P&Z to Hear UNM-LA’s Rezoning Request at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday


UNM-LA is seeking to rezone the 1.88 acre parcel student housing property in the downtown Los Alamos area in order to optimize land use and provide appropriate housing for its students and the community. The proposal goes before the County Planning and Zoning Commission at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday in Council Chambers.

The P&Z hearing is a quasi-judicial process, so only those who live within 300 feet of the site will be allowed to comment at the meeting. Plans are to redevelop the current configuration of 64 studio units into a mix of student housing and housing open to the general public for rent. Rezoning is required because current zoning allows apartment complexes to house only 45 residents and the UNM-LA project would seek to house 85. UNM-LA’s 64-unit complex was grandfathered into the zoning requirements. UNM-LA also is seeking a variance to the height requirement of 35 feet to 50 feet for the northern end of the building.

The County Council must approve final plans.

Renovating the existing facility, built in 1949 as Los Alamos National Laboratory housing, would be too expensive, said UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page at a public meeting Monday. The college is hoping to make the project affordable by combining 21 units of student housing with 59 units designed for public occupancy.