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Bernalillo County To Consider Next Steps On Santolina

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Mike Tungate via Wikimedia
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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

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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