Land Use and Transportation: Residential Neighborhoods

Land Use and Transportation: Residential Neighborhoods

The League of Women Voters of Los Alamos supports the development of residential neighborhoods that are sustainable and livable.
Position History: 

(2013)

LWVLA supports the development of residential neighborhoods that are sustainable and livable. To achieve those goals, we believe that new and redeveloped neighborhoods should be designed to minimize sprawl and impact on the natural environment. Neighborhoods should support a diverse population with inviting streets and public spaces as well as access to public transportation.

Further Guidelines:

1. Where to build (efficient use of land that minimizes sprawl)

  • Neighborhoods near the downtown should be compact.
  • New development should not consume or fragment important natural habitats or wildlife corridors; it should be avoided on steep slopes or in canyons.
  • Redevelopment of "brownfields" and infill are preferred over new development in pristine landscapes. However, existing small neighborhood parks should be maintained or enhanced to reflect the unique character of the neighborhood.
  • Neighborhoods should be situated along available public transit lines and within easy access of daily activities.

2. What to build (neighborhood pattern/design)

  • Cluster homes to make transit more viable and to create walkable neighborhoods.
  • Design streets and pathways for safe and pleasant walking/biking within neighborhood.
  • Include a range of housing types/sizes to support diverse neighborhood population; include a mix of affordable housing within each neighborhood. Encourage ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) designs in individual homes to accommodate all ages and abilities.
  • Encourage the preservation of the positive character/architecture unique to each neighborhood.
  • The developer should include quality parks, trails, and public spaces within each neighborhood; the option of allowing payment in lieu of parks provision should be restricted.

3. How to build (how to manage environmental impacts)

  • Reduce storm water runoff and eliminate pollution sources.
  • Emphasize energy and water efficiency of streets and buildings; plan orientation of buildings to optimize solar gain.
  • Reuse older buildings to reduce energy and resource use as appropriate.
  • Encourage building materials that support high indoor air quality and are sourced sustainably.
  • Encourage appropriate landscaping based on native and xeric plants; create a streetscape with shade trees appropriate for our climate.
  • Minimize light pollution.
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