Folks in the San Clemente neighborhood of Los Lunas, New Mexico, have been fighting back against a decision by the Valencia County Commission to rezone 30 acres of land to I-3, "Hevay Industrial Use" to accomodate a bulk fuel terminal (see my blog post http://activerain.com/blogsview/1040106/residents-are-fighting-back-against-valencia-county-commission for mor details.)
The neighborhood association has just lost a major battle in that fight, though; District Court Judge George P. Eichwad has just upheld the county commission's decision, much to the dismay of local residents.
Plains Marketing, the business that requested the zone change, estimates that approximately 185 tanker trucks will be visiting the terminal each day to fill up with refined gasoline products for transport to regional gas stations. The neighborhood association quite reasonably objected to such a facility being located in their residential area.
According to the Valencia News Bulletin, The Valencia County Planning and Zoning comission agreed with the neighbors; they voted 5-0 to deny the zone change. The Planning and Zoing Commission said the applicant had failed to provide adequate information regarding fire suppression plans and traffic impact, but, more importantly, found that, due to the number of residences in the area, the proposed zone change failed to meet the criteria of the county's zoning code!
Nonetheless, when the matter came up before the actual Valencia County Commission, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the zone change, completely disregarding the findings and recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
According to the News Bulletin, the neighborhood association will be meeting with their attorney to discuss their legal options.
Valencia County residents, we need to wake up and pay attention to the way our County Commissioners are ignoring the interests and concerns of their constituents, and even ignoring their own laws. We're paying money for a hospital, but the commissioners aren't letting it be built; we've got designated zoning to protect rural and agricultural land, but they vote to let subdivisions be put in place anyway. And they vote to allow this highly dangerous and unpleasant industrial development in a residential area, in violation of their own zoning code and the recommendations of their own Planning and Zoning Commissioners.
If you are incensed as I am, keep these things in mind the next time you're in a polling booth-- maybe our commissioners have forgotten that they work for us, and not for these moneyed interests that they seem to favor.