South Valley locals fight against proposed development on farmland

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some of Albuquerque’s South Valley residents are fighting back against a proposed housing development in one of the last bits of farmland in the metro, but the County said this kind of project is a win-win.

With the Sandias in the background and the birds flying into the purple and pink skies, this plot of farmland off of Rio Bravo and Coors is breathtaking. But right now, this roughly 300 acres of farmland is in the middle of a fight.

Residents want to leave it as it is, but a developer has other plans, proposing an open space land and building homes. That idea is causing some problems with the locals.

Residents worry if more houses go up, it could mean more traffic in an already busy spot. But they are really fighting this development to keep the local wildlife in the area.

“I feel like there is still plenty of land around this area so why not leave a little bit of the wildlife that’s been here forever, we keep taking all the habitat,” said local Winola Saavedra.

Over a thousand people have even signed a petition in favor of no development.

“We should keep it that way,” said local Michelle Mingura.

Bernalillo County planners told News 13 that part of the South Valley is ready for more people to move in and officials want residents to understand not all of that land would go away.

“Their vision basically has a strong agricultural preservation component,” said Bernalillo County planner Elvira Lopez. “They’re wanting to preserve about 150 acres, actually about 190 acres when it’s all said and done.”

Lopez believes this is a win for new development and a win for the locals. “This is a great opportunity for the community to maintain that open space; what they’re advocating for and we hope they can see that and see the positives of this plan,” said Lopez.

The proposal will need to be passed by commissioners, but back in August, they agreed to purchase the open space land that is included in the developer’s proposal. They said they plan to keep it that way.

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