COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
Los Alamos County Council will conduct a public hearing Oct. 18 to consider approval of Resolution No. 22-19 to accept the White Rock Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) Plan. The hybrid hearing at 6:00 p.m. at the White Rock Fire Station 3 located at 129 NM-4.
The public hearing will begin with a presentation by the County’s Community Development Department (CDD) and its consultant Site Southwest and will include an opportunity for public comment. On September 29, pursuant to state statute, Resolution No. 22-19 was filed with the County Clerk and a legal notice was published in the Los Alamos Daily Post and mailed to all property owners within Los Alamos County.
Approval of the White Rock MRA Plan (if approved) will conclude a four-and-a-half-month process which kicked off May 26 and was conducted by the County’s Community Development Department (CDD) and its consultant Site Southwest to define specific financial and redevelopment tools that the county government will be able to use to facilitate private development projects in downtown White Rock within the designated MRA boundary which is bordered by New Mexico Highway 4, Rover Boulevard, Longview Drive, on the west by Sherwood Boulevard and the east by Rover Boulevard.
The MRA Plan is part of a multi-year effort undertaken by CDD and Los Alamos MainStreet to define the community’s vision for the White Rock downtown. Supporting the adopted 2016 Comprehensive Plan and the 2021 White Rock Town Center Master Plan, the MRA plan identifies vacant, deteriorated, or underutilized properties to redevelop in an effort to stimulate economic development.
With Council’s adoption of the MRA plan would come the power of the New Mexico Metropolitan Redevelopment Code ((§3-60A NMSA 1978) which would allow the county to utilize public resources for private redevelopment projects without violating the anti-donation clause. The county also would be able to pursue specific grant opportunities for eligible projects.
“This is a game changer,” says Economic Development Administrator Dan Ungerleider. “The ability to offer developers incentives like tax abatements, land acquisition/conveyance, façade and/or infrastructure improvements and direct financial assistance will encourage private investment in the projects recommended in the Town Center Master Plan, and deliver a vibrant mix of residential, retail, commercial, and public open space for locals and visitors.
To date, input from the public and stakeholders was solicited throughout the process with a seven-member steering committee comprised of property owners, business owners, residents, and individuals involved in White Rock’s master planning efforts. Site Southwest presented the draft MRA Plan at a public open house hosted by the Steering Committee on August 17 at the White Rock Library Multi-Purpose Room. All public input was incorporated into the draft MRA plan that will be presented to Council on Oct. 18.
For additional information, including presentations and notes from past meetings, visit the White Rock MRA Plan webpage at https://lacnm.com/WRMRA or contact County Planning Manager Sobia Sayeda or County Economic Development Administrator Dan Ungerleider