 5 involvement, direct involvement with Codes Enforcement, right now. The 6 City has a Codes Enforcement Department that's part of the Police 7 Department. They're funded out of the City's general fund; every taxpayer 8 pays for them. They are assigned to districts; they work more I would say, 9 with Development Services, Cheryl's section, and the Building and 10 Permitting Section and maybe even Economic Development for violation 11 of the zoning code, the building code or the business registration or 12 business licensing requirement. And then there's also 30-some-odd 13 chapters of the municipal code that they enforce related to weeds, 14 inoperable vehicles and the like. Our efforts are when they call about fair 15 housing issues or overcrowding issues. We do not have an occupancy 16 standard in Las Cruces. Under the fair housing laws we could, be we do 17 not. There are minimum square footage requirements under the building 18 code based on building type but we do not have occupancy standards. 19 That has been a purposeful decision because it's an enforcement 20 nightmare and that's my opinion; I would see that as an enforcement 21 nightmare. There is also a very, very fine line as to being discriminatory in 22 occupancy standards. It's not purposeful but I could see that some people 23 would inadvertently discriminate against people because of the occupancy 24 standard and it has to do mostly with a familiar status situation. Families 25 with a large number of children would be my situation so I am not an 26 advocate for occupancy standards and I jump on and off that band wagon 27 numerous times and I might be changing my tune in the near future but 1 28 have concerns from a fair housing standpoint related to occupancy. 29 Overcrowding does occur, there are overcrowded situations. Some of 30 them related to college students, some of them related to families, some 31 related with a bunch of employees that don't make much money, living 32 together. I don't want to go there but it's a tough issue. Our issue is 33 advising our Codes Enforcement office as to when to be very careful on 34 fair housing discrimination issues. 35 36 Stowe: I agree with you, it's a tricky line to walk but it's how the neighborhoods 37 maintain their look and their feel and their ambience and you might be 38 able to get more community acceptance if the codes will be enforced so 39 that the look and the feel of neighborhoods is maintained. Thank you. 40 41 Crane: I want to make a pitch for the rehabilitation of the word discriminate. It is 42 of course obscene for somebody to be discriminated against for housing 43 on a basis of their ancestry. It is however quite appropriate to discriminate 44 against them because they can't pay the... come up with the first and last 45 month's rent and all that. We all discriminate in our private lives between 46 good beer and bad beer or what have you. I would like to see us face up 47 to the fact that certain types of discrimination are completely rational and 48 fair. I'm intrigued by this on slide 10. Number one, Las Cruces residents 12 I do nothing when they experience discrimination. What discrimination are 2 we talking about? 3 4 Dollahon: Commissioner Crane, that's specifically related to fair housing and this 5 was based on an assessment we did in 2006. These are the current four 6 impediments that were identified in 2006. That does not mean that, 7 because we are updating the A.I. now, and these may change but it was 8 specific to fair housing or housing discrimination. That was the opinion of 9 the community that Las Cruces residents who actually experienced 10 housing discrimination, did nothing about it; that's what that statement 11 says and it could be related to the fact of lack of enforcement opportunities 12 or lack of education and understanding that they were being discriminated 13 against. Because some people, it's a civil issue, it's a landlord-tenant 14 issue and then there's fair housing issues and we've seen examples of 15 both. 16 17 Crane: It narrows this down as to the nature of the discrimination? 18 19 Dollahon: Yes; most of the discrimination was in the rental housing component for 20 people who were families with children or persons who were disabled. 21 That's the majority of our housing discrimination. 22 23 Crane: I would agree that that would be unfair discrimination. 24 25 Dollahon: I will give you an example that we recently went through. We had a person 26 who was moving into a mobile home in a mobile home park. She had 27 custodial rights to her grandchildren and she was going to rent both the 28 mobile home and the mobile home space from the park owner and the 29 park owner said I'll rent you that mobile home as long as you don't let your 30 two grand kids play outside in the yard. That is housing discrimination in 31 its finest. 32 33 Crane: Agreed, and so we're talking about things like that and not something 34 rational such as you don't have a job, I can't rent to you. 35 36 Dollahon: That is fully legitimate. Credit, background and income, or lack of income, 37 you're not required to rent to someone because of those issues. 