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…

Rather than demonstrate that it has water (which it doesn’t), the developer is attempting to strike the water requirements from the Level A Master Plan. It has asked the Bernalillo County Planning Commission for a hearing on this request.

Santolina developers failed to abide by these requirements during the Level A Master Plan phase (a centerpiece of our appeals of that process). Rather than dismiss their application, County Commissioners built specific requirements into the Level A Master Plan to ensure that Western Albuquerque Land Holdings (WALH) would meet the requirements during the Level B process. Read Response in Opposition

You can be sure that we are making every effort to stop both this ill-advised development, and the scheme to decouple land use from water – a scheme that would be catastrophic for New Mexicans for generations to come. We think that this hearing will be held on June 7, but the County is only required to give the public 72 hours’ notice of agendas, so we’ll let you know as soon as we hear!