Proposed development at quiet Rail Runner stop met with some pushback


SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local developer is looking to build apartments and spaces for retail and restaurants along one of the Rail Runner’s quieter stops. A lot of legwork has already been done on this project at the Zia Station Rail Runner stop in Santa Fe.

The city says it has its proponents and opponents. “There’s opposition to the project but there are also proponents of the project in the community that think the people who support the project are in favor of more affordable housing and also having this mixed use amenity close to their home,” says Eli Isaacson, Planning and Land Use Director for the city.

The proposed project is called “Zia Station” and would be built around the existing Zia Station Rail Runner stop at Zia and St. Francis Drive. There would be a dog park and 12 total buildings that include nearly 400 apartments.

At least 40 units would be deemed affordable housing. Developers say building affordable housing around the station will increase ridership on the Rail Runner and help cut down on traffic in Santa Fe.

Now, there is an existing neighborhood that the Zia Station Project would back up to. The city says the neighborhood would be separated from the apartment, mixed-use, and commercial buildings by a mini neighborhood made up of dozens of townhomes.

Still, some in the neighborhood worry the Zia Station Project is too much for the area to handle. “There is concern and opposition by some of those neighbors that the density of the Zia Station Proposal is a bad fit for them,” said Isaacson.

The developer is asking the city for two things: they need to rezone the property, and they’re asking to be exempt from a city ordinance that prohibits buildings from being taller than two stories. The developers want some of the buildings to have three stories.

There will be two City Council meetings to discuss approving the Zia Station Development next week. The project would also add more pedestrian crosswalks and another turn lane onto St. Francis. All the work will be paid for by the developer.

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