38 39 Evans: I commend you on your presentation and just looking at the numbers you 40 know we have $1.6 million to service a community that's 65,000 to 70,000; 41 1 don't know what the population is. 42 43 Dollahon: Officially, I would say we are probably going to be at the 95,000 come the 44 April census release and I would say that we're around 40% of them are 45 low income. 46 47 Evans: Right and so the average income in New Mexico is about $30,000.00 or 48 so and I couldn't speculate on where it is in Las Cruces but again, that's 13 I not a lot of money for a family to survive on so I like the ideas of education 2 to help stem the tide you know to get the curve going back the other way 3 although I don't see that there's a lot of money in your budget to do a lot of 4 that type of thing. And I could really envision the needs are somewhat 5 overwhelming given the limited budget that you have. 6 7 2. Introduction and input on the proposed Community Planning 8 Blueprint(s) process. 9 10 David Dollahon presented the Community Planning Blueprint and following are 11 questions/comments from the Commissioners. 12 13 Scholz: When I read this the other day I was thinking, okay in District Six, Sharon 14 Thomas has pushed the neighborhood association idea and as a matter of 15 fact there have been several neighborhood associations established and 1 16 think they're worth while and working on specific problems and so on and 17 some of them have evolved sort of by accident. There was you know, 18 some people complained about a housing problem or development 19 problem or something like this and so they got together with their 20 neighbors and decided to do something about it and formed an 21 association. In other cases, they in a sense, they've been kind of recruited 22 but how does one define a neighborhood? You know I can talk about my 23 neighborhood in Chicago but I realize that it was based primarily on a 24 school district you know an elementary school and the boundaries of the 25 elementary school were roughly the boundaries of the neighborhood, at 26 least as we considered it when we were growing up. Now how do we do 27 that in someplace like Las Cruces? 28 29 Dollahon: There are certain neighborhoods that have clear boundaries. High Range 30 for example comes to mind; the Mesquite neighborhood comes to mind 31 because they have a nonprofit association that created their neighborhood 32 association. You can do it any myriad of ways and the neighborhood 33 association laws, probably Councillor Thomas can tell you, the laws for 34 creating a neighborhood association in New Mexico are very nondescript, 35 nonexistent almost, is how I'd describe it. And so from our standpoint we 36 don't really have any preconceived notion of what makes a neighborhood 37 as it relates to the Community Planning Blueprint. As we go through the 38 charrette and input process, we would let them define what is their 39 neighborhood or the boundary. We could go out and canvas the 40 neighborhood and then a 100 people hopefully would show up and they 41 would say, "Well include this but don't include this." We would let them 42 define the boundaries; it could be all of the properties fronting Picacho or it 43 could be all of the properties that go from Hadley to McClure between the 44 railroad tracks and Valley. So we would let them define it themselves and 45 so we have from our preliminary list, we have I think 14 or 16 potential 46 areas that we're looking at but defined boundaries, we have none. We've 47 even debated Picacho internally as, if you did one for Picacho, how would 48 you break it up? Because there's some very distinct sections in that 14 I corridor so we don't really care and that's for the neighborhood or the 2 public to say. 3 4 Weir: If I might just elaborate a little bit. This idea kind of came a couple of 5 reasons. A lot of times issues might have affected a particular part of town 6 and we really didn't have a good mechanism to be able to get in there and 7 deal with it quickly or to address the people's needs; try to come up with 8 some kind of planning document. The closest thing we have is our overlay 9 zones and I think the minimum time we've ever done; it takes us to 10 develop and actually get ordinances developed is about a two-year time 11 period. So the idea was that if an issue came up that affected a particular 12 geographic area in the community, that they could bring that to staffs 13 attention. Staff could then I guess energize, they could try to find, we 14 talked about neighborhoods, is this particular issue, how far out are people 15 affected by it. We could try to do some type of public notice, get them to 16 come in and state their issues; what's important to them, what do they 17 think the City needs to address or to facilitate so we could do some 18 preliminary information on that. We could get the input from them and we 19 could try to address it within the bounds of what the City could do and the 20 hope would be that we could do that within a, my hope was initially a 21 three-to six-month time period. I'm sure it would be longer than that but it's 22 a mechanism where we could get out. We could get input from people, we 23 could have a product, and there could be some ownership in it. They 24 would have some say in what they'd like to see and then it would also 25 provide you with if there were like a zone change or development to take 26 place, you would already have some of the background on what the 27 issues to that neighborhood would be, what's important to them and 28 maybe it would stop, not necessarily stop, but allow more informed 29 decision as to what's important and what needs to be reviewed with the 30 development; provide a little additional direction. 