Unhappy residents spoke out against the Montreal Mini-Master Plan (Maureen Cooke/Observer)

Enchanted Hills and Lomas Encantadas residents were not happy Thursday night (Aug. 25) when the Rio Rancho Governing Body unanimously approved the Montreal Mini-Master Plan.

The project will bring 80 new homes into the area on a 20-acre site wedged between the two subdivisions.

Even with the plan amended to stipulate all 80 homes would be single-story, residents were unhappy.

Many residents accused the Governing Body of selling out to AMREP, at the expense of Rio Rancho residents.

“Surprise, surprise. Big money wins again,” said resident Dave Davis.

From the residents’ perspective, the mini-master plan will not only bring in dangerous levels of traffic and tax the infrastructure, it will destroy the reason they moved to Rio Rancho in the first place — to get away from city life.

Others were upset they had no representation on the Governing Body as their councilor, Bob Tyler, recused himself from previous discussions of the plan and recused himself again Thursday, citing a conflict of interest because his wife sits on the school board.

Another issue seemed to be a lack of trust for AMREP vice president of land development Jarrod Likar.

The residents brought up an earlier meeting (June 23), at which Likar said because there was no builder attached to the Mini-Master Plan, he couldn’t promise homes in the area would be single-story. Yet, Thursday, Likar agreed to the amendment requiring single-story.

Another concession to the residents’ concerns — this one from City Manager Matt Geisel — was a traffic study to look at the congestion at Mountain View Middle School.

Although there were no outbursts during last night’s meeting, just as Mayor Gregg Hull moved for a 10-minute recess, someone yelled,  “Cowards.”

“I know who I won’t be voting for in the next election,” said one resident after the meeting. “And I’d be willing to bet a lot of the homeowners from the other subdivisions…feel the same way.”