The answer for White Rock

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

I’ve read the proposed White Rock Development Plan and I have a few comments. I also read the article in the Monitor May 11 about the town hall meeting where the plan was discussed.

I completely agree that the library needs to be on residential side of N.M. 4. It is simply unacceptable to ask young children to cross N.M. 4. I don’t care how safe the crossing is (even an overpass), young children should not have to cross N.M. 4.

The issue of retail in White Rock is very, very simple. If rent is too high, retail cannot survive. No amount of pretty landscaping is going to get us to shop on the Hill or White Rock when Walmart is just 10 minutes farther. The only viable businesses in White Rock are those that offer items it doesn’t make sense to get on the Internet or buy at Walmart (or in Santa Fe). Restaurants, small hardware stores, shipping services or other small-item shops are the only types of stores that will survive.

The reason businesses cannot survive is simple: Rent is too high.

Rent is high because the land barons of this town keep it high so the lab is forced to pay the maximum that DOE lets the lab pay. There is a very simple answer to this: regulation. Simply pass commercial rent control in Los Alamos County.

We will, of course, hear from the land barons why this is a horrible idea and why it will not work, but there must be a way to write the regulation so the barons have to offer reasonable rent to local businesses – maybe only have rent control for retail, but not for office, or only have rent control when the tenant has fewer than 50 employees. The county council should spend consultant money on writing this piece of legislation, which might actually be useful to us county residents.

Allan Marcus

Los Alamos