By Roger Lanse
Council approved an ordinance, requested by the Town of Silver City, for a zone change for five tracts of land along Pinos Altos Road amounting to 11.39 acres and one tract of .1148 acres at 2005 Trapper Road, together totaling some 11.51 acres. The ordinance changes the zoning from Residential B-2 to Highway Commercial. Town Manager Alex Brown told the Beat the lots along Pinos Altos Road are between Pine and 32nd streets.
Priscilla Shoup, Planning and Zoning planner, representing the Silver City Community Development Department, said all property owners of the affected tracts of land were contacted. Other town departments, and other property owners within 300 feet of the tracts affected, had no comments.
Council acted on a second zoning change ordinance, requested by Supporting People In Need (SPIN) acting as representative for Twana Sparks. Representing SPIN at the council meeting was SPIN Director Christine Wolford. This ordinance will affect all of 24 lots in Blocks 148 and 149 of the Fraser Survey of the Town of Silver City, including the east 40 feet of Silver Street (vacated) adjacent to the lots in Block 149, and will change the zoning designation of those lots, which are in the Brewer Hill area, from Industrial to Residential B-2.
SPIN is seeking the zoning change, Shoup stated, to utilize the property at 610 N. Silver Street as a homeless shelter with therapeutic services. According to Shoup, this change "will align the zoning district with the surrounding area." She read from the Fair Housing Act of 1988 and the Land Use Code of 2010 in support of the zoning change. Other town departments had no comment. Twenty landowners within 300 feet of the affected area were contacted via letter by the Community Development Department. "I received an email from Mary Vega," Shoup said, "She was not happy receiving the letter, but said it was a decision that was already made. She stated she was not being heard and (the town had) started this operation regardless of their input."
In answer to a question from District 3 Councilor Jose Ray Jr, Shoup said that her department, to the best of her memory, received four letters and three phone calls referencing the requested zone change with most being against it.
In answer to a question from District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison, Shoup stated that the zone change was not needed to utilize the SPIN house at 610 N. Silver Street as a homeless shelter, as that could be done under existing zoning.
District 4 Councilor Guadalupe Cano stated "these are just zone changes' and have nothing to do with the SPIN house. Cano went on to say she was raised in that area and knows the people there and they are good people. She said she hopes Twana Sparks will reach out a little bit as there are lots of folks there who were not contacted about this zone change. "Some work needs to be done by those in charge," Cano said.
Council approved the zone change 3-1, with Ray Jr voting 'nay.'
Brown told the Beat the reasons for both zone change ordinances was to generally follow the nature of the neighborhood, as current land use differs from its use "back in the day."
Brown sponsored a notice of intent ordinance amending the town's code of ordinances relating to collective bargaining. He stated this was the third time this has come up trying to meet the state's requirements. He believes that the state will approve this attempt by Thursday, Jan. 28, and council can pass the ordinance at the next council meeting.
Mayor re-appointed Nicholas Seibel to the Planning and Zoning Commission.