31 Do a couple of things; identify those issues and then also get a product 32 out faster and so it's not a two-or three-year period. You know we get a lot 33 of criticism that we'd like to see something. The other thing that I think 34 from your perspective, you see zone changes, you see variances, you see 35 subdivisions, really your hands are pretty tied by the ordinances as to 36 what to do. This is something where you would be on the front end of 37 potential product and you could actually do planning. I remember years 38 ago one of the Planning Commissioners that was in your seat, we used to 39 do site tours and he came to me, and said: "Okay David, it's planning and 40 zoning, when do we get to planning; all we're doing is zoning." So this is 41 an effort where it's something we think we could take off in bites, it's 42 something that you could turn around, have ownership on and be able to 43 provide also. 44 45 Scholz: Well, I think it's a good idea and I really like the way it's laid out and I think 46 you know a quick turnaround, a quick study in a sense, not as we did with 47 the Alameda District. Good grief, that took us three years, five years? Ten 48 years, well ten years total I guess from its initiation and it took us at least a 15 I year haggling to finally get it going. I agree a fast turnaround is valuable 2 and 1 like the idea of involving us in this process. In fact, what I've seen in 3 the I guess five years I've been on Planning and Zoning now, is that 4 there's been increased involvement. That is you brought us more 5 information each time and we definitely appreciate that because we can't 6 know the city like you do but these would be good education things. 7 8 Shipley: Some recommendations that I had; was number one, and this is... one is 9 going to be the administrative thing first. Please the next time you do a 10 draft, leave some space at the top and the bottom of the page and put the 11 draft up there so that we can read the thing because I had to sit down 12 basically with a microscope, magnifying glass to try to figure out whether 13 comparable or compatible because the draft is written over the top of it 14 and you can't see. I had to go back and read the plan intent about five or 15 six times and it's not clear and what I'm trying to say is it sounds like what 16 we're trying to do is we're trying to now let little groups delegate what they 17 want to do in their area which differentiates from what the code is. If the 18 code is there for all the people that have R-1 a housing you know that 19 ought to be the same. If they've got an issue with their neighborhood, 20 they're not getting adequate water, waste water, electric, and sewer 21 something's not working, the curbs and gutters are not in, they should 22 bring that up to the City and we can go through that but if you start 23 creating little groups that say well I want to have this look over here and 1 24 want palm trees and I don't want palm trees, that's something that 25 neighbors can do as long as it's within the code. If we're gonna make little 26 planning groups that say well our little group gets to do it this way and our 27 little group gets to do it that way, then we've destroyed what you've got as 28 far as code and how does the codes go out and administer? How do they 29 follow through and say well we can't... these people, they voted to do it 30 this way and these people are doing it this way so how do we enforce in 31 other words? 32 33 Weir: These are planning documents so they're not ordinance, I mean they 34 wouldn't be enforceable and so I don't think the intent was really to get to 35 the detail of building colors or anything like that. I think it's maybe a 36 particular issue where a neighborhood had a lot of people speeding 37 through it so they say what can the City do? So we can ask our traffic 38 engineers to come and they say well we could modify and have bump- 39 outs in the road and these things so there would be actions to deal with it. 40 41 Shipley: But doesn't the code allow them to do that now? 42 43 Weir: It does but this would be if it... well I'll back up another step; the Sonoma 44 Ranch area you talked about. The way the Comp Plan reads and when we 45 do master plans you're required to incorporate commercial areas within 46 that but commercial usually follows development of residential so you've 47 got all these houses and you've got these vacant tracts and so we have 48 neighborhoods that they realize that now there can be a commercial 16 I business behind their tract. And so this would be a mechanism you could 2 say well the people that own that property have a vested right to develop it 3 as commercial but when they do the site design there are probably things 4 they can to do mitigate your use. You know they could either push the 5 building footprint up towards the street or they could provide