Commissioners approve changes for first phase in Santolina master plan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Developers are one step closer to breaking ground on a controversial planned community slated for west of Albuquerque.

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted Tuesday to sign off on changes in the first phase of Santolina’s Master Plan. It comes two years after they approved the first phase of the development.

The Bernalillo County Commission voted three to one in favor of amended conditions to Santolina’s Level A Master Plan.

Commissioners Wayne Johnson, Steven Michael Quezada and Lonnie Talbert voted “yes,” while Commissioner Debbie O’Malley voted against the amendments.

Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins was not there.

The commission approved the Level A Master Plan in 2015. County reps say it’s an overall concept for how a major development will come together over time.

They say the changes passed Tuesday night allow for developers to move forward in the planning process, and clears the way for a water development agreement later down the road.

Water has been the most controversial part of this 13,000 acre planned community, with opponents arguing there won’t be enough.

Others brought up concerns over jobs and housing.

Commissioners have already discussed the Level B Plan, which includes parks, open space, water, schools and public safety.

They could vote on that August 30.

The last step of this development is Level C, which includes actual building plans. County reps say planners can only approve it if there’s a plan for water. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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