Stagecoach Neighborhood Association (SNA)
HCR 74 PO Box 22263, El Prado NM 87529

History of our SNA Land Use Regulation Overlay

Update as of February 7, 2014:

The Planning Dept. just posted an updated version of the draft Taos County Land Use Regulation (LUR) 2014-1. Basically they took comments from the previous workstudy sessions that have been held over the last couple of months and included them in this new updated draft. Many of the updates/changes are in red.

Please forward this to other landowners who are not on the listserve. The next and final workstudy session with the County Commissioners is scheduled for Feb. 25 at 6 pm in the County Commissioners' Chambers. I believe this will be the last public workstudy session prior to a publicized formal public hearing in front of the Board of Commissioners. The date of the public hearing will be announced in the Taos News.

If the Board of County Commissioners votes to approve LUR 2014-1 (most likely sometime in March), our overlay will then be reviewed by the Planning Dept. and SNA landowner meetings will follow to discuss the proposed overlay and any possible changes.

Update as of January 20, 2014:
At the first work/study session on Jan. 14, Planning Director Rick Bellis walked the Taos County Board of Commissioners through most of the redline version of the 2013-8 draft LUR. There will be a final LUR work/study session in February. The Planning Dept. will then give public notice for the Board of Commissioners public hearing which is estimated to be in March at which time the board will hear public comment and vote on the regulation.


Update as of May 8, 2013:

Two things will be happening in the next several months related to the new Taos County Land Use Regulation:
1. The Taos County Planning Dept. is preparing to hold work/study meetings in June to review with landowners the current draft of the LUR. The work/study sessions and meetings will be announced in the Taos News later this month. I will post dates on this page. The current County wide draft LUR 2012-1 is not final and is currently still being worked on by the Taos County Planning Dept.

2
. After the Taos County Board of Commissioners approves the new LUR , they will allow Neighborhood Associations (NA) to present their draft Zoning Overlays which outline more specific zoning regulations for their specific neighborhoods. The SNA Zoning Overlay will be available for download here as soon as the Planning Dept. completes their review of it in March, 2014.


Brief History of Current Draft Overlay:
In 2010 the County’s planning dept. asked all neighborhoods to start preparing/revising their ordinances or draft ordinances (zoning overlays) because the County aimed to approve a new Land Use Regulation (LUR) by the end of 2011. Although the SNA had a zoning overlay in place, we were instructed to reformat it into a new template, which would be used for every neighborhood. We took some time to prepare a draft document that would retain what the neighborhood had approved in 2006. The County asked that we add a new zone between the Highway 64 easement and the SNA’s Commercial Zone. In follow-up meetings with the Planning Dept., we learned that this new Highway Corridor Zone is optional. When it is completed, we will post a copy of the SNA draft overlay here for review by all SNA landowners. We would like to complete this review by the end of JULY 2013 so we can get our zoning back into the regulation ASAP after the Board of Commissioners approves the new countywide LUR.

This draft document should be reviewed by all SNA landowners, who should email any comments, whether pro or con, to both Terry Thompson (terryt@taosnet.com) and John Durham (SNA Board President) at (denvergiovanni@gmail.com). It is very important that we be ready to present our zoning overlay for approval by the Taos County Board of Commissioners as soon as possible after the new County LUR is approved.

On January 31, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners heard a short presentation by SNA President John Durham about our draft zoning overlay. Only one question was asked: what would happen if the countywide 2012 draft ordinance did not get approved? It seemed that our approved amendment to the 2006 ordinance would remain in effect as approved in 2006.
That afternoon the County Commissioners decided not to approve the Taos County 2012 draft ordinance. Nevertheless, our amendment remained in effect until the new 2012-1 LUR would be approved.
A common objection to the LUR approval in January 2012 had to do with residents claiming that they had not been adequately involved in this planning effort. The County is attempting to make sure that this objection is overcome.

Contact the Planning Department if you have any questions about any part of this LUC draft or process. Contact Nathan Sanchez, Senior Planning Director for the Taos County Planning Department. He can be reached at 575-737-6443 or nathan.sanchez@taoscounty.org.

In their efforts, the County has reformatted the general LUR and our 2006 overlay has been transferred into this new format. The Taos County Planning Dept. and the county attorney have extensively reviewed our overlay and 10 other neighborhoods' draft ordinances. We encourage all SNA landowners to read the final 2012 draft, which has a number of changes. One significant change is the elimination of any ordinance requirements that the County now requires to be in neighborhood CCRs (covenants and restrictions) as they are not enforceable in the Land Use Regulation.

After the County Commissioners approve the new draft LUR, it will be too late to make comments. So get a copy and read it now while you can still have input. If you have specific questions about the new draft, please contact Nathan Sanchez, Senior Planning Director for the Taos County Planning Department. He can be reached at 575-737-6443 or nathan.sanchez@taoscounty.org.

History of the planning effort to create the “original 2006” SNA Land Use Ordinance amendment:
From November 2003 to early 2006, a Comprehensive Land Use Steering Committee for the Stagecoach Neighborhood Association met almost monthly with the goal of helping the SNA general membership develop a plan to regulate land uses within SNA boundaries. We followed a procedure established by Taos County for controlling development within the different neighborhoods. Only one other neighborhood association, Upper Las Colonias, had successfully completed such a plan. Nick Jaramillo, our County Commissioner, and Allen Vigil, past County Planning Director, gave us their full support in this process.

In early 2004 we began to involve all property owners in the process of discussing how this plan should develop. It was important for everyone to participate in the meetings we scheduled and/or to give their input on surveys we mailed out to all owners. The steering committee solicited everyone’s comments as we worked with the County Planning Department and the County Attorney in writing the final ordinance for submission to the County Commission.

We developed a database of all known property owners in the SNA. This database created our mailing list. We sent out US mail or email announcements of each general meeting to the property owners in our database. Finally, in August 2006, Taos County approved the SNA Land Use Ordinance Amendment 2006-8. Our amendment became part of Taos County Land Use Ordinance 2005-10.

The approved amendment divides the SNA into 5 zones, each with unique development standards. As of September 14, 2006, all building or remodeling would be required by County law to conform to this ordinance.

Note that many parts of the SNA also have covenants. Covenants are not enforced by any government agency. Covenant violations are addressed through private legal actions initiated by the affected landowners.

Many thanks to all the property owners who have participated in making this neighborhood effort successful over the years.