Lots of familiar faces were in the crowd last evening (Saturday, June 27) at Alma d’arte Charter High, as the PlaceMakers consulting team pinned up neighborhood planning ideas for a community critique.
Take a look at the comments (5mb .pdf) attendees left behind. Don’t miss chances to improve children’s recreation choices, some said. Others reminded the team to prioritize strategies to expand community gardening. And by all means, many urged, can we avoid adding a lot of asphalt to the neighborhood?
In general, participants endorsed the team’s approach to incremental, mixed-use redevelopment that might provide expanded opportunities for the broadest possible cross-section of community members.
Here’s PlaceMakers’ project manager, Susan Henderson, showing how those approaches might work in one section on and around Hayner Avenue:
There was plenty more to explore in the drawings and maps the team produced for review. Here’s an illustration of a possible master plan for the neighborhood with call-outs indicating where new commercial, residential and recreational uses might work:
Here’s the same master plan with three sample sites indicated for buildings or clusters of buildings that seem to address the ambitions the community has expressed so far:For a closer look at those building types, here’s a before/after comparison of the three types of development in those locations:
During the Thursday-night opening discussion, Henderson tried out an idea for a revamp of Valley Drive that would open more opportunities for boulevard-type commercial and for easier movement of people on foot or bikes — all without slowing down through traffic.
John Anderson, one of the two design specialists on the PlaceMakers project team, explained the idea in our last Diary post. After listening to community bicycle advocates on Friday, Anderson tweaked the Valley Drive street sections a bit more to give cyclists safer, wider lanes.
Here’s the broader view of what that might look like:
And here’s a more detailed treatment of the bike lanes:
The plans are still evolving, continually being improved thanks to the collaboration with community members, City of Las Cruces officials and staff and those interested in potential investment in the neighborhood. Still, the team has already begun sketching out the sorts of zoning changes that might be necessary to make some of these redevelopment concepts easier to implement.
Next up is the wrap-up meeting on Monday night at 6:30. The team will present an updated draft plan that builds on all the conversations that have come before and comes as close as possible to a version that will make its way into the City’s usual processes for plan review and eventual adoption.
Join us for the Monday-night event. It will also be held at the Alma d’arte Charter High School, 402 W Court Avenue. But if you can’t make it in person, keep in touch with the plan’s progress on this website.