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25.2 Subdivisions within water service boundary

This indicator examines the location of approved subdivisions within the City of Albuquerque by year.

This indicator is part of Efficient development.

Indicator description:

This indicator examines the location of approved subdivisions within the City of Albuquerque by year. These subdivisions are at least 5 acres in size or have a minimum of five lots. This identifies whether they are within the 1960 City boundary, between the 1960 and 1980 City boundaries, between the 1980 City boundary and the adopted water service area boundary (WIZ) of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), or whether the subdivisions are located outside the adopted water service area boundary. Generally, the further away from the older city boundaries a development is, the greater the infrastructure demands. ABCWUA requires development agreements for subdivisions outside the water infrastructure zone and mandates a “no net cost” approach that includes water usage targets much below average, water supply fees, and system upgrades, if needed. Residential density of these approved subdivisions is also reported in this indicator.

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Why is this indicator relevant?

New development can be considered sprawl if it occurs far from activity centers, is less dense and more homogeneous, and requires extensive new public infrastructure costs. Sprawl has many negative consequences that are identified in the previous indicator (25.1). It is inefficient and adds to long term public costs that lessen a community’s ability to respond to other pressing needs. Efficient development enables a community to better address its needs now and in the future.

Data Source:
City of Albuquerque Planning Department.

What can we tell from the data?

  • While 53% of subdivisions in fiscal year 2008 were approved outside the water infrastructure zone, over the last 4 fiscal years this has decreased to 40%.
  • While the City has approved a large number of subdivisions in the outer areas of the municipal limits, these subdivisions have tended to be among the most dense. County developments appear to be much less so.
  • Mesa del Sol, a very large planned community with a high degree of mixed use, various densities in planned development, and an integrated transportation infrastructure, is not included in the City subdivisions occuring outside the WIZ. Mesa del Sol has a Planned Community Development designation (PCD), the only such approved City development outside the WIZ.


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