The Independent (USA)
Campbell Ranch seeks new approval
A public hearing will be held Sept. 28 on an application by Campbell Corporation to amend its nearly 20-year old Master Plan—with some significant changes.
The meeting will be virtual; interested people can join the meeting by phone or through a livestream on the town's Facebook page.
“It's an application to amend a master plan, not a development application, said Tim Dvorak, planning assistant for the town. In no way, shape, or form, if the amendment is granted, would it allow development.”
For that, Dvorak said, Campbell or another developer would have to apply with specific details—and would have to meet the town's requirements for infrastructure, water availability, and more.
A submission by Campbell
Corporation to Edgewood says that “certain modifications in the current master plan are appropriate and timely, adding, “Rather than focus almost entirely on an up-scale second home and resort market, it is appropriate to include more primary and family housing most needed and allowing price points to moderate.” Among changes sought: •Relocation of Village 2 to align with Paako community entry
•Removal of one golf course and reconfiguration of the open space plan
•Shifting of dwelling locations from “hillside custom/semi-custom lots” to “more appropriate topography”
•Reducing the number of units in Village 1 by 63 units, while increasing Village 2 by 63 units
•Pursuit of more agriculture within the community, using “environmentally responsive crops,” orchards, and smaller
•Sustainable water strategies including minimal use of turf in public and private landscapes •Clustered housing and smaller lots •Future planning to be done under 2019 planning and zoning ordinances, instead of the 1999 ordinance
•The ability to subdivide parcels of 50 acres or more using an expedited process
•“Facility clusters” including things like food and lodging
The amended plan would allow for denser clusters of housing, but would keep the overall density the same, Dvorak said.
Water availability for any development in the master planned area remains “the huge kink,” Dvorak said.
Past efforts by Campbell Corporation to convert agricultural water rights to commercial, and to dig deep wells have ended in failure.
A well was drilled to a depth of about 3,500 feet, which yielded brackish water. That move also sparked formation of a group called Deep Well Protest, which issued an update last week, saying that the matter will be heard by the Appeals Court. “We do not know when the Appeals Court will schedule our case,” the update says.
“The current plan retains water availability requirements not consistent with current city standards,” the Campbell document says, adding that “Campbell Ranch will provide evidence of water availability consistent with the town of Edgewood current zoning and subdivision regulations.”
Another major change would allow Campbell Corporation to sell tracts of land 50 acres or larger to another developer, who would then have to go through the normal process for development, including building of infrastructure, securing of water availability, and other requirements, Dvorak said.
The town's ordinances are silent on subdivision for the purpose of resale, so Edgewood consulted with Santa Fe County, Dvorak said. “We don't have a process for subdivision of large parcels for the purpose of selling them, the buyer would be responsible for all provisions.”
Campbell has an interested developer, Dvorak said. “They certainly would like to move forward pretty quickly if this gets approved, in carving out these exempt parcels, definitely one,” he said. “They have an interested developer who would like to come in.”
The town has gotten dozens of calls and emails on the matter, Dvorak said, because notifications went out to neighboring property owners before the details were available at the town.
Dvorak said most have been people seeking information, with another sizable number opposed to the proposal. “We also had a few individuals interested in the project who didn't think it was a bad idea, and who also thought tax-basewise that it was a good thing.”
The proposed amendment to the master plan can be approved or denied by the planning and zoning commission. If appealed, the matter would come before the town council, or depending on the timing, before the newly installed commission in 2022.
To attend the meeting, which will be held Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m., call in to 1312-757-3121, then enter access code 258-785-509. If you have problems connecting, call 505-249-8305.
The meeting will also be streamed live on the town's Facebook page.