BOSQUE FARMS — A handful of village of Bosque Farms residents turned out on Nov. 10 to offer input and observations about the village’s update to its comprehensive plan.
A discussion among nine community members was facilitated by community planners Danielle Wilson and Nate Begay with Sites Southwest, the Albuquerque firm the village is contracting with to update its comprehensive plan.
A comprehensive plan — sometimes referred to as a master plan — is a document that provides direction to governing officials and residents of a municipality or county of the direction for the present and future development of the community.
The village adopted its first comprehensive plan in 1985, which was updated and adopted in 1995.
“The first two master plans, various engineering reports and other special purpose plans, and a citizen survey completed in 2000 were all reviewed and analyzed by the Mid-Region Council of Governments staff for reference to develop the third master plan which was adopted Aug. 28, 2006,” according to the village’s most recent comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2013 after being updated using demographic information from the 2010 census.
Wilson said she and Begay would be looking at the current plan and updating it.
“In the update in 2013, no goals were changed,” she said. “The community profile and data was updated.”
During the update, Sites Southwest will conduct another survey and compare that information to what residents said in the first survey, Wilson said.
“There will be a little different questions — what has changed? What are current feelings and perspectives? What has been accomplished since?” she said. “That’s usually a review with staff and we will check in with the steering committee.”
Wilson said the village is small and rural, but compact with great walking and biking ability.
“That’s something special,” Wilson said. “You can connect the (walking and biking path on the Bosque Loop) if desired, to other facilities. The Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments has a long-range bike plan for the region.”
When asked what they liked best about living and working in Bosque Farms, participants provided a variety of answers ranging from the rural nature of the community to the Rio Grande and bosque access.
One man said he liked seeing small businesses along the village’s main street — Bosque Farms Boulevard — rather than large buildings. He did acknowledge that focusing on small businesses could conflict with economic development plans.
Lee Wharton, a member of the comprehensive plan steering committee, said she wanted to see residential lot sizes kept at the size they are now and not be allowed to be made smaller.
“I like that we don’t have sidewalks and street lights in front of every house. People like the rural life and less density,” Wharton said.
She and another man in the group touched on undeveloped commercial properties on the boulevard being untapped assets for the village.
Wilson said the village council could incentivize the use of commercial property by passing an ordinance that would charge a fee on vacant land.
Other needs the group identified include additional recreation space, with a gymnasium, classrooms and meeting rooms, as well as better options for seniors to “age in place.”
“People need a place to live. People get old and need somebody. It’s one of our greatest needs,” Wharton said. “We don’t want apartments or town homes. We do want the ability, if you’re 80 and want to stay in your home, to have a place for family or caretakers to live.”
Wilson said she and Begay would use the information gathered at last month’s meeting to draft a community survey to go out after the Christmas holiday to every address in the village. The survey will stay open for about five weeks, she said.
“We don’t want it to be too long and we want it to be shaped by what we heard tonight and by the steering committee,” she said, noting the steering committee would be able to see the survey and give input before it was sent out to village residents.
“It will be shared as a paper copy with instructions to drop off at the water bill mailbox at the village municipal complex, and there will also be a link to complete the survey online if that is preferred,” she said. “We will be holding another community meeting after we get the results to see what is rising to the top.”
To receive updates about the comprehensive plan’s progress, contact the community planners with Sites Southwest — Danielle Wilson at 505-822-8200, x126, or [email protected]; or Nate Begay, 505-822-8200, x104, or [email protected].
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.