EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) – The battle continues over a proposed development in the East Mountains more than 20 years in the making. Changes to the plan were approved Wednesday night, potentially making room for thousands of new homes to be built.
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The proposed Campbell Ranch master plan could bring more than 4,000 new homes and a golf course to the Edgewood area but residents say their biggest concern is the lack of water. After a years-long hiatus, the plan is back in the spotlight, passing its first hurdle.
“It’s come back alive,” said Steve Kellenberg, planner for Campbell Ranch. “As we started to move through and consider more detailed planning and the first phase, we realized there were a number of updates we felt were appropriate to share with you.”
First proposed in 2002, the master plan for Campbell Ranch would take 8,000 acres of what’s currently grazing lands and turn it into 4,000 homes, a resort and a golf course. Previously turned down, developers say it’s time to reconsider it.
“There’s increasing job growth, there’s expanding population, there’s reduced housing production and there’s an unmet housing need,” said Kellenberg. “We think the original was fundamentally sound and just needs a little tuning up.”
The plan would use land northeast of the intersection of NM 14 and Frost. The currently available land in Campbell Ranch spans three counties — Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe. However, residents in surrounding towns like Cedar Crest and Edgewood are worried about what that kind of development could do to already limited resources like water.
“I don’t want to run out of water. If I wanted to run out of water, I would’ve moved somewhere else,” said one resident. “Our well has gone dry, our neighbors’ wells are going dry,” said another.
Others are worried about the impact on wildlife who call the vast stretch of land home. “How are you going to protect that water and keep it accessible for wildlife?” asked one resident. “Because they’ll have no other option.”
While the original plan called for two golf courses, the new proposal scales it back to one with the other reconfigured to open space. Still, some say it’s not enough.
“You know that the water can barely support Paako. I don’t know how in any good conscience, you can add another one. It’s not about making money,” said one resident. “It’s about the reality of our resources. You’re not going to make more water.”
After deliberation, Edgewood’s Planning and Zoning approved changes. It’s unclear when or if this could go before the town council. Developers also touted the possibilities of commercial projects added to the area like restaurants, retail and childcare but there are no concrete plans in place yet. The 30,000 acres of land have been owned by Campbell Ranch since the 1930s with 6,000 acres used for homes in the past.