a buffer or 6 they could put up a fence. So those are the types of issues that would 7 need to be identified in here. The intent is not to take away anybody's 8 property right or to empower somebody to have I guess more influence or 9 whatever. It's really to look at those development issues that you see 10 every time a zone change comes in or something along that nature; where 11 the curb cuts need to be located or there's a particular drainage issue in 12 this issue, you know what type of... how would you like that to be 13 addressed? Is it large enough that you may be able to put a detention 14 pond in with some park space or, I'm trying to think of some examples, 15 and we didn't really put a geographic boundary on it. The other thing that it 16 could be is that there is a large vacant tract in a neighborhood and they 17 want some influence on what's important to them as that develops. This 18 could you know we would want streets to connect or we wouldn't want 19 streets to connect, how would you address that? What type of transition 20 and uses would be desirable so like when a developer comes in to have 21 his vacant tract it's zoned R1, are there any other issues that we should 22 be aware of. We could take out this four to five years well yes we've 23 already been out in that neighborhood and this is what the neighborhood's 24 identified what's important to them. You design your streets, don't make it 25 a straight shot so that they're going 50 mph when they enter my 26 neighborhood or we would like to see ponding away from... you know I'm 27 just kind of free-floating some ideas. Just kind of get a jump on what would 28 be an issue for that particular area. 29 30 Stowe: I just have a point of information. What is a charrette; I'm not familiar with 31 it. 32 33 Dollahon: There's an actual National Charrette Institute; it is a public involvement 34 process that allows people to come together and you actually go through a 35 design or input process and it's mostly used for design purposes and you 36 actually lead them through the design process so they may be looking at a 37 parcel or a neighborhood and you lead them through it. We've done 38 charrettes on the downtown facilities for the La Placita and the Plaza that's 39 in front of the Rio Grande Theater. We actually had consultants that lead 40 the public through a design process so it's a way of gathering input but it is 41 a formal process known as "charrette." 42 43 Shipley: We also did charrettes when we did the General Plan. We sat down with 44 the people of the city and went through the entire city and had them come 45 out and we said what character do you want the city to be? Do you want it 46 to be modern, do you want it to be agricultural heritage more and we went 47 through and what type of buildings do you want to see and those kinds of 48 things and it took almost two years to do the General Plan because of the 17 I fact that we had so many meetings and they did literally went in and put 2 types of pictures up, I mean hundreds of pictures and you could select, 3 pull and paste and move them around and say what you wanted to do. It is 4 a great thing to get the community involved in coming up with a theme and 5 the way you want to go and it works very well. 6 7 Crane: On of the things that struck me about this is, is that it's another layer of, to 8 use a vicious word, complexity in the planning process. What is missing at 9 present that this aims to rectify and how is this Community Planning 10 Blueprint solicitation process going to be initiated? Is the City going to 11 publish a call for proposals for example, something like that? And if so, 12 what happens if a number of conflicting organizations create themselves 13 in a neighborhood, lets say South Melendrez Street, but with definitions of 14 the neighborhood varying from one little group to another and not agreeing 15 on what they want. Since there's no force of law in this, I can envision 16 some rather nasty meetings; can you elucidate? 17 18 Dollahon: Yes, Commissioner there could be potential negative meetings. I think our 19 intent here more so than anything is to get community input or 20 neighborhood input and do it quickly and not in the form of an overlay 21 zone. Some people are big fans of overlay zones, some people aren't but 22 it is an arduous process both for the University District, Alameda is the 23 case study in what an overlay zone can take you through and a planning 24 process so you can take you through. I would say it's a time saving issue 25 while hearing from the neighbors or the residents about what they would 26 like to see within their neighborhood; that's what I see it and it's 27 addressing the issues that they feel are important to them. More times 28 than not I've been in planning meetings where the only ones that showed 29 up were the planners and we were directed to do so and so it's intended to 30 get the public involved. As for the outreach, Commissioner, that is still an 31 experiment in the works. I think what we would do is we would do 32 postcards inviting people to public meetings or public events within close 33 proximity to the areas that we think would be the neighborhood or the 34 boundaries and then get them out and let them