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A-19 toured for the first time

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By Jennifer Garcia

Economic development is at the forefront of the White Rock Center Master Plan/Economic Development Strategy.

The community’s vision for the White Rock Center is to create a thriving, active focal point that serves the community with a range of sevices and amenities. Part of creating such a community involves developing Parcel A-19.

Earlier this week, the White Rock Master Plan Committee, along with residents, representatives from the county and LACD Executive Director Kevin Holsapple took a tour of the parcel.

The purpose of the walking tour was to give the group a chance to see the parcel firsthand and get a feel for what it looks like. The group got to see the terrain and see where, according to the master plan, the residential area is set to be built.

They also got to see where the flexible-use areas lie, which could be used for commercial purposes, as well as a peek at where the town center would run.

“We’ve talked about it so much in the abstract, that it made sense to get up there and see what we’ve been talking about,” White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee Chair Kent Budge said. “There are some marvelous views. I can see some very nice housing going there. We got an idea of just how much space there is.”

Budge said the group was trying to get a feel for what’s out there.

There are various plans for A-19.

Housing Programs Manager Steve Brugger said the town center that had been planned for White Rock is at the corner of Sherwood and State Road 4 and extends into A-19. He also said a commercial area is being planned for the parcel.

“The area is critical to plan implementation,” Brugger said. “The committee members had never actually gone to the site, so Monday we gave everyone the opportunity to walk the site.”

He said you can’t really visualize it unless you are there, walking it.

“Given the topography, you can’t see everything from the road. In any planning exercise, nothing beats actually doing a site tour, whether it’s on foot, by vehicle or as I have done, on horseback,” Brugger commented.

He said the group was equipped with maps of the parcel.

“They showed a really interesting piece of land that’s got a great topography. Some areas, like Cañada del Buey, would be a great place for the continuation of a trail, which is planned for south of SR4 and extends into A-19. It’s a beautiful piece of ground,” be said.

Developing Parcel A-19 is just another part of making White Rock more appealing to visitors and residents alike.

In the White Rock Master Plan Implementation vision, an improved State Route 4 which is the main roadway serving the community is safe and inviting to cross and an enhanced arroyo links old and new development together with surrounding neighborhoods and a new trail.

According to information on the plan listed on the county’s website, residents would have a choice of housing options and places to eat, shop and do business. A cohesive and vibrant street environment would frame a diverse mix of uses in a town center that attracts residents, commuters and visitors.

Strong connections would exist between White Rock, the Los Alamos townsite, Los Alamos National Lab, Bandelier National Monument and the greater county through business, civic and social connections, as well as strong transit links.

Though the recession has many residents wondering how the A-19 development will be affected, Budge wants to remind everyone that all recessions end and are followed by recovery.

“It may affect our timing, but I don’t think it will affect what will be done, eventually; it’s just when. I hope it will all start to mature and dirt will start to be turned. I hope the public continues to give us input,” Budge said.

The implementation committee continues to meet on the second Monday of every month and have been meeting since October.

Meetings are held at 6 p.m. in the White Rock Town Hall. For more information, visit www.losalamosnm.us/projects/cdd/Pages/WhiteRockMasterPlan.aspx.