Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Northwest EP SmartCode Zoning Moves Forward

A rezoning application for 1,660 acres of land in northwest El Paso will be reviewed at the February 7, 2013 City Plan Commission (CPC) meeting which looks to redefine the area with SmartCode. The City-owned land would ultimately allocate 750 acres of land for development and preserve 910 acres as natural open space under this plan.
Illustrative Plan
A wide range of densities will be allowed within six Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TND), "each of which exhibits all characteristics of a complete neighborhood, including a mix of uses, walkable blocks, and dedicated Civic Zones, all within walking distance  of one another."

SmartCode zoning plan for northwestern El Paso.
A dynamic grid of thoroughfares will connect mixed-use main streets to neighborhood centers. Walkability and bicycling will be encouraged in each TND by including wide sidewalks, bike lanes, and sharrows, lanes that are shared by vehicles and bikes. Multiple new paths will add to the existing paths leading into Franklin Mountains State Park.

Neighborhoods will include playgrounds, civic buildings, and mixed densities. Terminating vistas and retail storefronts are stressed throughout and required on certain streets. Blocks are limitied to 3,000 square feet in size.

City Council chose the current plan in March of 2012 after community meetings were held to encourage input from residents. In June, the Public Service Board voted unanimously to convey 660 acres to Franklin Mountains State Park for conservation.

If approved by the CPC, the item will go to City Council for final approval.