The Bernalillo County Commission will hold another public meeting Tuesday on Santolina, a controversial 22-square mile residential development planned for an area west of Albuquerque.
When commissioners gave the Santolina project the initial OK back in 2015, they were met with strong opposition. Farmers and environmental groups say the development threatens Albuquerque’s water supply and could harm ecosystems.
The water utility says there’s enough water to supply the development’s 38,000 homes. But commissioners told the developer they’d need to come up with a comprehensive water agreement with the county, governing usage, availability, etc., before the next phase of the project could be approved.
That water agreement is still not done. So, at this week’s meeting commissioners will consider pushing the water agreement back and approving the next phase of the development anyway.
Santolina’s critics say if that happens, the water agreement could be finalized behind closed doors and without public input.
The public hearing on Santolina is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Tuesday in Albuquerque.