Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2nd Charrette to be Held for Upper Valley Property

Findings from First Community Design Meeting Released

Long before ground is broken on the newest neighborhood in El Paso’s Upper Valley, developers and City officials will hold their second public meeting discussing and drawing ideas for the 120 acre development on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

These were the most and least liked images
for commercial spaces during the
charrette in January. (City of El Paso)
UV120, a local land development partnership, is holding the meetings in coordination with the City of El Paso’s Planning Division to get the public’s feedback on how the future neighborhood should be designed, what amenities it should include, and how the land plan should be laid out.

During the first meeting, which was held January 30, 2014, officials showed participants different general images in the categories of housing, thoroughfares, commercial, parks & open space, civic buildings, amenities, and canal-scapes. Attendees used stickers to indicate which version of each category they preferred.

Generally, participants chose images that resemble current themes throughout the Upper Valley, including elements such as trees, open space, and agriculture, especially in the categories of parks & open space, amenities, and thoroughfares.

In the category of amenities, the top image was one depicting an outdoor café along a waterway dotted by waterfowl. The second-ranked choice was an image showing an outdoor open space shaded by many trees and suggesting an agricultural market setting.

For housing uses, participants showed a desire to include various housing types, tending toward lower density homes. Some attendees did show a preference for an uptick in density along a main thoroughfare.

Participants really liked the idea of a main street lined with shops and eateries for the property. The top four choices in the commercial category all showed this similar theme. The options showing lots of pavement, a parking lot and a wide surface street, received the fewest votes.

Officials also gave meeting attendees a chance to choose which was their favorite among the layouts of existing neighborhood plans in other cities. A conceptual master plan for a neighborhood in Humboldt County, California, was the top choice, with a plan from Gilbert, Arizona, just behind in close second. Both plans showed a mix of uses with a focus on open space.
The 120-acre property sits among neighborhoods transitioning from agricultural uses to residential uses.

City and UV120 officials will use the next meeting to get clarification on residential and commercial densities and styles, and the preferred design of thoroughfares throughout the property. No timeline has been provided for the eventual development of the 120 acre property, which is currently used for agriculture. It is located on the southeast corner of Artcraft Road and Westside Drive.

The UV120 meeting will be held Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Canutillo High School at 6675 South Desert Boulevard in Northwest El Paso.