The East Mountains Protection Action Coalition
Many reasons. First and foremost is water.
Water level monitoring across New Mexico, but specifically in the Estancia Basin and Sandia Basin indicate continuous water table declines. It is uncertain how long our water will last but it won’t last forever if the declines continue.
Adding 4000 new homes, a golf course, a resort and other development amenities will only deplete it faster and could adversely affect the groundwater quality.
AND… Multiple near and long term impacts to the East Mountains such as traffic congestion, emergency services, school system, archeological sites preservation, etc. are not being addressed in the Master Plan.
The 2002 plan talks of obtaining water from wells on the property with augmentation from a commercial water supplier.
The 2021 amended plan doesn’t specifically say where the water will come from.
Even though the Sandia and Estancia basins are closed for new commercial wells, the path CR has laid out to subdivide opens the possibility of an unknown number of new private domestic wells.
Entranosa pumps the majority of their water from wells in the Estancia Basin which is declining on average 1.5-2 feet per year. This affects everyone East of the Sandia Mountains.
Water for the CR development could come from the closed and declining Estancia Basin plus new domestic wells in the closed and declining Sandia Basin.
During the September 28, 2021 public hearing, questions about where the water will come from for the CR development were considered by the P&Z Commission to be outside of the scope of the hearing.
The impacts of implementing the amended Master Plan on declining aquifers and effects on the wells of existing residents were not allowed to be addressed in the public hearing, yet the amended Master Plan was still approved.
Nobody seems to know how Edgewood P&Z could have legitimately approved CR’s plan without a full water supply plan given current conditions — and without review or approval from the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.
We have not been able to find any assessment showing whether or not they do, nor have we found any statements made by Edgewood officials on this subject.
Per the Development Agreement between Edgewood and CR, CR is supposed to.
However, given their current plan of subdividing and selling those tracts to sub-developers, there will be no motivation for CR to do so once all of the property is sold.
Furthermore, there are no ordinances in place to force compliance with the Master Plan.
Bernalillo County has been adamant that they have never approved this development.
However, since Edgewood annexed 80% (Villages 2,3,4) of the development property, Bernalillo County has yielded authority over that portion of the property to Edgewood. CR deleted 20% of the property (Village 1) which is outside of Edgewood’s purview, due to Bernalillo County’s denial to approve.
Bernalillo County ordinances require that the Office of the State Engineer provide a favorable opinion showing a 70 year water supply for a subdivision.
This language was removed in the amended Master Plan and changed to: “the applicant must provide evidence of water availability consistent with the Town of Edgewood zoning & subdivision regulations except for subdivisions of 50 acres or more from the parent”.
What Edgewood P&Z approved has removed the OSE from the approval process.
During the public hearing, CR stated that details on these and many other elements of the Master Plan such as traffic studies, grading plans, agricultural and recreational water needs, will be worked out at the time of subdivision.
This means that individual developers across multiple distinct parcels, that will be developed over time, will have to coordinate among themselves to provide basic infrastructure.
No plan currently exists that requires this coordination or holds any entity accountable for lack of this necessary oversight and enforcement.
No proof, or justification for this kind of development, has been provided.
During the public hearing CR indicated that the housing and market analysis conducted by expert Mr. Mark Boud could be provided to the Edgewood Town Staff to provide to anyone interested.
After multiple requests following the public hearing no analysis has been made available so we don’t know about the demand for high density housing and related commercial development in our East Mountains low density and rural environment.
No. During the public hearing CR stated that a Sustainability plan will be created by a contractor. That plan will address energy, water, and ecology and will become more detailed as more detail is achieved on the first phase.
No specifics or time frame for this sustainability plan have been articulated or documented.
Edgewood is changing from a Mayoral government structure to a Commission/Town Manager structure, taking affect January 2022.
The new Commission has been elected and includes Kenneth Brennan (District 1, where the CR development is located), Jerry Powers (District 2), Audrey Jaramillo (District 3), Filandro Anaya (District 4) and Sterling Donner (District 5).
The December 15, 2021 Town Council meeting agenda does not include any Campbell Ranch development or appeal topics. EMPAC has been informed that the amended Master Plan has not been fully approved, the Appeal process is part of the approval process, and Campbell Ranch cannot proceed with development until the amended Master Plan is fully approved.
EMPAC is anticipating a public hearing to be held but a date has not been set, nor has Edgewood conveyed how the hearing will proceed.
We can only speculate what is motivating this path for CR. It seems a reasonable guess that CR believes this approach is the fastest way for CR to provide payouts to eager investors.
Regardless of CR’s motivation, this path pushes the responsibility to address the many missing aspects of the plan (water supply, wastewater, infrastructure, etc.) onto sub-developers who purchase the smaller parcels of land.
We are optimistic that the new Edgewood government will realize that the P&Z decision needs to be re-evaluated.
However, if Edgewood does not reverse the P&Z decision, EMPAC will escalate as necessary, including filing in court, which will become expensive.
The East Mountain community was very supportive of N14 Deep Well Protest during the Campbell Ranch & Aquifer Science hearings and trial and we would once again appreciate community support.
We cannot fight this ongoing battle without your support. EMPAC is actively pursuing avenues to fund raise and once established, you will be able to donate directly through our website or simply mail a check.
We anticipate this to be setup very soon so please visit our website frequently and watch for the “Make a Donation” button.
It’s a mystery to us, as well. Maybe that’s why they all resigned.
One More Question?
Email us and we’ll do our best to answer!