La Cienega Valley Association

Protecting and preserving our acequia culture and agricultural traditions…

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LCVA News – May 27, 2014

Zoning Map Meeting

The following information is regarding the special meeting of the County Commission this Wednesday regarding the zoning map for Santa Fe County. The LCVA encourages all residents to attend the meeting to express their concerns regarding the proposed zoning. The company with essay writers on web will note down all the suggestions and will later form the article and publish it. Read later.

The LCVA Board continues to support the over 2-year work of the La Cienega – La Cieneguilla Planning Committee. The Planning Committee through an open process had come up with a proposed zoning map that they were prepared to present to the community in a series of meetings designed to maximize resident comment and input (this was almost 2 years ago). County staff did not allow the Planning Committee to go forward and at this point has totally ignored their work. Instead, the County held a meeting in Agua Fria to get input from residents in La Cienega and La Cieneguilla.

The LCVA Board is considering protesting the adoption of the proposed zoning map. I have expressed the concern that the process for adoption was flawed and marginalized rural communities throughout Santa Fe County

Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners
Special Meeting
County Commission Chambers
County Administration Building
May 28, 2014
5:00 PM

Please turn off Cellular Phones during the meeting

Amended Special Meeting Agenda
I. Call To Order.
II. Roll Call.
III. Approval of Agenda (Action Item).
IV. Process and Timeline for Sustainable Land Development Code Amendments and Zoning Map Adoption.
V. Presentation of Proposed Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 2013-6, the Sustainable Land Development Code.
VI. Request to Publish Title and General Summary of an Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 2013-6, The Sustainable Land Development Code (Action Item).
VII. Presentation of Proposed Ordinance Adopting the Zoning Map of All Land in the Unincorporated Area of Santa Fe County to which the Santa Fe County Sustainable Land Development Code Applies.
VIII. Request to Publish Title and General Summary of an Ordinance Adopting the Zoning Map of All Land in the Unincorporated Area of Santa Fe County to which the Santa Fe County Sustainable Land Development Code Applies (Action Item).
IX. The Zoning Map of All Land in the Unincorporated Area of Santa Fe County to which the Santa Fe County Sustainable Land Development Code Applies (First Public Hearing).
X. Adjourn.
The County of Santa Fe makes every practical effort to assure that its meetings and programs are accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities should contact Santa Fe County at 986-6200 in advance to discuss any special needs (e.g., interpreters for the hearing impaired or readers for the sight impaired).

Las Lagunitas Lot 106

At the May Board meeting the LCVA Board discussed the proposal by developer Robert Tillman to have Lot 106 designated as a commercial lot. The Board chose to not take a position on the proposal without doing additional research on the Lot’s current zoning. LCVA Board member Linda Grill volunteered to contact County staff for that determination.

Residents have raised other concerns. One is whether the property is commercially/economically viable given its location the future possibility of commercial development at the Downs. The other question is whether Mr. Tillman has informed recent and future buyers of his properties that their view may include a commercial development.

The LCVA will keep you posted.

Fourth of July

The LCVA was recently informed that the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club is going to hold their Fourth of July Fireworks fund raiser at the Downs this year.

The LCVA attended a preliminary meeting last week and is in the process of gathering information on the event regarding the length of the show, the height of the display and other details that will assist residents anticipate the show.

Both the City and County Fire Departments support the large show. They explained it assists them with enforcement and is as a way to reduce the number of residents wanting to have their own fireworks.

The LCVA will express our concern regarding traffic control and work to inform residents to do what they can to protect their animals from the noise. Initial indications are that the actual fireworks show only lasts 20 minutes. The LCVA is working to confirm that information.

Bus Route and Stops

The following is from Stacey McGuire, Projects and Grants Specialist with the North Central Regional Transit District. The LCVA will let residents know as soon as we have a timeline for the trial run of the bus service. Please submit your suggestions for bus stops.

