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Rio Rancho Council approves sweeping changes to zoning rules

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Development professionals called the changes to Rio Rancho’s planning and zoning ordinance that councilors approved last night dramatic, substantive and significant.

The changes affect residential, commercial and industrial development.

Among the changes aimed at commercial developers was a relaxation on height restrictions that now allows buildings up to 50-feet tall in commercial areas, or up to 76 feet with approval from the city’s planning and zoning board.

Previously, the height limit was 32 feet.

Lynne Anderson, president of the commercial real estate development association NAIOP, worked with city councilors and staff to craft the new ordinance. She welcomed the changes saying they would make the city more attractive to commercial developers.

“It was a long process with a  lot of stakeholders weighing in what would work for their needs,” Anderson said, “Developers were saying if you do it this way you are competitive with surrounding cities and it’s easier for us to convince clients to look at Rio Rancho in lieu of other cities.”

Read more in the Rio Rancho Journal on Saturday

Councilor Chuck Wilkins, who sponsored the ordinance, said he worked with business owners, city staff

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