Our clients (including SouthWest Organizing Project and Pajarito Village Association) won an important victory on June 2 when state District Court Judge Nancy Franchini ruled that the 2015 Santolina approval process was flawed.
Judge Franchini’s decision reverses and remands the Bernalillo County Commission’s (BCC’s) approval of the project’s “Zone Map Amendment,” which changed the zoning for the developer’s site from “A-1 Rural-Agricultural” to “Planned Community”. This step was required before any other approval steps could be taken by the BCC.
On Tuesday, June 6, attorneys for the Law Center submitted a memorandum asking the Judge to clarify her decision.
06/06/2017 • Back to top
“We respectfully disagree with the judge’s analysis relating to the master plan,” said Douglas Meiklejohn, the executive director and an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. But he added that her ruling on the zone change decision is a “big victory for fairness and due process.” Albuquerque Journal
Go to Albuquerque Journal for full story.
06/02/2017 • Back to top
Attorney Douglas Meiklejohn, who represented Santolina opponents in the case, said he disagreed with Franchini’s decision regarding the master plan, but was happy that she struck down the zoning change.
“We respectfully disagree with the judge’s analysis as to the master plan, but we believe that the determination that our clients were denied fairness in the proceedings regarding the zoning is a major victory for fairness in these kinds of proceedings and for members of the public who want to participate in these kinds of proceedings,” Meiklejohn said. ABQ Free Press
Go to ABQ Free Press for full story.
06/02/2017 • Back to top
“It’s about time someone in a position of power called out the Commissioners like De La Cruz who disrespect us, mislead us, and step over us on behalf of the developers.” Roberto Roibal, SWOP
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Today, the Honorable Judge Nancy Franchini of the New Mexico Second Judicial District Court, ruled that the Bernalillo County Commission did not grant community advocates a fair hearing when it approved the “Zone Map Amendment” (ZMA) for the proposed Santolina mega-development. The decision hinged on a pro-Santolina Op-Ed in the Albuquerque Journal that was penned by former Commissioner Art De La Cruz before a public hearing was held on the proposed development. Commissioner De La Cruz voted in the majority in a 3-2 vote to approve the ZMA and Level A Master Plan on June 16, 2015.
06/01/2017 • Back to top
Aquifer Science drilled two wells, one nearly 4,000 feet deep, but did not hit either the quantity or quality of water needed for the development. The Master Plan estimates a need of 1,500 acre-feet a year.
That application was protested by close to 300 people; that opposition coalesced into Deep Well Protest, which hired the N.M. Environmental Law Center. Meanwhile, Bernalillo County protested the application, in part because the county had been denied an application of 30 acre-feet when it put in baseball fields near Vista Grande Community Center, on property very near the master-planned project. That was in 2013. The Independent
Go to The Independent full story.
05/19/2017 • Back to top
Santolina developers try to disconnect land use from water
In the 1990s, Bernalillo County adopted an ordinance that lays out very specific requirements for developers seeking to build master-planned communities. Key among them are rules that developers must show that they have both “wet” water and water rights for their projects.
It just makes sense that massive proposed developments like Santolina (which promises housing for 90,000 people and industry for 75,000 jobs) should have to demonstrate that they have adequate amounts water for these new communities.
But guess what…
05/09/2017 • Back to top