Consulting Services for a Comprehensive Plan

Type: 
RFP
Organization: 
Dona Ana County, NM
Location: 
Las Cruces, NM 88007
Application close date: 
2014-03-17 (2:00 MST)
Description: 

CRITICAL PLANNING ISSUES


Per the Viva Doña Ana initiative, the preceding questions are tied to a number of critical planning issues. The issues come from Vision2040, the Livability Principles, public input, and work done by consultants, staff, and the Consortium. Advancing each issue is critical to creating the kind of future we want for our area. While other concerns may emerge through the planning process, the Comprehensive Plan must provide at a minimum, useful guidance in these areas.


 


1.  Maintain the essential heritage of our area.


·         Create development strategies that enhance and perpetuate the region’s rich historical and


cultural heritage.


·         Support use of our mountains and desert environment in ways that respect and maintain their intrinsic values and historic associations.


·         Create the conditions needed to support agriculture as an ongoing tradition, economic activity local food source, and defining landscape feature.


·         Respect and support the tradition of rural living.


·         Strengthen and maintain the traditional functions of the Rio Grande in agriculture, flood control, and natural systems.


·         Maintain the physical identity of each incorporated area and historically independent community by enhancing unique characteristics of each area and their boundaries.


·         Reinforce the function of Las Cruces as a regional urban center


 


2.   Produce better economic conditions.


·         Capitalize on international trade, proximity to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, and construction of the Union Pacific Intermodal Center to expand economic benefits for southern New Mexico.


·         Foster entrepreneurial business activity, countywide.


·         Support expansion of Las Cruces as a regional center for retail trade, professional services, and governmental programs.


·         Develop strategies for business activity in Doña Ana County that are commensurate with the region’s investment in Spaceport America.


·         Support economic activity—especially for businesses that pay good wages—through


coordination of land use, infrastructure (i.e., transportation systems, internet access, and utilities), public services, and other critical economic factors.


·         Expand job opportunities by improving access to employment centers, reducing impediments to participation in educational programs, and otherwise addressing basic conditions that affect worker qualifications and performance.


·         Assess the impact of water availability on economic growth and identify options to mitigate resultant undesired consequences under differing conditions.


 


3.   Ensure that residents will be able to live better within available means.


·         Develop and locate transportation systems, public facilities, utilities, businesses, work centers, and services in a manner that will materially contribute to improved living conditions of people living in colonias.


·         Increase employment opportunities for all residents of all ages, background, cultures, and


economic levels.


·         Expand housing choices that meet variable income levels, strengthen social relationships, and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.


·         Reduce barriers that limit or obstruct access to medical services, jobs, shopping (including fresh food), education, recreation, etc.


·         Explore development of transit services to reduce transportation costs and expand access to important destinations outside of residential areas.


·         Enhance the characteristics of all neighborhoods and communities that contribute to good health, social interaction, and safety.


 


4.  Deliver public services in an efficient and effective manner.


·         Increase the financial viability of local government by optimizing use of existing public facilities and infrastructure (i.e. roads, water systems, waste water treatment, power distribution, etc.)


·         Construct or expand new public facilities and infrastructure based, in part, on the affect such projects will have on increased efficiency and effectiveness of their respective operational entities.


·         Develop policies relating to zoning and subdivision codes that can be implemented in an


equitable and fair manner.


·         Explore ways to expand essential public services in underserved neighborhoods and


communities.


·         Ensure that facilities essential to increased public safety—such as flood control structures, fire stations, and police sub-stations—are planned and build to provide optimum coverage for all areas of the county.


·         Explore ways to expand underdeveloped public services—such as recreational facilities (i.e. parks, community centers, walking trails, etc.), emergency planning, and transit—in rural areas, colonias, and small, incorporated areas.


 


5.   Ensure that current land use and future development activity are used to benefit both public and private interests.


·         Encourage private development outside of environmentally sensitive areas, within areas


currently served by utility providers, and in concert with planned public investment.


·         Ensure that facilities essential to increased public safety—such as flood control structures, fire stations, and police sub-stations—are planned and build to provide optimum coverage for all areas of the county.


·         Explore ways to expand underdeveloped public services—such as recreational facilities (i.e. parks, community centers, walking trails, etc.), emergency planning, and transit—in rural areas, colonias, and small, incorporated areas.


·         Minimize flood risk in developed areas while enhancing natural systems and optimizing storm water use within existing legal parameters.


·         Clearly describe the relationship between water resources and development activity, and the best way that policy makers can manage growth within a climate of uncertainty in water availability.


·         Identify primary threats to health and safety from environmental contaminants—both natural and man-made—and options for both private and public entities to minimize such threats in Doña Ana County.


·         Identify and rank transportation projects for the international border area that will generate economic activity and other benefits for southern New Mexico and the state as a whole. Assess the potential costs and benefits of public/private partnerships and the effort needed to create them.


·         Identify private and public funding sources for various types of development in Doña Ana County and the strategies that are most likely to generate necessary levels of financial support for the region.


·         Identify strategies that will reduce overall energy use and increase both the production and use of renewable energy.


 


Each of the preceding issues can be seen as the result of unresolved or conflicting interests. Resolution of these conflicts requires a clear understanding of the systems involved and the interests at play, and practical ways to move forward. Simply put, the Comprehensive Plan must materially advance the ability of area residents and stakeholders to address these issues.

Qualifications: 




Firms responding to this RFP must demonstrate that they have the ability to carry out this particular task in the specified manner by providing the following information:


 


·         Evidence of professional knowledge and experience in comprehensive plan development using the concepts of New Urbanism, form based codes, and scenario planning—preferably in the western United States.


·         Documentation of the ability to build on earlier planning efforts (i.e. Vision2040), to integrate the other six plans that are part of the Viva Doña Ana initiative, and to coordinate with planning by other jurisdictions—especially incorporated areas such as the City of Las Cruces, the Town of Mesilla, etc.


·         A proposal for organization of the Comprehensive Plan based on integration of land use,


transportation and other infrastructure, housing, and economic development—including jobs—as outlined in the Livability Principles. Integration of elements or themes (not silos) is vital to the success of Viva Doña Ana.


·         A description of the way primary areas of consideration (see Attachment 2 – Plan


Considerations) would be addressed in the context of critical planning issues (see Page 17), and how this process would lead to significant progress toward realization of the region’s emerging vision.


·         Evidence of successful collaboration with planning advisory groups and meaningful public engagement—especially of traditionally underserved communities. Proposers must also demonstrate proficiency in Spanish speaking and writing.



 


 




 


 


 


 


 


 







Contact name: 
Donald E. Bullard
Contact phone and/or email: 
575-525-5927 donb@donaanacounty.org
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14-0032_comprehensive_plan_all.pdf668.58 KB