City of Española, NM
Rio Arriba County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This article establishes the specific review criteria for development requests that shall be used by the Planning Director, DRT, Planning Commission and City Council in their review and decision making of development requests.
An approved or conditionally approved site plan shall be required for all development(s) of property or alteration or addition to existing structures prior to issuance of a building permit, except as follows:
A. 
Changes to the interior of an existing structure may be made without any prior site plan approval under this chapter.
B. 
Facade changes, as defined by the latest adopted edition of the Uniform Building Code, either through architectural or material means, may be made without any prior site plan approval under this chapter, except if the building or structure is located in an historical site district.
C. 
The construction of an open sun screen which complies with the site development requirements of this chapter and all other applicable rules and regulations of the City of Española may be made without any prior site plan approval.
A. 
Applicants for new construction of individual buildings or additions shall receive Planning Commission approval of a development plan prior to issuance of a building permit in the following circumstances:
(1) 
Any new commercial development.
(2) 
Any application for subdivision into three or more lots for residential or commercial use.
(3) 
Any expansion of a use on an existing site for which there has never been an approved development plan.
(4) 
Any change of use for an existing site with or without an approved development plan.
(5) 
Any expansion of more than 2,000 square feet of gross floor area and/or land use area for an existing site with an approved development plan.
B. 
For the purpose of this section, "development plan" means a plan drawn to scale, certified by an engineer and/or architect, showing the locations of existing and new structures; location map, lot coverage, height and gross floor area of structure; lot area; the placement and arrangement of buildings; and the uses to be included; topography, on-site drainage, retention and detention areas, drainage flow, proposed lighting of the premises; internal vehicular and pedestrian circulation; vehicular and pedestrian ingress and egress from adjoining streets; recorded and proposed easements; location of off-street parking and loading facilities; any significant natural features, including drainage and vegetation; location and type of landscaping; and the type of visual screening such as walls, fences and landscaping. If it is proposed to develop the plan in phases, the phases of development shall be indicated along with any other information requested by the Planning Staff, DRT, or Planning Commission.
C. 
During the course of its review of any development plan, the DRT shall utilize the following criteria in formulating a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall utilize the following criteria in making its determination of approval, conditional approval or denial:
(1) 
The development plan shall substantially conform to the Comprehensive Plan and shall not be materially detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Española.
(2) 
Ingress, egress, traffic circulation and parking on the site shall be accomplished with safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Provisions shall be made for the safe ingress, egress and circulation of vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
(3) 
The necessary provisions shall be made for controlling stormwater drainage on-site and off-site consistent with the City of Española Design Guidelines.
(4) 
The necessary easements shall be provided for ingress, egress, access, and all required amenities, including also existing and proposed utilities, on-site and off-site. No existing easement shall be vacated or relocated without provision for a suitable alternate, and all new easements shall be provided as necessary.
(5) 
The site plan shall include a landscape plan that will enhance the site and immediate vicinity. The landscape plan shall conform to the requirements set forth in §§ 1304 and 1305.
(6) 
The proposed on-site improvements shall preserve, to the extent practical, outstanding topographical features and natural amenities on the site.
(7) 
In areas located within the same zoning district having different uses, appropriate screening and/or buffering shall be provided between properties; to be designed, built and paid for by the more intense use, provided that the more intense use was the most recent developed.
D. 
For development plans involving more than two lots for single-family dwellings, the following additional provisions shall apply:
(1) 
Parking lots, outside storage areas, outside mechanical equipment and outdoor lighting shall be designed to serve the intended use of the development while minimizing adverse impacts on adjacent properties or public rights-of-way.
(2) 
The capacity of those public services and facilities required to serve the proposed development (including but not limited to water, sanitary sewer, electricity, gas, storm sewer, streets, etc.) shall conform with, or if improvements are required, shall be made to conform with, the requirements of the City of Española Design Guidelines.
(3) 
Provisions shall be made to serve the development with tot lots and/or neighborhood parks in accordance with the adopted Comprehensive Plan.
(4) 
In all R-1 and R-2 Districts, provisions shall be considered for the incorporation of or exclusion of recreational vehicle parking and storage.
(5) 
Adequate screening and buffering, if appropriate, shall be provided between properties. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the Planning Director shall review and approve the landscape plan.
A. 
A request for amendment to the Comprehensive Plan shall, if necessary, be submitted, processed, heard and decided upon concurrently with the request for amendment to the Official Zoning Map.
B. 
During the course of the review of any request for an amendment to the Official Zoning Map, the DRT shall utilize the following criteria in formulating a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall make findings as to whether or not the proposal meets the following criteria and shall make a recommendation for approval, conditional approval or denial to the City Council. The City Council shall make findings as to whether or not the proposal meets the following criteria at the time of its approval, conditional approval or denial:
(1) 
The request substantially conforms to the Comprehensive Plan and is not materially detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Española.
(2) 
The requested zoning shall be reviewed considering the available development potential in the proposed district.
