La Cienega Valley Association

Protecting and preserving our acequia culture and agricultural traditions…

Las Noticias Newsletter – February 2014

La Cieneguilla Lot Splits

A resident has proposed to split three lots into six lots on Camino Montoya in La Cieneguilla. In the process, the resident has requested an “exemption for Five Year holding between Family transfer Applications” as allowed under Section 6.14.4 of the La Cienega and La Cieneguilla Ordinance. County staff, after analyzing the basis for the exemption, has recommended that the request be denied. The LCVA will be submitting a letter supporting the County’s position.

Many La Cieneguilla residents have asked about minimum lot sizes for their community. It is generally agreed that at one point La Cieneguilla had an active homeowners association (likely part of the original subdivision plan) that established and enforced covenants. Only active homeowners' association with officers, meetings etc. are recognized by the courts as having the authority to enforce covenants. Without covenants the County's zoning and identified lot sizes are in force which allows for these types of lot splits.

The LCVA encourages La Cienguilla residents to consider reestablishing their homeowner’s association to protect their community from overdevelopment.

Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative

This is a group that was established almost three years ago to assist in planning a restoration of the Santa Fe River from La Cieneguilla to La Bajada. The LCVA has been involved with the Collaborative since its inception and Carl Dickens, LCVA President co-chairs the group with Felicity Broennan former Executive Director of the Santa Fe Watershed Association. The collaborative includes representation from the BLM, Forest Service, Santa Fe Watershed, City of Santa Fe, County of Santa Fe, Wildearth Guardians, Santa Fe River Commission, The River Runs through Us Group, Santa Fe Airport, LCVA, La Bajada Village Association, Agua Fria Village Association, New Mexico Game and Fish Department as well as a number of area ranchers and farmers.

The Collaborative is currently focused on two initiatives: one is to develop a management plan for the Rural Protection Zone (City owned portion of the beaver habitat) in conjunction with the Santa Fe River Commission (the Wildearth Guardians have identified possible sites for relocating some of the beaver) and; two the Collaborative led by William Mee of the Agua Fria Village and Andy Otto, (Santa Fe Watershed Association Executive Director) is supporting an application for Environmental Justice Grant to help fund finalizing the adjudication of water rights in the lower Santa Fe River Basin. This would be a great benefit in documenting historic water rights in our communities. The LCVA has submitted a letter of support for the grant application.

From a community perspective the LCVA has a growing safety and cost concern about the Calle Debra and Paseo Rael bridges threatened by the expanding beaver colony. Neither bridge was designed to be saturated by water and pose a continuing safety concern. The cost of beaver damage is now approaching $2 million. Just the cost of replacing of the Calle Debra Bridge is estimated at $1 millon. The Collaborative is researching additional estimates on the damage to the Paseo Rael Bridge and roadway and damage to the northern boundary fence of the city airport that has been undermined by the expanding beaver ponds.

Water Monitoring and Modeling

The LCVA Water Committee has been working with Santa Fe County and the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) to develop a comprehensive Water Monitoring Plan for La Cienega and La Cieneguilla. The purpose of the Water Monitoring Plan is to provide scientific data and information on the status of, and changes in, the aquifer that feeds our area’s springs, ponds, sumps and other water sources. NMBGMR has identified over 50 geologically strategic sites to be considered as locations for monitoring equipment.

Water modeling is used by Office of the State Engineer (OSE) to identify and scientifically measure impacts to water sources in a specific area. LCVA will be working with OSE to update water modeling for the Santa Fe River Basin. Currently OSE uses water modeling based on underground 1 mile 3-dimensional cubes which fail to pick up the unique water geologic features of our area. OSE will be requested to utilize 10 meter 3-dimensional cubes as they do in other parts of New Mexico.

Preservation and protection of our water sources is essential to the future of our community and these two initiatives will go a long way toward that goal but it doesn’t come cheap. Once the LCVA Water Committee has an estimate of the cost of installing the monitoring equipment and the annual monitoring cost the LCVA will coordinate fund raising events and solicit contributions from individuals, large and small land owners, ranchers, farmers, local businesses and organizations as well as identifying government grant and appropriation opportunities. Please check the LCVA web site for information on how you can participate in protecting our waters.

LCVA Web Site and Facebook Page

Please check out the new and improved LCVA web site or FaceBook page for current community communications and special notices, important links, LCVA newsletters, schedule of events and other features. A special thanks to Bob DeYoung, LCVA Web Master, Communication Director, for putting the web site together.

The Flea

The Flea will not be returning to the Downs this summer. After four years of battling the winds, Walt Borton is in negotiations to relocate to Jackalope. Walt wants to let everyone know there will still be free booth space for any farmers from La Cienega-La Cieneguilla wishing to sell at The Flea.

