Village of Los Ranchos residents got a chance to meet Captain Justin Kimbrough, the newly appointed North Area Commander for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, at the Feb. 8 Village Trustee meeting.
Kimbrough said he was happy to be working at the North Area Command. He has worked for the sheriff’s department for 17 years and has been a captain for 18 months. He lives not too far from the Village and is a football coach at La Cueva. Kimbrough said this is the community he is involved in and is available for anything the Village and its residents need.
Appeals Go Round Again
Too much of the meeting was taken up by five appeals of planning and zoning commission approvals of five variance requests by Peterson Properties for a just under an acre of new commercial development at Fourth and Chavez. The variance requests were for setback and parking issues.
According to Village staff, the site development plan was approved in this Village Center area in 2016. There is no expiration date for this approval. In 2018, changes were made to the Village Center zoning that rendered the plan out of compliance in the areas of parking and setback issues, hence the variance requests.
Ron Chavez, who abuts the development west on Chavez Road, filed the one of the appeals. He said he has no problem with the overall project. His said his problem was that there was only one application filed and not four separate applications. Staff said the substantive facts are the same for the variance requests, so it is standard to use one application.
Joe Craig filed the other four appeals and said someone altered information, that the site was not in the Village Center zone and is subject to the moratorium on high density residential development. Staff said the site was in the Village Center zone when the site development plan was approved, and the development is not subject to the high-density residential development moratorium since it was not a residential development but a commercial development.
A representative for Peterson Properties said there has been no evidence presented by the two appellants that the planning and zoning commission erred in its decision to approve the variances.
All five appeals were denied on 2 to 1 votes with Trustee Allen Lewis excused. Trustee George Radnovich flipped the sole nay.
It’s Okay to Pay for It
At the last meeting, Trustee Radnovich asked why the village has been paying for Mayor Don Lopez’s engineering certificate. Mayor Lopez asked Village Attorney Nan Winter to investigate the legality of the matter. Winter said that the village pays for about a half dozen employee licenses and certifications. It can do this if the Village uses those credentials for Village business. She said Mayor Lopez’s license is used to reference Requests for Proposals, grant applications and for peer review. She said his license is used dozens of times a year. Since 2019, Mayor Lopez’s license has cost the Village $566.50. Winter went on to say that the other certifications of the other staff total into the thousands. She said there is no violation of the Government Conduct Act, no Anti-donation conflict and no violation of ethics.
Bits and Pieces
A bit of hopeful news for those living along the Paseo del Norte raceway. During public comment, Craig, who is also from the Friends of Los Ranchos group, said funding has been acquired to do a sound study along this noisy highway that roars through the Village.
Maybe this could lead to sound walls. He also said that the berms are being raised by the state Department of Transportation for safety to detour speeding cars from leaving the roadway and crashing into the yards of those abutting the cement scar.
Trustees deferred changing the date of their regular meetings. Seems like Trustee George Radnovich has a hard time reviewing his meeting packet within 6 days. He wants to see additional days added so he can read through his packet. Currently, the meetings are set for the second Wednesday of the month with the agenda packet ready 6 days earlier. This would move the meeting to the third Wednesday with the agenda and packets available 10 days earlier, according to Village documents. Trustee Sandra Pacheco and Mayor Don Lopez said they have no problem doing their job of reviewing the packet within 6 days. They deferred this issue for one month.
A moratorium on approvals of any new high density residential developments in the C-1 zone was extended until April 30 so that committees, staff and others can complete their work. It has been in effect since November.
Village Trustees meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm unless otherwise posted. For official village information, check out losranchosnm.gov.
Seeking Applications for a Farmer
The public is hereby notified that The Village of Los Ranchos is seeking a farmer who would be interested in leasing three acres along Rio Grande Blvd., NW, on the Northeast side of the field. The farmer is required to keep this highly visible location neat and well maintained, is interested in growing something unique that would work in conjunction with the mission of the Agri-Nature Center, and is also interested in promoting education and using the site to collaborate on teaching agricultural practices to the public.
Application period will be open from: Monday, February 13, 2023, beginning at 10:00am and closes on Monday, February 27, 2023, at 5:00pm, MST.
For the complete application click here . Applications can also be can be picked up at Village Hall, M-F; during regular business hours.