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Planning & Development Services

Executive Summary

West Central DaytimeThe West Central Avenue Sector Development Plan (WCSDP) covers the unincorporated portion of parcels adjoining Central Avenue, from 102nd Street to Atrisco Vista. The County undertook this Sector Development Plan to provide a framework for future growth and create a gateway to the metropolitan region. Many of the parcels adjoining Central Avenue are five acres or more in size, with proportions that are not suited for most types of development. The area has little existing infrastructure; most of it is outside of the service area for the Water Utility Authority.

This plan was shaped by early input from landowners, neighbors, and business owners in the area. The project team held three meetings to discuss the project and solicit input on land use and transportation issues.

The major themes that emerged included the following

  • Require basic design standards, including landscaping and screening, to create an attractive corridor.
  • Plan for extension of infrastructure to serve the area.
  • Take advantage of the views and enhance the area as a gateway to the metropolitan region.
  • Incorporate Route 66 theming/signage in coordination with the City and the overall theming of Central Avenue.

The project team also coordinated the planning effort with other public agencies, including the City of Albuquerque, AMAFCA, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, and Public Service Company of New Mexico. Access to parcels along Central Avenue is a major concern. The NMDOT has jurisdiction over this section of Central Avenue and, according to its access policy, restricts access points along Central to a ¼ mile or more. The WCSDP proposes a frontage road can provide better access to parcels on the eastern half of the study area (102nd to 118th St.). The WCSDP also proposes a secondary access road on either side of Central Avenue that divides existing parcels into more developable tracts.

Current zoning along the corridor is a mix of commercial and agricultural zones. The WCSDP proposes a new West Central Commercial/Light Industrial zoning that will allow a range of uses appropriate for the area, including highway-related commercial uses, light industrial, contractor yards, and other nonresidential uses. Residential uses are conditional and will require public notification and a County review process. The new zoning is accompanied by site design standards required for all new development. These design standards cover site elements such as landscaping, lighting, parking, screening of storage and signage. 

West Central Night timeThe WCSDP proposes a range of streetscape changes for Central Avenue. It includes a bike/pedestrian trail on the north side of the roadway and signage that evokes historic Route 66. This signage will be done in coordination with the City’s parallel effort on its portion of Central Avenue. As a gateway to the metropolitan region, the western end of the study area has good potential for gateway features, including a visitor center with visibility and access from Interstate 40.

The WCSDP also includes an Elective Zone for properties west of Atrisco Vista. The area covered includes properties that abut the frontage road on the south side of Interstate 40 and the parcels adjacent to the Interstate 40 right of way on the north side. Most of this land is undeveloped and zoned A-1, agricultural. The intent of this Elective Zone is to provide these properties with the opportunity to “opt-in” on a property by property basis to the WC-CLI –West Central Commercial Light Industrial zone. The opt-in zoning will not impact the current zoning in the area. 

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