County seeks planning grant for comprehensive plan
Current plan was developed in 2007, updated in 2012
- Changes in the economy and population trends have prompted the county to create a new plan.
- The county is applying for a $50,000 grant from the New Mexico Finance Authority.
- The creation of a new economic development plan also is part of the process.
FARMINGTON — When the last comprehensive plan was created for San Juan County in 2007, the area was in the middle of an oil and natural gas boom that had begun in 1999. The plan projected continued population growth and development.
Instead, San Juan County has seen a sharp decline in population over the past few years due to a decline in oil and gas production.
The plan created in 2007 is now out of date, and the county is seeking a $50,000 planning grant from New Mexico Finance Authority to complete a new comprehensive plan.
The San Juan County Commission approved applying for the grant during its Tuesday meeting. It hopes the application for funding will be on NMFA's December meeting agenda. The county is partnering with Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments to create the plan.
"A lot's changed in 10 years," County operations officer Mike Stark said when reached by phone Thursday.
Stark said the plan serves as a road map for the county.
He said the 2007 comprehensive plan, which is also known as the growth management plan, was the first comprehensive plan the county has done. When it was completed, the 200-page document addressed seven key elements: infrastructure, land use, environment, water and wastewater facilities, economic development, housing needs and county facilities. An update was added to the plan in 2012. The update also projected population growth.
The 2007 plan included 10 committee meetings, 10 sub-area meetings, eight task force meetings, a countywide survey, two town halls and a 30-day public comment period, according to The Daily Times archives.
Stark said the process for the new plan will be less intensive, but there will be opportunities for the public to offer input.
Among the items that will be updated are projections for the economy, land use and population.
"The economy is a big piece in where the county is heading," Stark said.
While the county is creating the new comprehensive plan, it also will review its local economic development ordinance to ensure it is up to date with the state incentives and grant opportunities for businesses. The county also will create a local economic development plan as part of the comprehensive plan.
Stark anticipates developing the plan will take between six months and a year after the county contracts with a firm to complete the plan.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4642 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.