Last month, the Bernalillo County Commission approved Santolina’s Level B Master Plan – despite no support from constituents, no agreement from the Bernalillo County Water Authority and no evidence that the development will result in no-net expense to Bernalillo County taxpayers.
The majority of commissioners voted to follow the recommendation to allow the developer to move forward before having a water plan worked out – Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley voted against. The commissioners voted 3-2, in a separate hearing, to approve developers’ Level B Master Plan and allow them to move on to the Level C planning process. Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins and Chairwoman O’Malley both voted against.
“We are pleased that Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins moved to grant our appeal of the County Planning Commission’s decision to recommend approval of the Level B.1 Master Plan, and that Chair O’Malley seconded that motion,” says Jaimie Park, NMELC Staff Attorney and lead counsel on the case. “It was not a surprise that the rest of the Commissioners voted ‘nay’ for that motion and ultimately voted to approve the incomplete Level B.1 Master Plan.”
Review and approval authority of major subdivision Level C documents is now in the hands of the County Planning Commission (CPC), yet because the County has agreed to allow Level C documents to be reviewed by the County Development Review Authority by summary procedures (pursuant to Condition 19 of approval for the Level A Master Plan), Level C will occur behind closed doors, in violation of the New Mexico Subdivision Act and Bernalillo County ordinances.
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