(3) 
Consideration shall be given to the existing and programmed capacity of on-site and off-site public services and facilities, including, but not limited to, water, sanitary sewer, electricity, gas, storm sewer, streets, sidewalks, traffic control, parks, fire and police to adequately serve the property should a rezoning result in any increase of the intensity of use of the property.
(4) 
The establishment, maintenance or operation of uses applied for will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, be detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of persons residing or working adjacent to or within the proximity of the subject property.
(5) 
The existing zoning is inappropriate for one or more of the following reasons:
(a) 
It was established in error;
(b) 
Changed conditions warrant the rezoning; or
(c) 
A different zone is more likely to meet goals contained in the Comprehensive Plan.
(6) 
The proposed zoning will not result in spot zoning or strip zoning as defined in Article I of this chapter, or one or more of the following exceptions to the prohibition of spot zoning or strip zoning is met:
(a) 
Granting such zoning accomplishes the policy and intent of the Comprehensive Plan;
(b) 
Unique characteristics specific to the site exist; or
(c) 
The zoning serves as an appropriate transition between land uses of higher and lower intensity.
A. 
The DRT shall utilize the following criteria in formulating a recommendation to the Planning Commission, and the Planning Commission shall utilize the following criteria in making its determination of approval, conditional approval or denial:
(1) 
The request substantially conforms to the Comprehensive Plan, and the establishment, maintenance or operation of the use applied for will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, comfort or general welfare of persons residing or working in the vicinity of such proposed use, or be detrimental or injurious to property or to the value of property in the vicinity, or to the general welfare of the citizens of Española.
(2) 
There are sufficient parking facilities that are adequately designed, shielded, landscaped and lighted to serve the use applied for based on the requirements of this chapter as found in Article VIII of this chapter.
(3) 
The provisions for on-site and off-site ingress/egress and traffic circulation are in conformance with the City of Española Design Guidelines, the public streets serving the use applied for are adequate to meet the traffic needs of the proposed use, and the proposed use will not adversely affect neighboring properties by virtue of the type of traffic generated by the use.
(4) 
The setbacks of buildings and parking facilities from the property lines, right-of-way, and adjacent land uses are in conformance with this chapter and provide protection to and a transition from residential development, existing and contemplated, in the vicinity; and the height and bulk of the proposed buildings and structures are compatible with the general character of development in the vicinity of the use applied for.
(5) 
The site plan, including, but not limited to, landscaping, screen planting, and fencing of the proposed development, demonstrates that the site development will be compatible with adjoining areas and will conform to the site development standards of the district regulations.
B. 
The Planning Commission shall prescribe the point in time at which the special use is to begin, not to exceed 90 days from the meeting date, and the point in time when the special use shall expire, not to exceed five years.
C. 
Failure to begin or complete any required action authorized at the time of granting the special use shall void the special use.
D. 
Special use permits are not transferable, and a transfer of the land ownership shall invalidate the special use.
A. 
During the course of review of any variance request, the Planning Commission shall determine whether all of the requirement in this section have been met and shall make a determination of approval, conditional approval or denial:
(1) 
The practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship is inherent to the lot and is peculiar because of the size, shape, topography or some other characteristic of the lot which differentiates it from other lots in the vicinity or in the district. The hardship created is not self-imposed.
(2) 
The practical difficulty or hardship created is caused by a strict interpretation of the provisions of this chapter, is not self-imposed and is not generally shared by other lots in the vicinity or the district.
(3) 
The granting of the requested variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right of the applicant which is possessed by other owners in the vicinity.
(4) 
The granting of the variance sought will not be contrary to the purpose or intent of this chapter, or injurious to property within 100 feet or otherwise detrimental to the general health, safety, or general welfare of the community.
B. 
Should any request for variance not meet all four of the above-listed criteria, the Planning Commission shall deny the request.
A. 
A request for amendment to the Comprehensive Plan shall, if necessary, be submitted concurrently with the request for amendment to the text of this chapter.
B. 
When reviewing a request for amendment to the text of this chapter, the DRT shall utilize the following criteria in formulating a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall utilize the following criteria in making its recommendation to the City Council. The City Council shall utilize the following criteria in making its determination of approval or denial:
(1) 
The request substantially conforms to the Comprehensive Plan; and
(2) 
The request is not materially detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Española.
During the course of the review of any request for a determination of uses or for addition, deletion or change in category of uses which may be allowed in any zoning district, the DRT shall utilize the following criteria in formulating a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall utilize the following criteria in making its recommendation of approval, conditional approval or denial to the City Council, and the City Council shall utilize the following criteria in making a determination of approval or denial:
A. 
The proposed change will not result in land use inconsistent with the purpose of the district.
B. 
The proposed change will not permit the establishment of a use incompatible with a use allowed in the district.
C. 
The proposed change substantially conforms to the Comprehensive Plan.
D. 
The proposed use is not materially detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Española.