The Los Lunas Village Council approved a zone change and a final plat Thursday that will put two businesses a step closer to beginning the building process.
A zone change was approved for Consuelo Baca, who’d requested that land on Los Lentes be given a zone change from Commercial to Residential -2. That zone allows for multi-family housing.
Baca said Matthew and Frances Maez plan to build an elder care facility at the site. Frances Maez told the council that she thinks the facility “would fill a need in our community.” She said the first phase would include space for 16 residents.
It would not look like apartments, but rather like “one large home,” she said. Eventually, the facility might expand to serve 24 residents.
Residents would not need acute care and would not have severe medical problems, she said, but would be assisted with basic living skills, such as eating, mobility, bathing and grooming. Each resident would have a private room. She said the facility would be run by a licensed administrator and regulated by the state.
Art Mondragon, the village’s community development director, said the planning and zoning commission had asked that a driveway at the facility be set back a safe distance from an intersection with Taylor Road, and the owners said it would be.
One nearby resident was also concerned with drainage issues, Mondragon said, but the planning and zoning commission had been assured that the land will be engineered properly. “The buyer agreed to take care of the conditions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the council also voted to approve the final plat for land at NM 47 and Lujan Road for building a veterinary clinic.
The planning and zoning commission had recommended that Dr. Jerald and Eileen Cosper be required to set aside nine feet along Lujan Road for possible future widening of the road.
But the council decided not to make that a condition of approval because other businesses along Lujan hadn’t been required to set aside land for widening the road.
Jerald Cosper told the council that the road is more of a cutoff between NM 6 and NM 47 and that widening it might just cause cars to speed along it.
And Village Clerk-Administrator Phillip Jaramillo said that it would be very difficult to widen the road because of utility lines.
“That roadway works very well,” Councilor Robert Vialpando said. “I don’t want Lujan to become a speedway.”
Councilor Charles Griego said, “I can see requiring nine feet if we had a study,” but guessing about expansion isn’t sufficient.
Vialpando said Cosper’s office wouldn’t cause a tremendous increase in traffic. “A veterinarian isn’t like a retail market,” he said.
The council recommended the building be set back from Lujan in case the road ever needs expansion.
In other action, the council:
- Approved application to the Firefighters Grants Program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The village may ask for help in purchasing a new fire engine, since one was damaged in a rollover accident earlier this month.
- OK’d application for a Technology Opportunities Pro-gram grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Village Financial Officer Peter Fernández said that Los Lunas would work with the local school district and the sheriff’s department to ask for cameras to be installed in some facilities, such as schools or at municipal wells. That way, police officers could see what was happening inside the buildings before they entered them.
“Since Sept. 11, we’re trying to have more security at remote places, such as our well sites,” Fernández said.