Monday, November 5, 2012

The Essential Posts: March 2012

Our blog came to life back in February of 2012, and there have been over 100 posts so far! Here are some of the posts we believe are definitely worth reading (again) and a few you may have missed, listed here for easy access.

This second edition includes stories from March of 2012, our second month. Every week, we'll highlight months from earlier in the year, just in case our readers may have missed some interesting stories. Click on each headline to jump to the original post.

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.

Council Approves Artspace Project at Old Saddleblanket

City Council voted on Tuesday to approve the sale of the old Saddleblanket building at 601 N. Oregon to Keystone Properties who will then donate it to the El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) in order to create the Artspace project the City has been seeking for years. EPCF hopes a five-story 50 to 70 unit building will be constructed on the property by Artspace, an organization dedicated to developing low-rent housing with studio and gallery space for artists.

City Adopts 'Plan El Paso'

Plan El Paso is an immense volume of studies, maps, conceptual images, changes-over-time, graphs, and chapters upon chapters of recommendations for land-use, transit, design/aesthetics, and general growth focus that the city will take in the coming years and decades. Land use is of significant importance in the plan, which includes many images which show changes over time if the standards of the plan are enforced. This includes areas that are undeveloped as well as older neighborhoods  closer to the city's center.

Northwest Plan Doubles Open Space, Adds 'Villages'

One major change is the amount of open space in the plan, which has increased to 65%, up from only 32% in the previous plan. This means that the amount of develop-able land has decreased from 1,182 acres to 824 acres. Despite the decrease in land that can be used for development, changes in zoning and density account for an actual increase in housing units, population, and employment options in the new plan.

UTEP Plan Shows Schuster Realignment

The UTEP Master Plan, unveiled last year, shows massive changes, including a doubling of building space, removing vehicular traffic from the campus core, and a realignment of Schuster Avenue which will move it southward and create an overpass at I-10. In the new plan, Schuster continues westward in a nearly straight line, crossing I-10 via a new overpass that the City has said it supports.

'Aldea' to Create Urban Village on West Side

A new 204 acre urban town center development should break ground in the next couple of years on the west side in an area bounded by I-10, Executive Center Blvd, and Mesa Street. Aldea El Paso will be a large, mixed-use, smart code development which will include commercial/retail, hotels, housing, restaurants, and entertainment. This is not to be confused with the ongoing Montecillo construction, which is adjacent to this property, immediately to the north. They are two different projects.

The Essential Posts: February 2012