Opponents Ask For Delay
Opponents of the massive Santolina development on the West Side are asking that the 2015 approval for the project be junked and that the process start all over again now that a judge has voided a zoning change that the project depended on.
Lawyers for the opponents have asked the Bernalillo County Planning Commission to delay any action on approving Santolina’s Level B master plan until everyone figures out exactly what the May 31 decision voiding the zoning change means.
The Planning Commission denied the request for the deferral this afternoon at a hearing in Downtown Albuquerque.
The opponents are arguing that because state District Court Nancy Franchini voided the zoning change, the Level A master plan, which the Bernalillo County Commission approved in June 2015, in effect doesn’t exist. The county commission could not have approved the Level A plan without the zoning change, the opponents are arguing.
“There is no longer a valid PC Zone [planned community] for the proposed Santolina Development, and the Court’s opinion indicates that proceedings for Santolina Level A must begin anew,” said the request for deferral filed by lawyers with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center in Santa Fe.
In June 2015, the county commission changed the zoning for the 13,800-acre Santolina development from rural/agricultural to a planned community designation, which allows for residential and commercial development.
But Franchini voided that decision saying that one county commissioner had prejudged the matter and that opponents were denied due process of law.