Stagecoach Neighborhood Association (SNA)
SNA PO Box 368 EL Prado, NM 87529

DRAFT SNA Land Use Zoning Overlay

The best way to bring you up to date with the progress of our draft overlay is to include here an advance copy of a letter
which will go out soon to all SNA landowners.

October 6, 2014

Dear Neighbor:

As a landowner in the Stagecoach Hills Neighborhood (SNA), you are receiving this important update regarding the zoning of all property in the SNA.  The Taos County Board of Commissioners finally has approved a new Countywide Land Use Regulation (Ordinance 2014-1), replacing zoning ordinances that went back to 1997. This allows individual neighborhoods to come forward with their proposed zoning overlays for approval and incorporation into the regulation.

As you may know, Stagecoach Hills is one of two neighborhoods to have an existing zoning overlay.  The other is Upper Las Colonias, and at least 14 other neighborhoods have been in the development stage for several years. Our overlay, approved in 2006, must now be updated to reflect both the underlying County regulations and the current wishes of the community.

For several years, a few SNA homeowners have been working with the planning department and our County Commissioner (Tom Blankenhorn) to update our overlay to conform to the County’s new template that simplifies the presentation of permitted uses and related performance standards. We now feel our new draft overlay is ready to go forward for landowner approval and then County consideration and adoption. 

Our original overlay created distinct zones within Stagecoach Hills as either “Residential,” “Commercial,” “Light Commercial/Multiple Family,” or “Agricultural.” We have retained these categories, as well as the geographic boundaries to which they pertain. Our goal has been to keep many of the rights and privileges we currently have in Stagecoach Hills while strengthening certain points in an effort to maintain and preserve both the beauty and quality of life we enjoy.

In drafting the 2014 overlay, we started with the language of the 2006 overlay. The new overlay does away with many performance standards, such as the requirement for homes to be earth-colored because that type of requirement can only be in Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). We also have had to delete any standards contained in other parts of the overall ordinance or in separate county ordinances, such as those governing animal control or solid waste.

The Board of County Commissioners needs to know that all SNA landowners are familiar with this new draft overlay and have had a chance to ask questions and provide comments (pro or con) regarding it. It is important to have your support since any changes will affect the zoning regulations for your property. We are including with this letter a printed copy of the proposed draft overlay.

To simplify your understanding of the proposed draft SNA overlay, as it relates to our 2006 overlay and the new countywide land use regulation, please download the following documents from the indicated web sites:
1. The 2006 SNA zoning overlay from the SNA website :

2. The new approved Countywide Zoning Ordinance 2014-1 from (click on the “Government” tab and then “Taos County Ordinances & Resolutions.”) The pdf file (Ordinance No. 2014-1) is about 6.3 MB.

3. A pdf file of the 2014 SNA draft overlay:

4. A jpg of the DRAFT SNA Zone map can be seen here:

It is critical that you read and understand what is being proposed. As part of our approval process, we are conducting an extensive community outreach program; the Board of County Commissioners will be very reluctant to approve our overlay if there is confusion or opposition from our landowners. Community outreach includes this letter, as well as postings on our website ( and the online listserve (see ); in addition, we will hold a community-wide meeting and make appropriate postings on our community billboard at the south end of Tune Drive. 

To simplify the process and assist you in assessing the proposed overlay, we are summarizing below the major types of changes from the 2006 overlay:
*          reorganization and streamlining to meet the County required template
*          removal of reference to CCRs, which the County cannot enforce
*          removal of performance standards, which are covered by the Countywide Land Use Regulations or other County regulations.

The 2014 draft overlay also has a section that lists some possible changes for your consideration; in the body of the overlay, some items are underlined (new) or deleted, indicating changes that the land-use committee has felt would be improvements. The Board of Commissioners wants to confirm that we have solicited your responses and presented you with all pertinent information. If you cannot download these documents and prefer to receive them by mail, please contact us by one of the following methods, giving us your name and mailing (USPS) address. It will save on SNA expenses (postage) if you download the files.

There will be an initial discussion of the proposed overlay and its approval/adoption process at the SNA’s annual meeting on October 11 at the Taos Mesa Brewery.  See website for meeting details, and please try to attend if you are in the area.

We have scheduled a second SNA meeting for ___TBD__ at the Taos County Administration Complex, Board of Commissioner Chambers, to discuss this new draft ordinance. To present and discuss your questions at this meeting, we need to receive your input no later than __TBD__. It is very important that we hear from you, whether in person or by phone or mail. Even if you have no comments or concerns, please let us know that you have taken a look at these documents.

After the this meeting, we will forward the updated overlay to the Planning Dept. for final review, requesting a public hearing date to present our draft overlay to the Board of Commissioners. You will receive a mailing from the Planning Dept. announcing the date for this public hearing. All landowners are invited to attend and present comments to the Board of Commissioners.

If you have any suggested changes, questions or concerns, please notify either Terry Thompson ( or myself, John Durham at .  Or, use the enclosed questionnaire and comment sheet and mail it to:  SNA / HC 74 Box 22263 / El Prado, NM  87529.   Or contact us by phone: Terry Thompson 575-751-4343 or John Durham 575-737-9414.

If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you are in agreement with these changes and that we have your support as we move forward with approval and adoption. 

Thank you for your interest in your neighborhood, Stagecoach Hills.

John C. Durham
Board President
Stagecoach Neighborhood Association

To simplify your understanding of the proposed draft SNA overlay, as it relates to our 2006 overlay and the new countywide land use regulation, please download the following documents from the indicated web sites:

1. The current DRAFT SNA Land Use Overlay:

2. The 2006 SNA zoning overlay:

3. The Countywide Zoning Ordinance 2014-1 from (click on the “Government” tab and then “Taos County Ordinances & Resolutions.”) The pdf file (Ordinance No. 2014-1) is about 6.3 MB.

(If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click to download the application.)

Contact Terry Thompson to request a JPG of the SNA map showing boundaries and the 5 zones at printing resolution (3 MB) or screen resolution (550 KB).

To see the history of the SNA Land Use Overlay evolution, click here.