Santa Fe-Size Development Could Put a Huge Straw into New Mexico’s Scarce Water

by Gwynne Ann Unruh

The Paper.

May 6, 2022

Hang in there, folks, as the “Santolina Saga” continues. The saga is a win one, loose one, a piecemeal maze of plans, interim use, solar panels, an old tire dump and nearly a decade of court battles. There are Master Plans, Interim Use and Development Agreements ad nauseam. Deciphering the bottom line for the development is like a puzzle the mind can’t quite grasp.

Opponents have criticized the project for being piecemeal—not planned — a sprawl development. They also assert developers are violating provisions in New Mexico’s Planned Communities Criteria and violating the No Net Expense Criteria. And then there’s the big straw the development would put into the Land of Enchantment’s dwindling aquifer. Here’s the latest in the court battles.

Court Denies Santolina Opponent’s Appeal

Chalk up a win for Britain’s Barclays Bank in their drive to develop the high desert mesas of New Mexico. A recent Court of Appeals decision has affirmed the District Court decision denying the appeal of Santolina’s opponents, who charged that the District Court erred in upholding Bernalillo County’s approval of the Santolina Level B Master Plan and Development Agreement, Level B1 Master Plan and the Level B1 Development Agreement….

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