Letter To The Editor: Concerned About ‘Open Space’ Changed To ‘Mixed-Use’ Without Public Notice


Los Alamos


During the past year, many community members participated in drafting a new Comprehensive Plan for Los Alamos County. Within the Plan is a Future Land Use map, which is designed to be a “guide to land development and preservation decisions.”


At the Nov. 14 County Council meeting, and in several previous public planning sessions, a map was presented, which showed the entire area surrounding the paved Canyon Rim Trail, south of the airport and N.M. 502, designated as “Open Space”. However, during the meeting, a change was made by the Council to designate part of that area as “Mixed-Use”, a category which allows both residential and non-residential uses. It is the category assigned to the downtown area as well, which comprises high-density commercial and residential development. This change was made by the Council without prior public notice.


Since so many residents participated in drafting the Comprehensive Plan, and the Plan itself states that “Nowhere is there greater agreement within the community than in the value of keeping all the County’s open space protected and accessible”, residents should be informed of this change. I have included the Future Land Use map from the Nov. 9 draft, as well as the final Plan map with the changes (both taken from documents at http://www.losalamoscountycompplan2016.com/documents/; maps on p.121.) Although the Plan was approved on Nov. 14, Council must pass a resolution to formally adopt the Plan; this is scheduled for the County Council’s regular meeting Dec. 6.


If you are concerned about these changes to the Comprehensive Plan, contact the County Council at countycouncil@lacnm.us, phone 505.663.1750, 1000 Central Ave., Suite 350, Los Alamos, NM 87544 and/or attend the Dec. 6 meeting.


Thanks to all who worked on the Comprehensive Plan—it is a remarkable document!