City looking to scale down requirements for new parks

KDBC
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 7:57pm

Judy Grady has lived across from Suffolk Park near Eastwood High School for more than 30 years.

She told NewsChannel 9 Monday she loves everything about the park including its small size and location, tucked snuggly within her neighborhood.

"It's just so close to home and it's a nice park to go to," Grady said.

If you were to ask Javier Camacho with the City Development Department, he would tell you Grady is on to something.

"It's the whole idea of trying to create a walk-able neighborhood," Camacho told NewsChannel 9.

That why, Camacho said, the City -- with its eye fixed on smart growth principals -- is considering amending its subdivision regulations.

On Tuesday, City staff will present City Council with proposed changes to the regulations that would eliminate the requirement that all new parks be at least 1/4 acre in size, and give developers five smaller options when it comes to building green space.

Those options include pocket parks and plaza-type designs.

"It actually offers a little more flexibility in what the developer can offer," Camacho said.

According to City documents, the proposed revisions went before the El Paso Chamber of Commerce last fall.

Camacho said developers asked for clarification on some points and minor revisions which City staff has included in the plan going before council.

There will be no vote at Tuesday's meeting, just a presentation.

The item will be put back on the agenda for the April 1 City Council meeting for public comment and potential approval, Camacho said.

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