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Commission recommends city zoning changes

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Real estate professional Riley Armstrong chairs the October 2018 meeting of the City of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Revisions and additions to the city of Roswell zoning ordinance have received initial approval and will head to elected officials for consideration.

Five appointed members of the city of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to recommend changes and updates to Articles 3 through 50 of the zoning ordinance.

Additional changes will be considered at future commission meetings.

The sections approved by the commission include setting up a framework for redevelopment of the Old Municipal Airport property in northwest Roswell off of West College Boulevard. That property is envisioned as a mixed use commercial and residential district in addition to serving other purposes. The changes also involve creating new zoning districts for parks and recreational areas, recreational vehicle parks and institutional facilities such as schools and churches.

Development Standards also have been revised, including adding a provision intended to promote more affordable housing projects in the city by allowing developers to place more lots on the land or more units on lots.

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“That proviso … is in our Affordable Housing Plan as a generator. It is an implementing ordinance, and it has been approved by the State of New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority,” said Bill Morris, community development director and planning manager.

The changes and additions now will be considered by the city’s elected officials.

“It will go to the (City) Council via the Legal Committee,” said Morris. “That is the process that has been set up by the City Council. So there will be another set of hearings at the committee level and then it will be scheduled for the City Council.”

Morris later said that the Legal Committee probably will not consider the matters until November at the earliest and that it is possible that city councilors will not vote on them for months, but instead discuss them and future changes during several different meetings before voting.

He said he has received few public comments about the proposed amendments so far, but believes that the changes are warranted to deal with present conditions and prepare for future development.

“The zoning ordinances should be a living document,” he said. “It should be changed and adapted as the city grows.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.