Santolina Opponents Rally As Hearing Begins

Mar 26, 2015

The New Mexico Acequia Association, many of whom marched through Albuquerque on Wednesday, opposes the Santolina development.
Credit Rita Daniels

The Bernalillo County Commission kicked off hearings Wednesday on a huge proposed development southwest of Albuquerque.

Tractors cruised through downtown Albuquerque on their way to city hall where the commission began hearing testimony on the Santolina plan to build 38,000 new homes over the next four or five decades.

Over a hundred people, many of them farmers who came from as far away as Chamisal and Tierra Amarilla, followed behind the tractors on foot.

Agua es la vida!" they chanted. "What’s up with Santolina? Say no to Santolina because agua es la vida!”

The Santolina plan was approved by the Bernalillo County Planning Commission last year. Developers say it will help grow the county’s tax base.

Critics are concerned about environmental impacts and unsustainable growth.

The commission is considering the proposal and appeals from critics this week.