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Dear Editor:

The Village seeks to improve the viewing experience on Corrales Road by implementing a fence/wall restriction. Proponents cite to Los Ranchos as a model. But, setting a height restriction was only a part of Los Ranchos’ solution to traffic and beautification.

First they took over control of Rio Rancho Boulevard from the State and reduced the speed limit to 25 miles per hour for its entire length. Then they had strict enforcement. This got rid of the folks who used that road for rush hour. Even though the lower speed limit did not significantly increase the time to get to work, it acted as a psychological barrier to many drivers (plus all the tickets people got).

Next they put in three stop sign intersections.This effectively broke up the long chains of cars preventing residents from getting onto or crossing over Rio Grande.These stops created gaps in the traffic allowing for safe egress, and again it discouraged those who simply wanted a quick route to work.

Then they had their height restriction on fences to encourage the scenic pleasure of driving in that village.

Today, Corrales Road is clogged with cars, after cars after cars during the rush hours in particular. They are not from here. Our village populaion hardly grew since the 2010 census. They are from Rio Rancho seeking a better way to and from work.They are not stopping to shop. There is such a crush it is hard for anyone to enter, slow down or park to view or visit our businesses.

So I suggest taking over the road. Setting the speed limit at 25 mph for the entire length. Insure a traffic enforcement every day at least for one or the other rush hours including some blitzes with multiple police cars. At least for a year. (That will also allow the Village police to stop, ticket and redirect over-five-ton trucks which constantly travel through the village, often as a shortcut to the Sandoval County land fill).

Next put in three-way stop signs at Camino Todos Los Santos and Corrales Road. This will allow people to have an exit from and onto Loma Larga at Corrales Road, which is now hazardous, difficult and discouraging. This will allow Loma Larga as intended to be the handy bypass around the village center.

Next put in another three-way stop at Target Road next to the elementary school. This will not only make it safer but also slow traffic and create gaps allowing people to stop and shop. Next put in another three-way stop at the corner of Jones Road and Corrales Road allowing safer turning into and from our recreation center.

Do not put a four-way stop at West Meadowlark and Corrales Road.

During rush hour, commuters speed as much as 70 mph on this straight road to and from Rio Rancho. They do not stop to shop. It is just a speeders delight on their way to and from work. These speeders are a serious danger for man and beast. Already this year an endangered great horned owl was killed by a speeder on lower West Meadowlark. These were recently introduced and now their few examples is one less. Rather, since the police cannot both enforce Corrales Road and Meadowlark all the time, put in a speed camera with ticketing like Rio Rancho does.

Many folks would be happy to allow it on their property off to the side of the road. Without enforcement on West Meadowlark, the improvements on Corrales Road will just create a new mess and danger on West Meadowlark. Remember, Meadowlark is designated a bike route with no room for a bike lane. Kids use it to and from school. Addressing all the problems at once will be the smart solution to an ever increasing problem.

Roger Finzel

Dear Editor:

A recent letter to the editor prompted me to write. Rather than respond directly and thus add fuel to an untenable situation, I suggest that any resident interested in the development and improvement of the village take a good look at the opportunities available to participate in the decision-making processes.

The Village is celebrating its 50th birthday. Over that time many good people have served the community, some elected to represent the interests of the community in developing the rules and laws in the master plan, municipal code, and ordinances. Others have volunteered to participate in various boards and commissions to assist in the smooth running of the village, such as the Library Board, the Bosque Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission, and, keep in mind, these folks are not paid for their service.

Still others have created non-profit groups to protect and promote this little village, again, with no thought of being compensated for their service.

Finally, there is a small support staff who, while paid for their service, are nevertheless dedicated to the village, and doing the best they can to facilitate the smooth running of day-to-day operations and emergency services. I am certainly not the only person who has given their time, talents and treasures to this village, but I am proud to have served in a variety of capacities over the years.

Since the recent letter was specific to the Planning and Zoning Commission, it is important to note these folks are volunteers; they rely on the rules and laws of the Village as well as the interpretations of the various attorneys who have served the Village. Sometimes they interpret things incorrectly albeit with the best of intentions.

These volunteers do the best they can with the information available to them at the time. When I served on the P&Z Commission, I was surprised to learn that the Village rarely grants waivers, but in reality, a waiver granted for a particular proposal is a sure way to document why a change was made contrary to an ordinance.

