Decision Delayed On Zia Station Mixed-Use Development
Members of the community gave nearly two hours of public comment on the 21-acre site, stretching just west of St. Francis Drive .
The proposal would bring nearly 400 residential units to south-central Santa Fe , but commission members decided they would need more time to make their decision.
"This is a massive case," Planning Commissioner Pilar Faulker said, "and it's going to impact the city in a huge way, probably as much as midtown is estimated to."
The commission tabled the request until Feb. 18 .
It was asked to alter density zones from low-density residential (three to seven dwelling units per acre) to high-density residential (12 to 29 dwelling units per acre) at the northwest corner of St. Francis Drive and Zia Road , and to transitional mixed use at the southwest corner of Zia and Galisteo .
The proposed zoning changes and preliminary development plan would need to be approved by the City Council .
The project has been met with public consternation since it was proposed, including concerns over the level of affordable housing, traffic concerns and building height requirements.
The proposal calls for an exclusion from the South-Central Highway Corridor Overlay, created in 1986 to set development parameters along St. Francis Drive , including height requirement.
Jennifer Jenkins , whose management firm JenkinsGavin is consulting on the project, said the overlay "no longer aligns with what the city has said are its [stated] values."
"Especially as it relates to this site," she said.
Ed Aku Oppenheimer , vice president of the Candlelight Neighborhood Association , said during public comments that none of the zoning changes sought Thursday should be approved.
"The CNA supports the Zia Station proposal under current restrictions," Aku Oppenheimer said.
Barbara Levin , former president of the Candlelight Neighborhood Association , said most residents of the neighborhood do not oppose low density residential development, but do oppose "the outrageous overbuilding that will result, along with multiple traffic and safety issues that will surely happen in our neighborhood."
The 384-unit development would be constructed by SF Brown Inc. in two phases starting with the north 12.1-acre parcel, which would build 14 townhomes and 244 apartments. The southern 8.4-acre parcel, which also includes the New Mexico Rail Runner Express Zia Station , would also include 14 townhomes, as well as 120 apartments. The southern parcel would also hold 84,000 square feet of office space, and 36,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space between the northwest and southwest corners of St. Francis Drive and Zia Road .
Some members of the public praised the proposal for adding additional rental units to the south-central part of town as well as the project's unit density.
Zia Station would consist of 10 percent affordable housing units for 10 years. The city requires that 15 percent of housing units in a development be affordable. Instead, the developer would pay a $150,000 fee-in-lieu of payment to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund .
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