REGULATORY NEWS: Chamber Weighs in on New County Development Plan

On March 19, GACC Board Chair and Bohannan Huston President and CEO Bruce Stidworthy spoke in support for the county’s proposed Comprehensive Plan Blue Sky Edition before the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners.

The plan, which was last updated in 2013, governs land development in unincorporated Bernalillo County and offers a more cohesive vision for the patchwork of policies enacted by localities in the area, including the city of Albuquerque. It also identifies issues that create opportunities for collaboration between those localities and reinforces that cooperation.

As a Rank I plan, the comprehensive plan is the highest-ranking code for the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County. But the proposed update to planning and land use also preserves lower-ranking planning documents, like existing county zoning code, for minimal disruption. Most importantly, it identifies areas where more intense commercial and housing activities are allowed to take place through other frameworks and lower-ranking plans – critical for prospective developers looking to understand the development requirements, standards and expectations in the county.

Representing both the GACC and Bohannan Huston, Stidworthy urged the Commission to adopt the plan, emphasizing the clarity the plan offers developers. “There is great potential for economic and fiscal development within Bernalillo County, and that potential is more likely to be realized in positive and constructive ways as a result of having a current, clear, comprehensive plan in place,” he said.

Changes to the economic development chapter of the plan also align with current economic trends across the country, Stidworthy added.

After nearly two hours of public comment, the commission recessed with plans to review the afternoon’s community input and return to take action on the issue at April 9’s meeting.

We’ll keep you apprised of this developing issue.

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