LCVA Annual Meeting and President and Board Nomination

The LCVA Annual Meeting and Nominating process will be held Saturday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the conclusion of the May community breakfast. Three Board positions and the LCVA President will be up for nomination.

Holly Bostwick is heading the Nominating Committee and seeking volunteers to assist her. Please contact Holly to assist with the Nominating Committee. Holly is also soliciting proposed changes to the LCVA nominating process which can be found on the LCVA web site at the documents section of the Resources page. Proposed suggestions to the nominating process need to be received as soon as possible to provide proper noticing.

Please check the LCVA web site for additional information on the May 3 LCVA Annual Meeting and LCVA nominating process and procedures.

Halloween Report

This is long overdue. The Halloween Carnival was a great success and will be repeated this October with the addition of a haunted house. LCVA would like to thank Linda Grill, Mary Dixon and Rosella Jurado de Sena for organizing the event and an additional thanks to Randy and Maureen Scott, Kyle and Ele Simons Hardwood, El Rancho de las Golodrinas, the Las Lagunitas Homeowners Association, New Mexico Algae, BJ Ticho and Walmart for their contributions and donations to the Halloween Carnival.

IMPORTANT – March 1 Breakfast Health Insurance Sign Up

At the March 1 community breakfast, 9-11 a.m., LCVA will be hosting a special "Free and Low Cost Health Insurance" sign up coordinated and managed by a collaboration of Health Education New Mexico, La Familia Health Center and Santa Fe County. Please help get the word out to your family, neighbors and friends. Each of the following documents are needed to apply for these important and much needed services.

  1. Proof of ID: State issued photo ID OR student/work ID with photograph
  2. Proof of where you live: Utility Bill OR rental agreement OR drivers license with current address
  3. Proof of Citizenship or Legal Residence (for everyone applying in household): U.S Birth Certificate OR Passport OR Social Security Numbers OR Legal permanent resident card
  4. Proof of Income ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: last two paystubs if paid every two weeks, last four paystubs if paid weekly, last paystub if paid monthly, or current tax returns if self-employed or applying for the NM Health Insurance Exchange Program

Community Bus Service

The North Central Rural Transit District (NCRTD) has included a La Cienega-La Cieneguilla route in its future transportation plans. Once funding is secured the NCRTD will begin a six month trial period to determine if there is sufficient ridership to support establishing a permanent route.

The bus will run Monday through Friday with the exact route, times and stops to be determined through a community process coordinated by LCVA. LCVA has been actively involved in working with the NCRTD and thanks County Commissioners Robert Anaya and Miguel Chavez for their support of the LCVA effort.

La Cienega Studio Tour Co-Chairs

LCVA is pleased to announce that residents Robert Tresus and Nick Jones have volunteered to co-chair the La Cienega Studio Tour celebrating its 41st year of operation. Both Robert and Nick are artists and were attracted to La Cienega because of the people in the community and their support of art.

Dog Issues

At the February LCVA Board meeting before the recent reports of dogs being shot in our community, a resident raised the issue of residents allowing their dogs to run free. This is an ongoing and long term problem in our community. While dogs being shot is tragic, owners need to be reminded that it is their responsibility to keep their dogs on their property. It is unfortunate, but there have been numerous instances of dogs and dog packs attacking chickens, donkeys and other livestock. In these situations owners have every right to protect their animals.

Library Update

Linda Grill of the Library Committee reported that the County sent the library project out to bid with the intention of the County selecting a contractor by the end of the February. Construction is estimated to be completed by late summer - early fall and includes moving the septic tank and installing a playground in the back of the building.

In the meantime, the Library Committee is in great need of temporary storage spaces for books. The Committee has a large pending gift of books from the City but needs somewhere to put them. Please contact Linda or Charlie C'de Baca if you have some temporary space for books.

Senior Services

Linda Grill is interested in determining community interest in senior services, social gathering, craft or game days, meals-on-wheels etc. Please contact Linda to share your interest in senior services.

La Bajada Ranch Steering Committee

There is an opportunity for a second La Cienega representative on the La Bajada Ranch Steering Committee, but the individual would have to meet the criteria for the commercial and residential development position. In other words if there is a resident with development experience who is willing to serve on the committee, our community would have a second representative. The qualifications or required expertise for each of the committee's members were established by the Board of County Commissioner's resolution establishing the Steering Committee.

Anyone who meets the qualifications and is interested in serving on Steering Committee should mail a resume with a cover letter to Mark Hogan (Committee Liaison) at mhogan@co.santa-fe.nm.us.