tell us, "Oh you know you 35 need to invite these people or what were your boundaries, what were.. Oh 36 you left these people out or you need to expand them or you need 37 contract them and these are the issues." Our intent is to do outreach any 38 way, shape or form. We'd probably run ads in the newspaper, we'd 39 probably do direct mailings whether it's a postcard or a letter. We may do 40 door hangers; we haven't really decided on that, it's something that we 41 have to work out. 42 43 Weir: If I might add... In addition, the City received that EI Paseo EPA Smart 44 Grant and one of the key components of it was how to solicit public 45 participation and involvement in the planning process. The product from 46 that is to be a toolbox of various public input methods that could be 47 utilized. So again, this is seen as a tool to actually implement and use 48 information that comes from that grant. A couple of points on your, about 18 I difference of opinions; would you like to hear it in this process where 2 there's not something that you're in a position that you have to make a 3 decision that night or would like to have some forethought on it 4 beforehand as a case. I think the desire is that you could flush out some 5 of these issues and the City could provide more direction to somebody 6 that wants to do a development on a property so if you were to see a 7 variance or if you were to see a zone change in that area you'd know what 8 some of the issues are and you'd have some additional guidance that you 9 would have in that area. 10 11 Crane: I'm glad Mr. Dollahon brought up the Alameda area plan because it helps 12 to have a concrete example in mind. If what's proposed here had been in 13 effect say five years ago, how would that have meshed with what did in 14 fact come about which is that there were two neighborhood associations 15 for want of a better term, each of which had different ideas on how that 16 neighborhood should be regulated and they had to sit down together and 17 thrash it all out I think before the City got involved. How, if we go back let's 18 say ten years, before anybody cared about that area and the City had 19 decided you know that's a nice old area there, we should get some public 20 input. How would the City have proceeded? 21 22 Dollahon: Commissioner Crane, I think what would have happened is that you would 23 have probably seen a smaller defined area with a little more focus 24 because we probably would of, in my opinion, probably excluded certain 25 areas and I think we would have narrowed it down to some key issues. My 26 recollection and I've been through Alameda and tried to observe it from 27 afar more so than anything else on that planning process, is that there 28 were difference of opinions and some people wanted a great deal of 29 control and assurances that historic structures were going to be 30 preserved. And then there were others who were their neighbors, their 31 direct neighbors, who wanted the right to do whatever they wanted and 32 however it looked and however it turned out was their business. I think 33 what would have happened is we would have said, "Okay we're either not 34 doing this," or we would have ended up with smaller areas and more 35 focused on specific issues. That's my opinion but seldom wrong and often 36 in doubt. 37 38 Crane: So under this process the City would be the initiator, the City Community 39 Planning, your department or something, would say there's something 40 sitting out there we'd like to see develop an identity for itself as a 41 neighborhood because presumably the people haven't come to the City 42 and said let us bring you things, or have they? 43 44 Dollahon: We've had some requests from certain Councilors and certain residents 45 for something like this, for certain neighborhoods but that is what we have 46 to work through as far as developing a priority list and Council adopting a 47 priority list of what neighborhoods do we start with and we could end up 48 with a situation where we create a priority list, Council adopts it and we go 19 1 to the first neighborhood and they say we want you to go away and we 2 don't want anything to change. From our standpoint, from a planner 3 standpoint, if we got the public to tell us to leave them alone, I think we'd 4 be ecstatic because... 5 6 Crane: How do you decide whether you go away? It's got to be unanimous? No, 7 so you'll have some people want and think it's a great idea the City just 8 had and others say "Heck No, City stay out." Now 9 you've picked a hornet's nest; everything was nice before. 10 11 Dollahon: Welcome to the world of planning. 12 13 Scholz: Commissioner Crane, I have a comment about that. In terms of public 14 participation, democracy is messy as we know and it probably is 15 intentionally that way to keep terrible things from happening. But I'm not 16 afraid of competing viewpoints, I don't think that's a bad thing. As a matter 17 of fact, I think it probably helps us create not only compromise but 18 progress because we get ideas from opposing viewpoints and we say, "Oh 19 well I never thought of that you know, that's not something I would have 20 been involved in. " 21 The other thing I'm concerned with that I think this will address and 22 help us is what we call visioning. I'm on the 2040 Commission and as Paul 23 can attest, one of the problems we've had in reaching the public with the, 24 oh I don't know, the plan as it came out a couple of years ago, was the 25 vision. They didn't see it the way we saw it and the reason they didn't see 26 it the way we saw it is because we didn't present in a sense in a vision. 