Wednesday, May 11, 2011

El Paso Approves SmartCode Rezoning

The 450-acre former ASARCO site was rezoned to SmartCode transect zones at the City Council meeting on Tuesday. This was the first rezoning to SmartCode in the City since the adoption of the optional form-based code. Several more sites are expected to follow. The approval lays the regulatory groundwork for the east portion of the former ASARCO tract to become a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with a trail system along preserved arroyos. The west portion of the site is planned as a multi-use commercial and office regional center with areas for clean light-industrial uses, and destinations such as an amusement park or racetrack. Both sites are scheduled for environmental remediation prior to the addition of uses. SmartCode requires streets that are safe and comfortable for pedestrians, ample public spaces, walkable block sizes, urban format buildings, and a mix of housing types and uses. The rezoning is a major implementation action step in the Connecting El Paso Plan which was approved in January.

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