August 23, 2021

Bernalillo County Commission to Rehear Appeal of Zone Map Amendment for Santolina Development Project

Albuquerque, NM – An appeal of the controversial Santolina Development Project will be heard a second time in front of the Bernalillo County Commission this week. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 3pm. Detailed information on how to view the hearing and the agenda at the end of this release.

The first appeal of the Bernalillo County Planning Commission’s recommendation to change the zoning from Agricultural to Planned Communities was back in 2014. Two courts—the District Court and the Court of Appeals—ruled that the Bernalillo County Commission’s approval of the zone map amendment was invalid due to bias shown by one of the commissioners. Former commissioner Art De La Cruz had published an OpEd in the Albuquerque Journal in favor of the Santolina Development Project prior to the hearing. The hearing is a quasi-judicial forum in which commissioners should remain neutral until they hear all the evidence.

County staff has announced that no public comment will be permitted at this hearing. The public notice stated that the Bernalillo County Commission Rules of Procedure for Appeals will be followed. “If new evidence is submitted, it is possible that the case could be remanded to the CPC [County Planning Commission] for consideration if new evidence is presented to the Board that was not presented to the CPC,” County officials stated.

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is representing SouthWest Organizing Project, Pajarito Village Neighborhood Association plus a number of community members as individuals in this case.

Read full press release