UPDATES


Judge Rules 2015 Hearing on Santolina “UNFAIR”

“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.

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06/01/2017 • Back to top


County And Opposition Seek To End Court Battle Over Campbell Ranch Water Supply

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


Welcome to the new way a developer tries to game the system

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…

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05/09/2017 • Back to top


Taking on a Global Problem …right here in New Mexico

Water speculators meet stiff resistance from the Law Center

Multinational corporations are working across the world to speculate in and privatize water supplies; despite strong laws and policies preventing speculation in New Mexico, water rights developers are eying our aquifers with a focus on profit.

But they’re having a tough time succeeding with the Law Center in their way.

Case in point: last month, Staff Attorney Jon Block and volunteer attorney Paul Hultin asked a state District Court to throw out a water grab case in the East Mountains of Albuquerque.

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05/09/2017 • Back to top


Residents Expand Fight Against Water Speculation in East Mountains

SANTA FE, N.M. – Residents of the communities in the East Mountains of Albuquerque, NM, have asked a judge to compel disclosure of the attorneys’ fees and costs of Aquifer Science, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of water development company PICO Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PICO) that seeks to obtain water rights in the East Mountains.

The non-profit New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) filed the motion for its clients—Deep Well Protest, San Pedro Creek Estates, and North 14—asserting that the fees and costs highlight the fact that PICO and its shell companies Vidler New Mexico and Campbell Farming Corporation (the owners of Aquifer Science) are merely water speculators with no real plan to put the water to beneficial use.

Go to case page.

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04/18/2017 • Back to top


Residents Fight Water Speculation in East Mountains

“Water is life, especially here in the high desert country, and allowing water speculators to grab our precious resources is something we all must work hard to prevent.” Jonathan Block, NMELC

SANTA FE, N.M. – Residents of the communities in the East Mountains of Albuquerque, NM, have asked a judge to throw out an appeal filed by Aquifer Science, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of water development company PICO Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PICO) that seeks to obtain water rights in the East Mountains.

A motion for summary judgment filed by the non-profit New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) for its clients—Deep Well Protest, San Pedro Creek Estates, and North 14—asserts that the application should be thrown out on the grounds that PICO and its shell companies Vidler New Mexico and Campbell Farming Corporation (the owners of Aquifer Science) are merely water speculators with no real a plan to put the water to beneficial use.

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04/18/2017 • Back to top


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