27 We gave them a document to read and I think this process of visioning 28 through small community groups or whatever is going to be very valuable. 29 1 don't think it's going to be a negative thing at all and as a matter of fact if, 30 as I said, opposing viewpoints come up, well that's good, that gives us 31 more to work with. 32 33 Crane: Well I'm concerned, Mr. Chairman that we may be creating contention. 1 34 agree with what you say about the open market on ideas but I rather feel 35 that has to come from the people; it has to be a grassroots initiative. When 36 the City goes in and says we think that this can all be made better, what 37 comes to my mind is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the people in the 38 neighborhood do not in their inefficient way feel like getting together and 39 going to the City and saying we need to improve this neighborhood in 40 certain ways, I'm not absolutely convinced that the City coming in and 41 saying we think you can be improved is the way to go. 42 43 Evans: So after listening to this discussion for a few minutes, I am actually a huge 44 proponent of getting the community's involvement and getting it early on 45 and I think having a vehicle for people to get involved is a good thing and 1 46 think it may help... it's been my experience most people are generally 47 pretty reasonable. Those people need to be getting involved in the 48 process and not sitting back on they haunches when some of these things 20 I are being tabled before the Commission and a lot of the times we get 2 more of the extreme positions that rise to the top, which isn't 3 representative of the entire community, and so I think having an 4 organization where people don't necessarily have to come to the meetings 5 but can still have a voice to potentially temper some of those other 6 opinions, I think is a valuable tool, not only for us in making the decisions 7 but really, really doing what's best for the community overall; that's 8 number one. 9 Number two, is going back to the previous, you know, getting the 10 community involvement and going out to our previous topic of discussion 11 was you know having these meetings at the various places to get the 12 public's input and where we only had the $1.6 million to allocate in getting 13 the most bang for the buck down at the grassroots level is I think is what 14 we kind of talked about here is a good thing. So I think community 15 involvement is ultimately the best, I think it's going to be somewhat 16 tumultuous at times. You may have opposing positions but I think that's 17 where the best decisions can potentially rise to the top. 18 19 Scholz: If I could just hitchhike on that. My wife has sometimes watched me on 20 Planning and Zoning and she says you know people don't have any other 21 place to vent do they and I thought well that's really true, they don't. We 22 had this decision about a child care facility and the people came in and 23 complained about the traffic on the street. It had nothing to do with the 24 rezoning of the child care facility; it was a community problem but the only 25 place they could say this was here and it was a legitimate problem. It 26 wasn't one we could solve, but if there is no other opportunity for them to 27 vent you know, I mean to tell us about their problems then it's gonna end 28 up on our laps or it's gonna end up in City Council and they're even less 29 well equipped to deal with that sort of thing. 30 31 Shipley: I agree with Commissioner Evans approach. I guess what I would say 32 about this document and when I got this three page document obviously 1 33 read it very thoroughly; I read it about three times. I would encourage you 34 to go back and look at it grammatically because there are lots of double 35 that that's and ands, and intents and that make it you know not... and 1 36 would advise you also to go back and look at your first paragraph, 37 paragraph A and make it more... make it say visioning. Make it tell what 38 you're trying to do here because what I really got from it was engage the 39 public. The only way the public gets engaged here for planning is when 40 there's a problem. There has to be a developer that's gonna put up some 41 horrendous obstacle in their back yard and then they come out and they 42 vent. They don't come here to do a plan because they're too busy. They 43 work and we don't do any planning at night, we do it during the day. We 44 hold our City Council meetings during the day and so nobody comes 45 because the City Council is not available to the citizens in the evenings. 