A new commissioner may propose an alternative during the open meeting without the full understanding of the process, which is why the more senior members may need to point out the rules, or the attorney or administrator will provide information to explain why an alternative isn’t an option. Commission terms are staggered for this reason. Then there is the issue of changing the rules. The council is responsible for making the rules, not the staff or the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Over the years, the Village has struggled with funding itself, yet there has been huge resistance to retail business in the village. New business ventures have popped up that require a review, such as the very popular Airbnb industry. Here is an example of having to create rules and ordinances, which initially created an opportunity to generate gross receipts on a small enterprise of renting an already existing bedroom in your own empty nest home.

Several residents were able to successfully apply for and receive a business license for this, but now the rules have changed, stalling potential income to the village. With an Airbnb, the density doesn’t change as those rooms already exist, so if it’s good enough for some, why is it not now available to others?

Unless you attend the council meetings or read the published documents on the website, you don’t know what goes into these decisions. Look at the variety of topics that never seem to get to a resolution, such as the consideration of casitas in the village, or retirement living for seniors who have spent their lives in service to the community and now can’t care for their large property but want to stay in the village?

I guess what I am saying is this: if you don’t like what you perceive is happening with the direction of the Village, contact your council person, have frank discussions on how to facilitate change. Attend council meetings and get to know all the council members and the mayor. Volunteer for one of the boards or commissions.

Or better yet, if you want to effect change, run for mayor or for one of the open council positions. These are the people who develop and uphold the rules and laws that govern the community. Districts 1, 3 and 4 are open for the upcoming election as is the mayor’s seat.

Suanne Derr

Dear Editor:

To Corrales Village Council:

We, the undersigned, are leadership members of a grassroots political organization (Sandoval County Indivisible) that started in Corrales and now represents all of Sandoval County. All of the undersigned live in Corrales. Although none of us have strong personal opinions about cannabis cultivation in Corrales, nor do we have any financial interest in cannabis, we did all support the passing of the existing state law legalizing recreational cannabis production and consumption in New Mexico.

We are writing to you because we are currently concerned that a vocal minority of Corrales residents, for a variety of reasons, is trying to push the Village Council to do something that it does not have the legal authority to do, and that in doing so the council may be putting the Village and its citizens in jeopardy to pay monetary damages in the future.

Our understanding is that some people in the village are lobbying to have very extensive regulations of cannabis cultivation, and they essentially want the Village government to ban commercial cannabis cultivation in the village. Some people are clearly very worked up about this, and a petition is being passed around.

We have personally talked to a number of village residents and attorneys about this, including our State Representative, Daymon Ely, and we are convinced that, though the Village can write a legal ordinance regulating the cultivation of cannabis around the topics of time, place, and manner of the work of cultivation, the Village cannot ban commercial cannabis, and under state law it must be treated like any other agricultural product (alfalfa, green chile, squash, etc.).

Some of our fellow citizens do not seem to like that answer and want the Village to defy state law, but that is a fool’s game. We have been told by people we trust that if Corrales pursues this regulatory effort, the Village will likely get sued, will likely lose, and will likely be on the hook for not insubstantial monetary damages.

As usual, when the political outrage machine gets worked up, truth and facts often go out the window. If one thinks that cannabis is an “evil” product, then any justification to ban it is legitimate, even if the stated justification is hyperbole or an outright lie. Some examples: cannabis cultivation is an “ultra” consumer of water. Somehow we don’t ever hear that accusation thrown around to pecan farmers who use almost one gallon of water to produce one pecan. On the contrary, between five and 50 doses of marijuana can be cultivated using one gallon of water.

Then there is the issue of the smell, and cannabis certainly has a “skunky” odor at times during processing (and which, by the way, can and should be regulated and controlled). That said, we don’t talk about banning horses in Corrales, but we sure hear a lot of our neighbors and friends complaining about the smell of manure and the flies that come with having horses living next to you. We also don’t talk about ridding our Village of actual skunks which are quite prevalent and certainly pungent.

For the reasons above, we, the undersigned do not support the petition drive  to ban or strictly regulate cannabis cultivation in the Village.

Bert Coxe in Council District 4

Gary Sims in Council District 1

Terry Eisenbart in Council District 3

Nandini Kuehn in  Council District 6

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Pat Davis

Pat Davis is the owner and publisher at Ctrl+P Publishing.

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