The Board has approved the 5 year service plan update, in which future service is noted to La Cienega and La Cieneguilla, beginning on a trial basis. The formal implementation timeline has not yet been determined, I would think we will have a better idea on a timeline in the coming months. We will be looking at a formal routing as well as how to fund the service. I know you mentioned prior that your community has some ideas on funding- any input would be appreciated. For that matter, if you have any suggestions as to good bus stop locations, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Heath Concerts

At the meeting regarding the Fourth of July event, the LCVA was introduced to Jaime, one of the promoters for Heath Concert Productions. Heath Concerts is holding two concerts at the Downs this season (so far) with the first being on July 5 (info below) and Jaime said that Heath Concerts has an interest in holding more events at the Downs.

He discussed the possibility of the Downs becoming an established concert venue for the area. When asked Jaime said he anticipated crowds would generally be in the range of 2-3,000 attendees with an occasional concert in the 8-10,000 range. He explained that evening concerts are completely shut down by 10 p.m. and speakers are directed to minimize the impact to residents.

The LCVA recognizes residents concerns regarding noise and traffic and will do what we can to mitigate the impact of any music event at the Downs but we would also like to hear what you think of the Downs becoming a concert venue. Jaime did indicate that Heath Concerts would consider discounted tickets for La Cienega and La Cieneguilla residents.

Below is the first of two events they are going to hold at the Downs this season (so far).

Michael Franti & Spearhead
Brett Dennen
Trevor Hall
& 2 DJ’s

on the green green grass
at The Downs of Santa Fe
Saturday, July 5, 6:00 PM
Gates open at 5:00

Yoga class with the artist 3:00
($20 for Yoga, just $10 with concert ticket)

Lawn seating: Blankets and lawn chairs welcome Food & Beer vendors on site
No outside food or drink allowed.

Chuck Robinson

This is both from a personal and community perspective and is in response to Chuck Robinson’s passing last week.

Our community first met Chuck at a community meeting where he and three partners led by Ken Newton made a presentation of a proposed development on the old Taylor/Simms Ranch, now the site of Las Lagunitas. At the time the proposed development included a golf course, a country club, townhouses as well as luxury home building sites.

The community center was as full as I have ever seen it, with every chair taken and people lined up along the walls. It wasn’t too long into the meeting before their partnership began realizing that having Mr. Newton lead the presentation was a strategic mistake. Much of the presentation time was taken up by resident criticisms of Mr. Newton’s less than honorable relationship with our community, his illegal use of water rights and his court battle with the El Guicu Ditch Association over the control of their water source.

Mr. Newton was not well received and after that first meeting he disappeared from any further negotiations regarding the development. My recollection is that the initial golf course development proposal was eventually abandoned when the partnership realized they had been misled on the water rights available for the scale of the proposed development. This caused a split with Mr.Newton who was then bought out by the rest of the partners.

From then on many of us in the community got to know Chuck as a friend. He became the face of the development and was responsible for all negotiations and agreements. Chuck was not a developer, he was an inventor/entrepreneur (definitely worth a google search) but had been roped into the development as a favor to Mr. Newton.

Our community found Chuck to be fair and honest with a sincere interest in working with our community. He was generous and provided both the El Guicu Ditch Association and the Acequia de la Cienega with tangible benefits, gifted water rights to the LCVA and paid to have County water line run to Las Lagunitas.

On a personal level I was always eager to listen to the stories of Chuck’s fascinating life and after the development issues were settled I continued to be in contact with him. He was persuaded to give a talk to my daughter’s high school class and handled questions about being on the Board of Nike with ease and honesty.

At our last conversation, over lunch several years ago, Chuck talked about how his invention of a wakeless boat for use in Venice (where he had a second home) had evolved into a potential contract with the Navy for coastal attack boats using the same technology. He was a mining expert, he designed and built large shipping vessels and served in the State Department but most of all he was man who worked hard, did right by people and succeeded in many ways beyond making money.

It was a pleasure to have known him.


A reminder of the meeting on the proposed sand and gravel operation on the La Bajada Mesa.

“FINAL HEARING” to Save La Bajada Mesa !
the NM Cultural Landscape–
Oppose Rockology / Buena Vista’s Application
to Strip-Mine La Bajada Mesa !


WHEN: Wednesday, JUNE 11 at 4 PM

Sunrise Springs

Due to scheduling conflicts the new Sunrise Springs management team will be unable to present their program plans at the June LCVA Board meeting. Instead they are proposing a special tour for the LCVA Board followed by a community open house later this year.

And finally thanks be given for the wonderful, wonderful rain.