County looking at traffic

By Marlena Hartz : CNJ staff writer

In response to a spike in subdivision growth, the Curry County Commission voted Tuesday to give its newly formed Land Use Committee the task of assessing the development of roadways and access to subdivisions.

County Manager Dick Smith stressed the importance of careful planning at Tuesday’s meeting. He said the development of homes in subdivisions, such as Silver Shadows north of Texico, highlights the need for an assessment system that allows the commission to review subdivision developments individually.

“We have never had this much interest in subdivisions before,” Smith said. “We get calls every day — if every proposed subdivision was approved, we would have about 1,400 new homes in the city and the county.”

The commission will perform assessment on a case-by-case basis, keeping regulations regarding the development of subdivisions to a minimum.

County Commissioner and Land Use Committee member Tim Ashley said common sense, in combination with individual assessment, will help side step the major problems faced by some communities.

“Some lots end up being very narrow and very deep — so you have a drainage issue,” Ashley said. “We are getting so much traffic and so much development in Curry County. But we don’t want to write down seven rules (in regards to construction of roads) because we’ve seen the error in different municipalities with a blanket rule.”

Public safety, traffic flow and drainage problems are the primary concerns for the committee. Decisions pertaining to design, such as the number of exits and entrances on a roadway, will also be reviewed by the Land Use Committee.

“There are too many situations,” Smith said, “for a regulation that would say ‘this is what you need to do.’ We are trying to look at it so we don’t have a driveway every 200 yards — that’s a health and safety issue coming out on a busy road, and it also can be a drainage issue. We need to look at not only what’s going on now, but what will be going on in the future.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The Commission voted to extend the joint powers agreement with the City of Texico, which allows Texico to house criminals in Clovis facilities.

• Southwest Concrete of Artesia won a bid for material and labor in road construction to the new cheese plant.