The Las Cruces City Council, at its Monday, Oct. 5 meeting, approved a Resolution establishing an affordable housing development agreement between the City and Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation. The agreement will lead to the construction of 32 affordable housing units on a 4.49-acre parcel, known as the Sierra Tract, just east and south of Sierra Middle School.
Construction of the estimated $3.2 million projects could begin as soon as February 2021.
To be built on the Sierra Tract will be 8 single-family homes, 12 townhomes, and 12 apartments. Amenities will also include a walking path and a community garden. The council also asked for easy access to Sierra Middle School for children living in the subdivision and nearby neighborhoods.
The City acquired the Sierra Tract property from the Las Cruces Public Schools in trade for a road improvement project on Bruins Lane through a mutually beneficial agreement. Construction of Sierra Tract will provide much needed affordable housing for Las Cruces residents.
The City conducted a series of meetings, in August and November 2018, that engaged surrounding neighbors of the Sierra Tract to provide their input on the potential development of the site. Input and comments received from those meetings led the City to initiate a Community Planning Blueprint for the subject property.
A Community Planning Blueprint is a plan that promotes the vision of the City's Comprehensive Plan and serves as a policy guide for City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the City's Affordable Housing Land Bank and Trust Fund Advisory Committee, City staff, and the public. The Blueprint guides the development of the parcel to create a quality, innovative, affordable housing development that will be conscious of the concerns of the existing surrounding developed area and will meet the needs and desires of the City.
Additionally, the City Council adopted the Las Cruces Climate Action Plan. The actionable and aggressive plan will guide the municipality and community in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 73 percent by 2050 – based on the 2018 baseline. This work expands on many of the Elevate Las Cruces Comprehensive Plan policies in the areas of energy management, community, and transportation planning, building design standards, and waste minimization.
With the adoption of the Climate Action Plan, the City’s Sustainability Office will work with City departments and stakeholders to develop specific policies and actions that ensure an equitable climate transition.
Goals of the Climate Action Plan include:
- An overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 19 percent or greater (of the 2018 baseline) by 2030 including reductions using renewable energy (of 11.9 percent); alternative and clean transportation (by 11.7 percent); waste minimization (2.1 percent) and decarbonization of energy in buildings (1.7 percent).
- An overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 73 percent or greater (of the 2018 baseline) by 2050, including reduction using renewable energy (28 percent); alternative and clean transportation (44.5 percent); waste minimization (6.7 percent), and decarbonization of energy in buildings (16.7 percent).
- Establish parallel or more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets within municipal operations by 2030 and 2050.
Details of the Climate Action Plan can be found at https://lascruces.civicweb.net/document/9670/A%20RESOLUTION%20TO%20ADOPT%20THE%20LAS%20CRUCES%20CLIMATE%20AC.pdf?handle=9EA9B950DC604E4BA053D69E7BE8E48C.
The City of Las Cruces is a local leader on climate action and is committed to creating a healthier, more sustainable, and greener future for all community members.
In 2019, the City embarked upon multiple efforts to better understand the impact on climate change and identify greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation strategies, while working to enhance community equity. This work was facilitated by Lotus Engineering and Sustainability, LLC, and has included developing the City’s first community-wide and municipal GHG emissions inventories, a strategic stakeholder engagement process to develop GHG reduction strategies relevant for the community, and modeling the emissions reduction potential associated with the selected strategies.