A quick and easy special meeting of the Village of Los Ranchos Trustees was held Sept. 28 to extend a moratorium on a certain type of development that requires that developers give to the Village a percentage of the site for open space.
Village Trustees back in August put a moratorium on applications for its conservation development program until Sept. 30. It has now been extended until the end of December. At that same August meeting, a moratorium was placed until Dec. 31 on approval of any more high-density developments in village commercial zones. Village staff say more time is needed to to work out some of the changes to the necessary ordinances.
Both moratoria have been tangled up in a series of often contentious meetings between some village residents, elected officials and staff over four controversial development requests.
The conservation development moratorium came out of a request by Jim Long of Heritage Hotels. Long initially asked to build 21 homes on a little over 9 acres with 1.8 acres for open space. Long had a recent meeting with interested residents and reduced the homes to 16, increasing the open space to 2.5 acres. This piece sits on the corner of Guadalupe Trail and Chavez Road, about a half mile west of 4th Street. Trustees had already deferred taking any action on this application until November.
Friends of Los Ranchos, a non-profit organization set up to preserve open space in the village, has taken the lead to protest the Guadalupe project and three other developments. Earlier this month, the group filed an injunction complaint in state District Court to stop the work on the Palindrome 13-acre Village Center project at 4th and Osuna. More than a decade ago the Village considered that chunk of 4th St. as blighted and started the process of buying up the property for future Village use.
The lawsuit says the Village did not do the right thing when calling the acreage blighted and they did not do the right thing by selling the property to the developer for $1 per parcel. The project is in the demolition phase.
Another project just south of the Village Center is the Nijmegen Project, which was recently approved. This one is for 12 townhomes on just over a half-acre at Willow and 4th. Finally, an application for more apartments on Sandia View just west of 4th Street is in the pending stages and has not been approved.
Village trustees meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm unless they post otherwise. For all official Village information check losranchosnm.gov. For information about the Friends group, log on to friendsoflosranchos.com.