1 46 came from a city where the city council meetings were held at seven 47 o'clock at night and they were held twice a month or whatever but the 48 point is that was because the people that worked during the day had a 21 1 chance to come out and participate and be a part of that. Now, who 2 decides what the problem is; the City staff, the citizens? Because what I'm 3 saying is, you're saying there should be three a year at the most. Well 4 there may be 50 neighborhoods out there or 50 little groups that decide 5 that they've got a problem that the street's too narrow or there's too much 6 traffic or whatever and that's the problem, is who's gonna make this 7 decision and say we're gonna take your problem but we're not taking 8 yours. Because when you start doing that then you have this alienation 9 factor and then this plan will fail so if we're gonna do it let's think about 10 what we're trying to do. I read this thing over again, this is "engage the 11 general public and for community residents to prescribe how they would 12 like their community or their area or their neighborhood or corridor to be 13 planned." Most of these things are already planned, we're not going back 14 through and putting a freeway through the middle of a neighborhood so 15 they got a chance to say oh gosh we're gonna have to put up R-4 and R-3 16 and C-2 and that. They're in place so what this thing is going to do is it's 17 gonna say all you people that have a problem and haven't had a place to 18 vent, here you go and I don't think that's what you're really trying to do in 19 planning. You're trying to say if we're gonna look at an area then let's say 20 that in our planning process that we're going to do a plan of this corridor or 21 this area and we want to do a visioning project doing that and we're gonna 22 use a blueprint to try to help the citizens participate in doing that and have 23 charrettes or have meetings or fact finding things and do that but I think if 24 we're gonna do something that where we're gonna decide which areas we 25 want to focus on that's not the thing. The staff already has the capability 26 to say we got lousy roads on Roadrunner or we've got lousy roads over on 27 Valley and we got too much traffic so how do we alleviate that? That's the 28 job of the staff to do that now. The point I'm trying to make is this, if you're 29 going to create something to engage the public, remember that you're 30 going to engage them because there's problem because if there's not a 31 problem they're not going to come out and do it and if you create a 32 problem for them to get them to come out to tell you something, it is worse 33 than hornets, you will never hear the end of it. 34 35 Rodriguez: Mr. Chairman, if I may. Some of the questions of concern like what areas 36 are we gonna focus on and it is whether or not staff is going to go in there 37 and say these are the problems in your neighborhood, that is not the intent 38 at all. The Comprehensive Plan in that area already identifies target areas 39 that would need to be potentially looked at in a more detailed analysis that 40 you would see these level four plans be born out of. There's a list already 41 identified in the Comp Plan so basically we've taken that list and then over 42 the years we've gotten feedback from members of the public, from Council 43 and then we'll add on. We're gonna take that list and we're gonna come 44 back to you and then to Council and you're gonna help prioritize that list 45 because staff can't go out and target all of these neighborhoods, this list 46 like David said, there's probably about 14 to 16 of them already. We can't 47 do that all now in 2011 but what you and Council can help us do is help 48 prioritize those areas and say okay these are the top three that we want 22 I you to start to go into so we can go into that community. Then we'll notify 2 the residents in a very general way that we're having these charrettes and 3 then it's not us telling them these are the problems we think, we want to 4 hear from them at a time and then this will be born and then that 5 document will start to rise from that process and then we'll come back with 6 that document; back to P&Z and back to Council saying okay you've 7 prioritized the area, I'm just going to go ahead and pick on Picacho and 8 let's say Picacho is priority area number one for staff. So we've gone out 9 there, we've engaged that corridor, the people, and the residents within 10 there. Business owners, property owners, whomever and so we start to 11 get this foundation for this blueprint and it's very general because it's later 12 gonna be like a springboard for a true level four plan so it could 13 springboard into what we see as the University District Plan, the Alameda 14 Plan, the Mesquite Plan. But this is just like it's in its infant stage for us 15 and then it helps us prioritize further planning projects down the road but 16 when we go out there and we engage the public, we engage those 17 property owners, the business owners who are working there. They help 18 prioritize their needs and it may be land use related, it may be from a 19 capital improvement project related. There may be some social issues in 20 that neighborhood that they want dealt with; crime prevention, etc.; that 21 might be something, a neighborhood watch program may be their only 22 need. But it helps us and then we'll come back and take that blueprint, 23 we'll come back and P&Z, the Commissioners then would endorse it with 24 a recommendation for approval or whatnot up to City Council and then 25 that's how that plan gets enacted and then if there's any... if that blueprint 26 does have land use related items or whatnot that would need to be taken 27 into consideration for a zone change, then when if you're changing your 28 zoning from let's say R-3 to C-2 or C-3 or something then that document 29 can say look this is... it's not an ordinance, it's not law so we can't enforce 30 it, but it can have an influence on how staff's gonna review that 31 development application and then it influence how P&Z may make a 32 recommendation for action on future land use related decisions. 