As both a shopping center and community center in Santa Fe County, we believe it is important to share the following letter from County Commissioner, Kathleen Hollian:
Dear Fellow Citizens of Santa Fe County:
The Sustainable Growth Management Plan is now ready for final consideration by the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners and will, in my opinion, be one of the most important accomplishments of this term.
At our next BCC meeting on Tuesday, November 9, we will consider the resolution to adopt the final draft of the Plan. A public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the County Chambers. I invite and encourage anyone who is interested in the Plan, would like to ask questions or express their opinions to attend. In fact, I welcome as much participation as possible! I believe this Plan is very important to all the citizens of our County. Also, I respect the fact that this Plan represents hundreds of hours of work on the part of County staff, our Board of County Commissioners, and, most important of all, many among you who have given your time and expertise to this critical effort for Santa Fe County’s future.
This Plan is our roadmap for the future. How we implement the Plan will affect each and every one of you who lives in Santa Fe County. The important questions to be answered are:
– What do we want Santa Fe County to look like in 10, 20, 50 years from now?
– How will we continue to have enough of our scarce resources (water, for example!) for our children and our grandchildren?
– Do we want to protect our scenic beauty? The unique character of our communities? Our quality of life?
I believe that there are three important principles that this new Plan embodies:
1. Preservation — We must preserve what we love about our community, including our culture, natural beauty, and resources. Also, it is obvious that we have to have enough water for the people who live here. While water is probably a more important resource than any other, I would argue that the natural beauty of our land is also key to our future. When you consider our economic base, a large part of our community’s prosperity is because our landscape is so unique and scenic. It is the foundation of our quality of life.
2. Fiscal Responsibility — We have to manage new growth in such a way that we do not put the burden of the infrastructure required for new development on the people who already live here. We also have to manage our resources in the most efficient way possible. We are already seeing the effects of a severe recession. Who knows how long it will last? We cannot afford the costs of sprawl development anymore. We are already spending a small fortune on roads, law enforcement, fire protection, and other services. And so many people have shared their opinion with me that we are not keeping up as it is. Therefore, we need to encourage more efficient patterns of development through planning.
3. Community Participation — The Plan calls for more mechanisms for community participation in planning communities and developments to determine how we get our energy, water and food, and how we protect our lands. The Plan calls for the creation of a number of different kinds of community-centered organizations, through which we can work together more effectively in the future.
I hope to see all of you at next Tuesday’s hearing and meeting, as we consider this critical Plan that will shape our community’s future. I also hope that this letter has answered any questions or concerns you have about the Sustainable Growth Management Plan. If you wish to discuss this issue with me prior to the meeting, please feel free to call or email me. Thanks for letting me share my views with you.