Monday, March 5, 2012

Painted Dunes Retirement Community Plans Move Forward

The El Paso Public Service Board (PSB) will view updated plans at its March 5 meeting for a retirement community that could be built adjacent to Painted Dunes golf course in Northeast El Paso. The development would contain anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 housing units which would include condominiums, townhomes, and detached homes and would mainly target retired military for its residential makeup. According to preliminary concepts, the housing areas would be nearly divided in two by a common mall area lined by commercial and retail uses.

Conceptual Zoning Plan from Nov. 2011
Mayor John Cook, a former Northeast El Paso city representative for many years, told the El Paso Times that a retirement community of this sort has been in the planning stages for decades, but has been slowed due to apathy or a negative national economic atmosphere. Cook hopes that construction will begin before the end of his term in office next year.
The next step, according to Mayor Cook, is for the PSB to accept the plan and then put it out to bid in hopes that a developer will purchase the land and begin construction. Other interim steps include bringing a rezoning application to the City Plan Commission for approval, then City Council for final approval. The master plan tries to maximize views of the Franklin Mountains and the golf course. It incorporates smart code principals and creates a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly development. The 300 acre development could take from five to ten years to build out.

Conceptual Zoning Plan from Nov. 2011
The retirement community would help fill a gap that has been largely missing from El Paso's housing scene, an anomaly when compared to other Southwestern cities will similar climates, such as Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. There are currently no large-scale retirement communities of this type in the city.

The development is part of a larger 1,500 acre plan. URS Consulting was hired by the PSB to develop the master plan.

Public Service Board Master Plan Presentation (PDF): http://www.epwu.org/public_info/NE_Plan/Retirement_Community_111611.pdf
El Paso Times article* (03/05/2012): http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_20102675
El Paso Times article* (11/17/2011): http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_19351935

*Please note: El Paso Times articles may only be available online for a limited time before they are archived.

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