Q & A
Questions submitted on or before March 10 will be posted and answered below:
Q. What traffic improvements will be required, NMDOT & Village and will the Village pay for them? Is there a water and sewer system to the site and have capacities? Will the Village pay for system upgrades if necessary? Will the Village pay for offsite traffic improvements required? Will the Village pay for offsite utility connections with capacity to the site? Will the Village provide a waiver of any fees; park, utility connections, etc?
A. At this stage of development, the Village cannot confirm what improvements will be required, both on and offsite, because we have not seen a development proposal. These answers could vary depending on what is proposed. There are Village water and sewer utilities on both Los Lentes Rd. and at the Transportation Center. The Village is authorized through both the MRA and the Affordable Housing Ordinance to offer incentives for development that can potentially include any of the requests above, which will be negotiated and finalized after we approve a proposal.
Q. Has there been a market study to determine the demand and lease rates?
A. There has been a market study with the Affordable Housing Plan to determine affordable housing need and income level requirements. There has not been a market study to determine lease rates market rate housing or commercial.
Q. If the market absorption shows a need for phasing, will the Village phase the leasing/sale of the property?
A. Yes, the Village could consider this. This will be negotiated and finalized after we approve a proposal.
Q. Have there been any approved permits to build apartments in the Village in the past 6 months?
A. No, there have not. The Village has been informed by more than one prospective apartment developer that they have been unable to secure funding for their project due to a lack of comps in the area. The Village hopes that with the inclusion of both affordable and market rate housing in this project, there should be more and varied funding opportunities available.
Q. A portion of the site is currently a large shallow drainage pond. What water does this pond accept and does it have to remain? Is there a grading and drainage plan? Does the pond accept historic flows, and will there be any additional requirements for grading and drainage?
A. This pond currently accepts both onsite and some offsite flows. The proposed development can reconfigure the pond/drainage, but must continue to retain its own onsite drainage. There is not an existing grading and drainage plan, because there is not a current development plan. The site will not be required to accept historic flows, nor are their additional requirements for grading and drainage.
Q. The site appears to be in a FEMA floodplain requiring additional flood insurance?
A. The site is in a FEMA designated flood hazard zone of AE. Some of the costs of flood insurance can be mitigated by designing above the base flood elevation.
Q. Has the Village of Los Lunas started the process to remove the site from the flood plain?
A. No, respondents will need to take floodplain design into consideration when preparing a proposal.
Q. The proposed property is in a Metropolitan Redevelopment Area, will the Village provide development subsidy (i.e. infrastructure costs such as utilities, road improvements, drainage, etc.)?
A. There are not specific development costs that the Village intends to subsidize; however, the MRA does authorize the Village to provide development subsidy, and we would expect to see any requested subsidies presented in the cost proposal.
Q. What other subsidies are available from the Village for development?
A. The Village is authorized to make additional subsidies, or housing grants, through our Affordable Housing Ordinance, which could include reduced or waived development fees, and making the land available at a cost below market rate.
Q. With the AMI restrictions on at least 45 of the units (60% AMI), the project will likely require LIHTCs to make it feasible. If an applicant receives a LIHTC award immediately after selection that would be the 2021 round (anticipated awards in June 2021), the developer would likely start construction in January 2022, with completion in 2023. This would require an extension of the completion deadline as well. If an applicant is not successful in obtaining an award of credits is the Village amendable to extending the time frame in which construction must begin. The RFP currently states that 50% of the affordable dwelling units must be constructed within two years of signing the agreement.
A. In the event of funding awards, such as LIHTC, where waiting on the awarded funding would require an extension of the timeframe to complete the first 50% of the affordable dwelling units, the Village will consider an extension. If this is anticipated to be the case, please note expected timelines for project completion in the proposal. The Village will also consider extension of initial completion deadlines if anticipated funding is not awarded; however, the Village will not consider indefinite extensions. All completion deadlines will be finalized when the contract is signed between the Village and the selected developer.
Q. The Master Plan calls for commercial development in land not included in the RFP and the land in the RFP is shown as only multi-family, plaza and parking in the Master Plan, why the difference?
A. The Master Plan is intended to serve as a conceptual framework to the different types of development and scale of development suitable for the Transportation Center area. While it does not specifically call for mixed-use commercial/residential development on the parcels that are a part of the RFP, the intent of the Master Plan show what general uses would be desired throughout the master planned area. Additionally, the TOD-MU zone, which the site will be rezoned to, allows mixed-use commercial residential.
Q. If a plaza is included in our proposal, would the Village take on the responsibility of owning/maintaining it once complete?
A. While Village maintenance of public amenities is an option, and can be negotiated with the selected developer; the Village owns and maintains a plaza adjacent to the Transportation Center already, so we do not currently have plans to maintain an additional plaza in the area.
Q. Land disposition of proposed site – sale, donation/contribution or long term lease, will the Village consider all?
A. Yes, the Village would consider any of those, to offering the land for sale at a reduced cost as an incentive through the Affordable Housing Ordinance.
Q. Status of Courthouse Road realignment?
A. Construction is scheduled to begin July 2020, and end February 2021.
Q. What is the potential of surrounding neighborhoods supporting the proposed road realignments (through their neighborhoods), as called out for in the Master Plan?
A. There are no proposed realignments called for in the Master Plan, only road extensions to connect to existing Village roads. A community visioning process - as mentioned in the RFP – would be expected to introduce the neighbors to the benefits to connecting to existing roads.
Q. Status of new pedestrian connection from Aspen Drive to the Transportation Center?
A. Construction of pedestrian connection will begin August 2021.
Q. The Village’s Transportation Center Master Plan (Master Plan) calls for other access points (i.e. Helen Circle Rd.) – is that still something the Village will support?
A. Yes, the Village would still support connections and access points called for in the Master Plan.
Q. The timeline from submittal of questions (3/10/20) to actual submittal of proposals (3/24/20) is only 14 days, will the VLL consider extending the submittal timeline as the answer to the questions could impact overall design?
A. Understood. Yes, the Village has considered this request, and has extended the submittal deadline from March 24 to April 14, and will present proposals to Village Council on May 14 instead of April 9.
Q. Does the certification to be a “Qualified Grantee” need to be submitted to MFA prior to our application/response to the VLL? What is the process for submitting this request to the MFA and to whose attention should we direct this request? What is the MFA’s timeline for processing these certifications?
A. No, the Qualified Grantee application can be submitted with the proposal. The Village will send all Qualified Grantee applications to MFA after receiving the proposals. MFA will review these applications and have their responses submitted to the Village prior to the Council meeting on May 14.