The Las Cruces City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution, on Tuesday, July 6, authorizing the City to enter into a 10-year non-exclusive franchise agreement with Comcast of New Mexico and Pennsylvania. The Council’s approval came at its regularly scheduled meeting, conducted via video conference.
The franchise agreement authorizes Comcast to maintain and operate its cable communications system in Las Cruces. The agreement also enables Comcast to maintain its telecommunications system infrastructure within City-owned rights of way for the benefit of the City. The new franchise agreement also will enable the City to preserve its standard definition channel as well as allow CLC-TV to add a high-definition channel to enhance its broadcast signal.
City Council acknowledged that efforts to develop and approve a new cable franchise agreement with Comcast have taken several years. The City last entered into a franchise agreement with Comcast on March 15, 1999. However, that agreement expired in 2011.
City Council’s approval of a new franchise agreement will be developed into an Ordinance by the City Attorney’s Office. The Ordinance will be presented to City Council for a first reading at its July 19 meeting and could be considered for adoption at the Council’s August 2 meeting.
Pursuant to the Las Cruces Cable Television Ordinance, Las Cruces Municipal Code Sections 16-361 through 16-408, and in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, the City is authorized to grant and renew one or more non-exclusive revocable franchise agreements to construct, maintain and operate cable communications systems within the City. The new franchise agreement was evaluated by the City Attorney's Office and it was determined that Comcast’s legal, financial, and technical ability is reasonably sufficient to provide service, facilities and equipment necessary to meet the future cable-related needs of the community.
In addition to all applicable city, state and federal regulations, Comcast must abide by all City requirements regarding contracting, construction, aesthetics, safety, and conduit.
For consideration of the franchise agreement, Comcast will be required to pay the City a franchise fee equal to five percent of annual gross revenues recovered from the operation of the cable system in the City.
Additionally, at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council also unanimously adopted an Ordinance approving a zone change from A-2, Rural Agriculture, to C-2, Commercial Medium Intensity, for a .93-acre property at 3300 W. Picacho Avenue. The zone change, in City Council District 4, will allow for an expansion of land uses to include institutional and retail services and brings the property into compliance with the 2001 Las Cruces Municipal Code, as it has been amended.
Based on the existing neighborhood’s mixture of commercial and industrial land uses, and in close proximity with single-family detached dwellings, the zone change will be compatible with the surrounding area, specifically the commercial corridor, and will be in harmony with Section 38-2 of the 2001 Zoning Code.
The zone change is consistent with elements of Elevate Las Cruces including the Future Development Map and certain goals, policies, and actions.