Rio Communities Planning and Zoning Commission is supposed to decide whether to recommend rezoning 300 acres of residential (planned development) land to heavy industrial (I-3). That land is owned by Cibola Land Holdings — a Yates petroleum empire company.
Simple solution: Set up an overlay zone on all industrial properties for the city for zero tolerance for pollution where any air or water pollution gets the business shut down for 30 days; second and further violations include a $5,000 fine; proof is evidence taken by city, county, state or federal officials on that property, regardless of source.
Then see who files for zone change. This also works for Belen and Valencia County, etc.
Heavy industry proposed
Cibola Land Holdings, a Harvey Yates family enterprise, is requesting to rezone the entire south side of Rio Communities to heavy industrial (I-3).
The area reaches from N.M. 47 to N.M. 304, blocking the entire south side of Rio Communities, and would encompass 290 acres of open space. Heavy industry allows for meat packing plants, asphalt production, sand and gravel operations, auto reclamation (junk) yards, bulk storage of petroleum and LPG (tank farms) and facilities for processing oil and natural gas.
The person requesting the rezoning said during his presentation this area would abut the existing industrial park and would allow for extension of a rail spur to come to the south side of Rio Communities.
The current industrial park has 166 acres of available land. The Solo/Keter plant sits idle. What would require 290 acres to be rezoned for heavy industry when the Rio Grande Industrial Park has more than enough space for any company that would want to begin production on this side of the Rio Grande?
One of the most expensive costs for a production facility is transportation — transporting the raw materials in, and transporting the finished product out. Logically, manufacturing wants to be close to the required raw materials.
So, what raw materials could exist in close proximity to Rio Communities? Oil. Yes, oil, and natural gas. Who wants to drill for oil and natural gas in the lands east of Rio Communities? The same people requesting this zoning change to heavy industrial.
The possibility of oil and natural gas drilling near Rio Communities is a reality. Transporting the oil out of the desert via individual semi-trucks is far too inefficient. Therefore, building an oil storage tank farm on the south side of Rio Communities and extending a rail spur to transport the oil out via railroad tankers is a key for cost reduction.
This rezoning, if passed, brings no taxes to Rio Communities. Commercial businesses pay taxes. Heavy industry does not. Heavy industry is unsightly and odorous.
The south end of Broadway Boulevard in Albuquerque is what the south end of Rio Communities would become. Stop the rezoning. Call the mayor and your elected officials. Let them know this is not what the people of Rio Communities need for our future.
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