Luna County's Board of Commissioners will meet in regular session Thursday to consider adopting a new comprehensive plan to guide future policies and projects.

The board is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Luna County Courthouse, 700 S. Silver Avenue. During the meeting, commissioners will considering approving the document, for which the county has spent months seeking public input.

The county has hosted a draft of the final comprehensive plan on its website, www.lunacountynm.us. It can be downloaded as a .pdf under "County Postings" by clicking "Luna County Comprehensive Plan Updates."

As it stands, the 171-page electronic document covers a laundry list of issues facing the county, including housing, transportation and hazard mitigation. It also details the history of Luna County and county government's goals moving forward.

Most sections of the plan, such as land use, housing and economic development, have a list of goals attached. Economic development goals and strategies, for example, highlight concerns mentioned during public input meetings. The first goal listed is to improve educational opportunities for Luna County residents of all ages by either expanding the Mimbres Valley Learning Center or creating partnerships with universities in Southern New Mexico and New Mexico Workforce Solutions.

Some of the goals tie into one another, such as economic development's relationship to community services and facilities.


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The county lists ensuring all residents have access to high speed Internet under both economic development and community services.

The plan also addresses land use, a popular topic among residents during the planning meetings. In particular, it stresses the "appreciation" of sunshine, clean air and open spaces described by residents. It also warns of a depleting aquifer and its impact on farming and ranching.

The plan's section on land use includes a portion critical of the "Deming Ranchettes," which are, according to the plan, 80,000 to 200,000 half-acre lots platted and sold in the 1960s and 1970s.

"These lots were platted at a time when there were few statewide subdivision standards and little was known about the possible negative impacts on the quality of the underground aquifers caused by septic tank and sewage leach field systems developed on small lots," the plan details. "Moreover, these lots were created with nominal regard for environmental considerations, water availability, and water quality, potential for flooding and erosion, and solid waste disposal."

It also references the failed county Ordinance No. 37, the controversial measure that required a two-acre minimum lot size for new development in certain areas. The minimum size was scrapped, but the plan maintains county concerns that if the lots were developed, it could provide a burden on water, sewage systems and roads.

A public hearing is on the county's agenda for Thursday to discuss the comprehensive plan.

The plan was developed with the help of Albuquerque-based Sites Southwest.


Matt Robinson can be reached at mrobinson@demingheadlight.com