PERALTA—Despite residents wishes and anger over the process, the Peralta Town Council unanimously voted to rezone three tracts of land on N.M. 47.
The land, owned by Max and Barbara Kiehne, was rezoned from mostly residential for commercial use.
Earlier this year, the planning and zoning commission recommended the council approve the rezoning, and ultimately, it was approved by the council. However, the town didn’t properly notify residents of the bordering property and who lived within 100 feet of the property — “excluding public right-of way,” as the zoning ordinance states — of planning and zoning meetings, as well as council meetings where the item had been considered.
Mayor Bryan Olguin decided to go through the process once more, and the item went through planning and zoning last Friday before the council took action Tuesday.
We made a mistake [and] we are correcting it,” Olguin said. “There was no malicious intent; there were no back door deals.”
Those who weren’t properly notified included some folks such as John Erickson, who owns property across the highway and would fall under that notification system since public right-of-way is excluded. He was notified this go around.
However, Erika Flores, who purchased property near the rezoned land, said Tuesday she wasn’t notified of the council meeting. She purchased property near the property in January, she said.
The town’s attorney, Steven Chavez, said the issue isn’t if Flores received the notice of the meeting, but if it was in fact sent.
“So again, it’s not whether the person received the notice, it’s whether the notice was sent under New Mexico law,” Chavez said.
Another concern some residents had was the business that might potentially occupy the land in the future. They say it would cause too much noise and would be overall bad for the community.
Rhonda Jaramillo and other residents attached their names to a complaint filed against the town of Peralta with the 13th Judicial District Court in late February, citing improper due process with the discussion of the zoning change, which included not properly notifying residents.
The complaint stated that in a planning and zoning meeting late last year the potential business owner, Jerome Nelson, planned to deal with manufacturing and trusses. However, Nelson said he doesn’t deal with manufacturing, instead with commercial wood framing.
There’s also no current contract between Nelson and the Kiehne’s, Barbara Kiehne said Tuesday. The Kiehne’s said they are in talks with potential buyers who are interested in the land.
Olguin said any potential business that does occupy that land will have to go through a process to get approved.
The tracts of land are nearly three acres combined. The Kiehne’s said the reasoning for wanting the zoning change was to fall in line with most of the rest of N.M. 47 in Peralta, which is mostly zoned commercial.