33 34 Shipley: Cheryl, when you said Picacho, are we talking from Picacho from Main to 35 Valley? Are we talking from Picacho to Main to the river? What are we 36 talking about? This needs to say, what are we talking about, what's our 37 scope here? Are we talking about a little three-block area? Are we talking 38 about, you know it says a corridor but you know. 39 40 Rodriguez: Mr. Chairman and Commissioner Shipley, I stated Picacho and you know 41 Picacho, it could be from Main Street to the city limits because there are 42 distinct areas and characteristics in different block groups along Picacho. 43 The same could be taken with Solano as well, are you going to take 44 Solano from North Main to University? That's something that we're gonna 45 have to look at and break it down because staff has to break it down so 46 we can have it in manageable bite size pieces as well. But when we say 47 Picacho we're not gonna say... if we're gonna say Picacho, staffs gonna 48 go out there and say well we know it's from here to here, we'll go out to 23 I the public and it may be very broad initially and then we may be able to 2 fine tune it and then that blueprint may be several blueprints that get born 3 out of that. We don't know yet but we have to put something on paper, get 4 out there, engage and then see what gets born out of that. 5 6 Beard: I think each one of these areas sort of have to be looked at individually. 7 When you look at the Alameda, that's mostly the people in the Alameda 8 area that were affected and the rest of the city, I think was mostly out of it 9 but if you look at the University Overlay, that area, I think you look at the 10 whole city has got to be involved in that because it's a city thing and City 11 wants to be proud of that whole area so I think you have to look at the 12 areas differently. One of the things about when you get involved with a, 13 like the downtown mall area, a few people had some ideas and they were 14 very vocal with those ideas and those sort of became what was going to 15 happen there. Was it Steve Newby, the group that you were talking about 16 when they were planning that? It was? Yeah, I attended that and that was 17 almost one-sided. I mean people outside could not voice their opinions on 18 that particular thing there. One of the things I would recommend 19 regardless of what area you go into and what you're gonna do, is to put 20 together a very thoughtful survey to the people that are going to be 21 involved. Everybody puts down their own ideas and one person cannot be 22 vocal on it now and get a good summary of what people are thinking or 23 not thinking before you have a public discussion and then you can present 24 the facts that we have 60% of the people that really would like to do this 25 particular item as opposed to two percent of the people wanting to do an 26 item and sort of overruling a public discussion so I recommend looking at 27 the areas differently. I highly recommend the survey, a very thoughtful 28 survey be put out and the results of those surveys be published also to the 29 people that participated and maybe you follow it up with another survey, 1 30 don't know, but I think there has to be some groundwork laid first. 31 32 Scholz: Did that give you some additional information? I mean some valuable 33 information? 34 35 Rodriguez: Mr. Chairman, it did. What we'll do now is we'll go back and relook at the 36 intent and kind of flush out the language and take a look at that. What we'll 37 also do is we'll come back to you, not in another work session but a 38 regular Planning and Zoning Commission with this blueprint as well as the 39 beginning list of the priority of the areas, forgive me not the priority areas, 40 the areas and that area will be definitely the Comp Plan has already 41 identified those so we will list them and it won't be in any priority type 42 order and then what we're gonna hear from you at that time is you may 43 add to that list or you may remove from that list and then you'll help 44 prioritize and then make a recommendation up to Council in which we will 45 then engage Council from that. So, we just wanted as this work session 46 kind of put this on the table. It's coming to you in a very formal matter here 47 soon in the next, I would say next month or so with areas to be starting to 24 I look at and we can get that list going so we can get to Council. We'd like 2 to get to Council by the end of spring. 3 4 Scholz: Thank you very much Cheryl. Thank you David and thank you David. 5 6 IV. ADJOURNMENT (8:00 PM) 7 8 Scholz: I'm going to declare this meeting adjourned. 9 10 11 1213 / 14 15 Chairperson 16 25