LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) - The oil and gas industry just keeps bringing workers to southeast New Mexico, but even with a shortage of housing a move to build housing has a lot of people upset.
East Water Road is a nice area about three miles west of Lovington.
It's where homeowners can hear birds chirping, dogs barking and insects buzzing, but now this secluded piece of land is about to see some hustle and bustle.
"I live out here for a reason," said homeowner Penny Kitchens. "That's why I moved out here, for the peace and quiet."
Kitchens and her husband have lived on East Water Road for 36 years. They shingled their home by hand and raised their trees to adulthood.
Now Lea County commissioners have approved a 38-home subdivision that will sit right across from the Kitchen's home.
"We have an individual trying to provide housing in the county which we are in dire need of because of the influx of people and the job market," said Lea County Commissioner Tom Pierce. The county had to find some type of solution, and the land near the Kitchens' just happened to be the fix, he added.
"They said deal with it. Why should I have to deal with it?" said Kitchens.
Pierce said in the past 30 years he's seen Lovington and Hobbs grow by more than 25,000 people.
The problem is with the increase in people there's been very little increase in housing.
"People from other states hear about it that are unemployed, so they come and check this out and they do. They go to work, but there's no place to live," Pierce said.
Despite the economic boom Kitchens says she bought this particular land for a reason.
"We're not young anymore. It's hard to start over," she said. "I've been looking for other places to go, and it's just heartbreaking because I don't have the strength to do it. This is where I planned to live out the rest of my life."
Kitchens told KRQE News 13 she's not against the new development. She just wishes the county would have been more willing to hear her and her neighbors' opinions.
The subdivision is to be built in stages over the next five years.
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