2006 Northeast Master Plan Amendment Approved

During the City Council Meeting of January 9, 2007, a change to the City's long-range comprehensive plan, The Plan for El Paso, was approved. The El Paso Water Utilities has proposed this change in their Master Plan for 6,900 acres in the Northeast.

In anticipation and preparation of expected growth in the Northeast, the City and the El Paso Water Utilities have spearheaded an initiative to proactively look at long-range development opportunities in this area. The arrival of twenty thousand additional troops along with their families has the potential to make the Northeast an exciting region for growth in the next few years. New housing, shopping and jobs will all head to that area and the City wants to ensure that the change goes smoothly.

The Development Services Department has worked closely with the El Paso Water Utilities to implement a planning effort that focuses on Smart Growth Principles to include mixed land uses and the creation of a range of housing opportunities and choices. The culmination of this effort has brought forward a proposal from the El Paso Water Utilities that looks at land uses for over 6,900 acres out of the nearly 16,000 acres the City owns in the Northeast. The planners hope to encourage quality neighborhoods that newcomers, and current residents looking for new homes, will be proud to call their own. The focal point of the plan is a linear park-boulevard that may run west to east from the mountains to the golf course. A town center around the boulevard would be served by a bicycle and pedestrian trail network connecting houses, shopping and open space recreation areas.

The proposal was the beginning of a process in which the City Council made the final decision to move forward with the proposed changes to the study area. As part of the process to amend the comprehensive plan, community meetings were held on October 25, 2006 and on November 14, 2006 to engage and incorporate community input in the process. On November 17, 2006, the City Plan Commission approved a three week timeframe for the City and the El Paso Water Utilities to work together on the final amendment to the plan, which would include land use maps and formal text describing what the City's vision for each component of the map. Thereafter, a joint City Council/City Plan Commission meeting was held and the City Plan Commission Meeting followed on December 7, 2006. The City Plan Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the proposed comprehensive plan amendment. Lastly, the amendment for City Council action was approved at the public hearing held on January 9, 2007.

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