As a member of the Los Lunas Planning and Zoning Commission, Carol Anaya saw many changes during her time with the village.
From September of 1997 to May of 2002, Anaya served as an integral part of the five-person team headed by chairman Ambrose Chavez. The planning and zoning commissioner had to step down from her seat this spring after the village completed its redistricting.
At a recent Los Lunas Village Council meeting, Mayor Louis Huning thanked Anaya for her devoted service to the community. “You served the village and its citizens with honor and pride. We appreciate all of your hard work,” Huning said.
“It’s hard to say goodbye,” Anaya says of the experience. “But we need to move on. I feel very fortunate to have served on the commission.”
Anaya dealt with a variety of issues on the commission. Seeing the sign ordinance grow and develop was a big accomplishment, she says. “It’s a very important part of the Main Street Overlay project, to make this village look its best.”
Over the years, Los Lunas has showcased tremendous growth in the area. “It’s an extension of development,” she says.
“Over 2,000 some acres were annexed in the village. I saw so many things happen and new businesses come in.”
Anaya, who is the human resources manager for Valencia County, says she’s very proud of the planning and zoning board. “You have an impact with what you say. I liked planning because, every time I looked around, I could see I had an input on what was happening. After all, this is where I live. This is my home,” she declares.
“Before the village council makes the final vote on an issue, developers bring in plans for the commission to take a look at. I saw a great deal of issues come before me.”
Teamwork was imperative to the group’s success, according to Anaya. “We worked well together with the entire village staff, who are very knowledgeable in what they do. There’s all kinds of work involved. With the support of the mayor and council, we have to know the needs of the village.”
As the only female on the commission, Anaya says, her fellow commissioners always listened and allowed her equal time to give input.
“We really worked well together. Yes, there were times we disagreed, but we always talked it out. There was not fighting. It was truly a professional board. It had to be because you are representing the mayor, the council and the community.”
One of the toughest issues Anaya says she had to deal with was the possible annexation of NM 47. She remembers when crowds of residents from the Peralta area turned out to address the commission and protest the bridge.
“There were a lot of people to listen to,” Anaya recalls. “Many of them have been there for many years, and I know them on a first-name basis. Some are my friends. That makes taking input difficult. I had to separate myself and listen with an open mind to both sides.”
In a similar situation, members of the community, specifically employees from Albertson’s, fought against a new Wal-Mart coming to Los Lunas.
“I shop there, and I know the people,” she says. “But we have to look forward to growth and realize where we’ve come from. I can look back on the village to the days of dirt roads, Castillo’s Grocery store and Leo’s pub. We’ve come a long way.”