Midway report: Moratorium on schedule in Tomé

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At just past the half-way point in a six-month moratorium on development in Tomé and Adelino, Valencia County Community Planner Jacobo Martinez says the process is moving along smoothly.

Residents of the area pushed for the moratorium after an unsuccessful bid by a developer to build one of two dollar stores on N.M. 47.

The moratorium halted the issuance of building permits, commercial development, zone changes and other land-use activities along a 4.5-mile stretch of the highway.

During the moratorium, the residents will develop a historic overlay and greenbelt designation for the area.

An overlay designation would prevent development in close proximity to historical and culturally sensitive ares in the community, such as Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and Tomé Hill.

The first priority of the community advisory committee that was formed was to notify as many people as possible about the moratorium and to get as many opinions as possible, Martinez said.

To do that, the committee has put together and distributed a survey and informational brochure to the 1,351 property owners inside the moratorium boundaries. So far, there have been 50 responses, Martinez said.

"The group came together and made a huge effort to make this process as open as possible," Martinez said. "They have an agenda, but they are open to other ideas."

The plan is to get as many surveys back as possible by the end of July and then begin tabulating the data.

The anonymous survey gathers basic demographic information such as gender and age, as well as specific information about how the residents perceive their community, what they feel are the most important issues facing the community and what types of industries they want to see come to the area.

Martinez said once the data has been crunched, the committee will work on policy language for an overlay ordinance and present it to the county commissioners.

"We will have a better idea of what a possible ordinance will look like as we get closer to the end of the six months," he said. "And nothing says we have to set aside this process if the moratorium ends. We can continue working."

At the end of the six months, the commissioners can either let the moratorium end or renew it. State law limits any moratorium to no longer than a year.

"We encourage people to participate," Martinez said. "I believe this group envisions a community that works for everybody."

The advisory committee meets at 6 p.m., every Tuesday, at the Thomé Dominguez de Mendoza Community Center in Tomé, 2933 N.M. 47.

The boundaries of the area under the moratorium start at Edeal and Rector roads to the north, comes down the La Constancia ditch and around the eastern side of Tomé Hill.

The boundary then goes south down La Entrada to what is anecdotally called the "water fall" at N.M. 47, then to the lower Peralta riverside drain on the west side.

The Rio Grande is the western-most boundary.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.