Please find below League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County positions that have been adopted after study and consensus by members.
Land Use Planning
The League supports development of a City Master Plan and County General Plan including: City-County coordinated planning, maximum participation of citizens in the formulation and review process for land use regulations, and a periodic review and update of the plans. The League also supports:
The League supports City policies and guidelines that have consistent criteria for determining that land to be dedicated to the City is useable. We support cooperation between the appropriate departments and the community in developing plans for the use of City-owned land.
The League supports City/County regional planning in the Santa Fe area for growth management and joint powers agreements as an efficient and appropriate means of solving inter-jurisdictional problems. The League position also supports:
The League supports the establishment of green belts, open spaces and parks in developing areas. The League encourages the use of indigenous vegetation and encourages measures to prevent the unnecessary removal of trees. Highway corridors should aim to retain scenic approaches and include, where possible, walking, biking and riding trails.
The League supports the establishment of, and management plans for green belts, open spaces and parks in the City and County. This includes long range planning and adequate funding for acquisition, development and management of lands. Provision for public safety on public lands is the responsibility of local government police and parks departments. (2002)
The League supports terrain management techniques to control drainage, prevent erosion of land and protection of watersheds and designated vistas. The League supports the protection of traditional villages and historical sites; and maintaining the historical character of Santa Fe. (1970, ’73, ’80, ’90, ’96)
The League supports regional planning for water, with the goal being elimination of competition for water and cost-efficiency in harvesting and delivery of water. (1999, 2010)
In addition, the League supports:
Air and Water Quality
The League supports City and County attention to the environmental impacts of their decisions. The League further supports joint city/county environmental consultation and management; citizens’ rights to file class action environmental suits; fines for air and water polluters; adequate funding for environmental control and enforcement of industrial and development compliance with standards, odor pollution controls, and regulations for solid waste disposal. (1971,’86, ’96)
Housing, Commercial and Infrastructure Development
The League encourages the development of zoning and land use regulations which discourage inappropriate strip commercial areas. We support attracting clean industry to provide jobs for local citizens.
The League supports, for any development proposal, a careful analysis to determine its effect on schools, traffic patterns and density, water consumption, waste-water impact and erosion in its own area and on that of adjoining landowners.
The League supports mixed density neighborhoods, including low and moderate income housing. The League believes this can best be accomplished with the development of city and county policies and plans to increase the availability of affordable housing in the region. When the city and county adopt housing policies and programs, they should give priority to programs that provide affordable housing. Such housing should remain affordable in the future.
We support creation of self-sufficient new towns and/or villages, only where there is an adequate water supply. (1970,’73, ’77, ’80, ’90, ’96, 2003; ‘05)
Northwest Sector Plan
In the absence of a current City plan to develop the land, the League supports using the Northwest Quadrant for the benefit of the community by providing trails and other passive recreation opportunities and by providing for such appropriate light-impact uses as solar collection facilities as long as they do not impede potential long term development. Any proposed development should include detailed environmental studies of the impacts on the site and surrounding areas. (1983, ’86, ’96, 2015)
Passive solar design and use of solar panels to heat water should be considered when new government facilities are built. All new facilities whose function would allow eventual installation of solar photovoltaics should be designed to facilitate such installations.
Local governments considering the use of alternative sources of energy should take the following factors into account: predicted costs, future availability, greenhouse gas emissions, and future competing demands.
Local governments should consider use of bio-fuels only when they are energy efficient, environmentally appropriate, and cost effective.
Geothermal heat pumps should be considered as a possible method of heating and cooling for any new buildings constructed by local governments. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as much as possible of their electricity requirements should come from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy.
When local governments adopt a green building code, it should not only recognize energy conservation achieved through quality of building components and construction methods, but should also tie the amount of energy conservation required to building size.
Local governments, perhaps with state cooperation, should develop methods to reduce the burden of energy costs or local residents by making it easier for them to increase the energy efficiency of existing houses. Methods to consider include education, training, and helping residents get financial aid.
Local governments should support initiatives that reduce energy used in transportation. They should endeavor to reduce the number of single-occupant car trips. They should set an example by promoting carpooling or other transit options among their own employees. (2008)