Planning & Development Services

Commission Approves Level B1 Master Plan for Santolina Development

The Bernalillo County Commission tonight approved the next step in the planning process for the Santolina development, by approving the Level B1 Master Plan on a 3-2 vote.

The Level B1 Master Plan covers about 4,000 acres and provides more detail about where housing, businesses and community services would be located within the development. The 4,000 acres is only part of the larger planned development, which is more than 13,000 acres.

Commissioners Wayne Johnson, Lonnie Talbert and Steven Michael Quezada voted yes. Commissioners Debbie O’Malley and Maggie Hart Stebbins voted no.

Now, developers may begin negotiations with the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Authority over water.

Tuesday’s vote is the latest action in a multi-year process involving the development, which would cover more than 13,000 acres in far southwestern Bernalillo County.

The next step is likely for the county and the developer to begin negotiations over a development agreement. A development agreement outlines responsibilities associated with infrastructure like roads and sewers, and who pays for them.

In 2015 the county commission approved a Level A Master Plan, which is a big picture concept for how a major development will come together over time.

Earlier this month, on Aug. 15, the board amended conditions for that Level A plan. The amendments cleared the way for the developer to negotiate a water development agreement with the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority later in the process.

After the Level B process is finished, there’s another step in the planning process. The Level C development plans would include the actual building plans for any subdivision or commercial development. County planners will not be able to accept any final plans unless water is secured.

Today, Santolina is largely undeveloped.

In 2015, Western Albuquerque Land Holdings received approval of a Planned Communities Level A Master Plan and Planned Communities Zoning for 13,851 acres of undeveloped land in the southwestern area of Bernalillo County.

The Santolina Master Plan, which is contingent upon future demand and market conditions, provides a general framework for development over the next 40 to 50 years, to include five residential villages and village commercial uses, two business parks, a town center, an industrial/business park, and an urban center, along with parks, trails, public open space, educational facilities, roads and utilities. Over time, the applicant proposes that the project will be developed with approximately 38,000 households and provide approximately 75,000 jobs.

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