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About the Project

The City of Santa Fe is moving forward with the much anticipated review and update of the Land Development Code (LDC). The LDC establishes zoning districts, identifies allowed land uses, sets development and design standards, and lays out procedures for considering and approving development applications.  

The goal of the project is to prepare a new LDC with clear and consistent regulations that is easy to understand and simple to administer. The project offers an opportunity for a comprehensive review of regulations that have been amended at various times over the years, and will help ensure consistency and provide clear guidance, so that development aligns with the community’s needs and desires for future growth.

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What is the LDC?

In Santa Fe, the Land Development Code (LDC) is Chapter 14 of the municipal code of ordinances. The LDC is the set of development regulations that includes not only zoning provisions but also other ordinances affecting land development in Santa Fe.

 

The LDC includes regulations that govern:

  • Zoning Districts

  • Overlay Districts (including historic districts and archeological review districts)

  • Permitted uses/Use regulations

  • Building envelope and open space standards

  • Development standards (including architectural design, off-street parking, landscaping, impact fees, lighting, signs, and more)

  • And potentially other ordinances as determined by the City Council.

What is the LDC Update Project?

The goal of the project is to prepare a new LDC with clear and consistent regulations that is easy to understand and simple to administer. The update to the current LDC (Chapter 14 of the Municipal Code) will focus on revisions to better support contemporary planning and land use practices within a clear regulatory framework. The project offers an opportunity for a comprehensive review of regulations that have been amended at various times over the years. This will help ensure consistency and provide clear guidance, so that development aligns with the community’s needs and desires for future growth. The new LDC will also be an important tool for implementing the Santa Fe General Plan, which is scheduled to be updated through a separate project over the next two years. 

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About the General Plan

Alongside the Land Development Code (LDC) Update, the City is initiating an update to the General Plan. The General Plan is the primary policy document that reflects residents’ desires regarding Santa Fe’s future. Once adopted, the City will refer to the Plan as a policy guide for big-picture decision-making. As the General Plan update process gets underway, it is an excellent opportunity for Santa Feans to participate, providing their input to shape the collective vision for the City. The General Plan will reflect the diverse thoughts and ideas of all who live, work, or own a business in the City, while establishing an actionable strategy to achieve the community vision.

The LDC Update focuses on Chapter 14, the purpose of which is to “implement the General Plan, including guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of Santa Fe that will best promote health, safety, order, convenience, prosperity and the general welfare as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development , and to ensure that the regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter are in accordance with the general plan.” Specifically, the LDC regulates development in ways that support implementation of the General Plan. That includes requirements for zoning and subdivision, standards for what uses are allowed in what locations and, through development standards, how that development must look (landscaping, number of parking spaces, lighting, and more).

The LDC Update project, initiated in February 2023, is a multi-year process that will proceed concurrently with the General Plan update. Some changes to the LDC will be made prior to the General Plan being adopted – these are aimed at making the code simpler, more streamlined, and better organized. Later stages of the LDC Update will focus more in the opportunity to align the code regulations in support of accomplishing the Plan’s policy directions. These later stages of the LDC Update will ensure that —moving forward— the city of Santa Fe’s policies and regulations will work hand in hand.

Project Timeline

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PHASE 1

LDC Foundations

Spring 2023 - Fall 2024

Task 1: Project Orientation
Task 2: Issues Identification
Task 3: LDC Analysis & Annotated Outline
Task 4: LDC Foundations (Code Housekeeping)
Task 5: Phase 1 Adoption
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PHASE 2

2024 - 2026

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PHASE 3

Promoting Key Standards

General Plan Implementation

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