June 1, 2015

City council rejects introduction of Santolina legislation

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Albuquerque city council chambers during a city council hearing in May 2015. Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

In an unusual—though legal—parliamentary move, city councilors rejected the introduction of legislation seeking city input into the Santolina master plan.

City council chambers during a city council hearing in May 2015. Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

City council chambers during a city council hearing in May 2015.
Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

Councilor Isaac Benton announced late Friday afternoon that he planned to introduce the legislation.

The introduction of legislation is generally a part of the agenda that goes by without much notice. But this time, councilor Trudy Jones moved to not allow the legislation to be introduced.

After a heated exchange between council president Rey Garduño and councilor Dan Lewis over the composition of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, the council voted 6-3 to reject Benton’s bill.

Before Benton’s bill was rejected from being introduced, Benton said that he thought the legislation was appropriate for the city council to hear.

“I think it’s expected from us by our constituents,” he said.

Benton’s bill sought for the city to have input on the large master planned community on Albuquerque’s West Side. Those who are proposing the plan opposed Benton’s legislation and said the process in the county should move forward.

“The Santolina entitlement process has been underway in Bernalillo County for approximately 22 months and consisted of 12 public hearings and 2 workshops plus multiple open houses and neighborhood meetings,” Jeff Garrett of Garrett Development Corporation said in a statement before the city council hearing. “Additionally, the City has already reviewed and commented on the Santolina Level A Master Plan.”

Garrett Development Corporation is the asset holder for Western Albuquerque Land Holdings, a company that was set up by London-based Barclays and two other investors who claim title to the land Santolina is proposed to be built on.

In addition to Benton and Garduño, councilor Diane Gibson voted against not allowing the legislation to be heard.

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