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HomeCommunity LivingCity holds first public meeting to gather input on Artesia Comprehensive Plan

City holds first public meeting to gather input on Artesia Comprehensive Plan

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For the Daily Press

The City of Artesia held its first public meeting for input on the Artesia Comprehensive Plan on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

The meeting was led by Jackie Fishman, certified planner and owner of Consensus Planning Inc. of Albuquerque, the outsourced contractor for updating the current comprehensive plan. The current plan was adopted in 2012. According to Fishman, optimal timing for plan updates is every five years; beyond that, it’s really a replacement plan.

Consensus Planning Inc. is currently finishing an update on the Eddy County Comprehensive Plan and is waiting for adoption next month. They also completed the City of Carlsbad plan a couple years ago.

“We are very familiar with your area,” said Fishman. “But we also work all over the state of New Mexico.”

The first item addressed is what is a comprehensive plan?

“The question we are here to answer is what should our community be in 20 years?” said Fishman. “We start with the existing conditions phase then look forward to what should all those things be like in 20 years?

“We are going to identify problems and point the way to solutions by taking a measured, systematic approach. A comprehensive plan is a general policy guide, it’s not an ordinance. Comprehensive plans are adopted as a resolution.”

Fishman added that comprehensive plans are a group effort and that the city is hoping to get people involved in the process.

The City of Artesia is seeking feedback from residents on their goals, aspirations and vision for Artesia in the future. Feedback will be collected through an online survey until Sept. 22 at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZQWJYBV.

A second public meeting will be held in November, and all residents wishing to share their ideas, thoughts and visions are invited to attend. A website has also been set up with updates and information on the project: artesiacomprehensiveplan.com.

The timeline for the Artesia Comprehensive Plan includes:

• First public meeting August 2023

• Community survey live until Sept. 22, 2023

• Goals and objectives drafted, along with future land use scenarios

• Second public meeting November 2023

• Administrative draft complete December 2023 to February 2024

• Revision and prep of public draft March 2024

• Third public meeting in March 2024

• Final plan presented in April or May 2024

• Plan adopted by May 2024

• Implementation 2024-2034.

Attendees at the Aug. 16 meeting were asked several thought-provoking questions. A smattering of answers were captured as follows:

• If someone was interested in moving to Artesia, what would you tell them?

– Feeling of community

– People are helpful

– Great place to raise a family

– Great place to play sports

– Lots of church communities

– Hot, dry and windy

– Plan to drive to for shopping, entertainment, etc.

• What should be improved in the city?

– Find a way to get info out there more. The people that are here temporarily – those are the ones who tell people not to move here.

– History of Artesia needs to be preserved with an example of Abo Elementary, the underground elementary school that is currently used by FLETC for training

– Housing

– Walking trails

– Fear of growth

– More flexibility

– A plan to deal with eye sores

– Vacant buildings downtown – priced too high to sell

– More diversity of retail

– Downtown rent is unreasonable

– Shopping centers in town have high rent, bad HVAC, and maintenance issues

– Upgrades needed to dog park such as a dog wash and some sort of water feature because of the heat

• Which neighborhoods are most in need of improvement?

– East of 13th – southeast quadrant

– Northeast corridor

– Morningside

– Abo Apartments on 10th Street

– Apartments on 20th Street

– Several more

Other issues raised included:

• Lack of pride of ownership in many homes

• Housing prices are taking people out of the market

• The Senior MealSite on Gilchrist Avenue is not in good condition

• Senior housing shortage – waiting list at both places

• Lack of childcare options – you have to go on a list for six months to a year

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