Santolina moves closer to approval as opponents shout ‘Shame!’

Dozens of protesters shouted, “Shame!” as Bernalillo County commissioners voted against three appeals of a planned community on Albuquerque’s Westside. The votes to reject the appeals all came on 3-2 votes as protesters, including those from the Contra Santolina Working Group, chanted to show their displeasure on Thursday night. Commissioners Art De La Cruz, Lonnie Talbert and Wayne Johnson voted to reject the appeals while commissioners Debbie O’Malley and Maggie Hart Stebbins voted for the appeals. The appeals heard at the meeting were filed by the South Valley Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, the South Valley Regional Association of Acequias and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Each appeal protested the Bernalillo County Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve the Santolina master plan for a variety of reasons, including a lack of transparency with how Santolina will use water resources, disagreements over Santolina’s job promises, a perceived inconsistency with the Mid-Region Council of Governments’ future transportation plans and more.

Attempt to push back Santolina decision fails

The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday against pushing back a decision on the Santolina Master Plan. Commissioner Debbie O’Malley sponsored an initiative to allow an additional 90 days for more public input. The attempt failed on a 3 to 2 vote. Maggie Hart Stebbins was the only other commissioner to vote in favor of the delay. O’Malley told New Mexico Political Report she wants to give members of the public more opportunities to ask questions and raise their concerns in a town hall-type environment.