This image shows the plans for Casa de Encantada, to the lower right, as part of 550 Paseo Apartments, upper left. Courtesy image.

The Rio Rancho Governing Body has approved a site plan for an affordable 152-unit senior apartment complex in Enchanted Hills.
Governing body members voted unanimously Wednesday evening at City Hall to OK the plan for Casa de Encantada, the southeast section of 550 Paseo Apartments.
Councilor Jeremy Lenentine was absent, so Mayor Gregg Hull was allowed to vote.
Hull said retirees on fixed incomes should be able to afford to stay in the community they’ve invested in and where their families are.
“We make sure we respect every person, generationally, from beginning to end,” Hull said.
The senior-housing project is set to be near the intersection of US 550 and Safelite Boulevard. The northwest section of 550 Paseo Apartments, which has no age restriction, is under construction.
According to documents submitted by Consensus Planning, the agent for developer DBG Properties LLC, Casa de Encantada would be limited to people ages 55 and older, with no children allowed as permanent residents. It’s meant for independent living.
Architect Jennifer Facio Maddox of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini said residents would make 60 percent or less of the area median income.
The design has 114 one-bedroom apartments and 38 two-bedroom apartments in four-story buildings, according to Consensus Planning documents. It also has a one-story community building.
Normally, city ordinance would require 1.5 parking spaces for each one-bedroom apartment and 1.75 spaces for each two-bedroom apartment, or 238 spaces for Casa de Encantada. Jim Strozier of Consensus Planning asked the city to allow 193 spaces, about 1.23 spaces per unit.
The governing body agreed.
Developers believe 193 spaces would be sufficient to prevent parking on the street and traffic congestion, according to documents.
“The second bedroom is used as an extra room as an office or guest room for visitors. So, it operates like 152 one-bedroom apartments,” according to the variance request.
Maddox said the parking lot would include extra spaces for postal vehicles, deliveries and shuttles.
She said the lot had steep slopes on two sides, and designers wanted the buildings to be on even grades and to have an accessible walking path. That limited room for parking.
Strozier said planners looked at other Southwestern communities and projects, and worked with city staff to decide on 193 spaces.
In other business, governing body members:
• Recognized the Financial Services Department for earning the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 15th year in a row.
• Waived municipal liquor license fees, forgoing an estimated $10,500 in revenue, this year to support businesses trying to recover from the pandemic.
• Awarded a $1.5 million contract for designing the expansion of Northern Boulevard from Acorn Loop to Unser Boulevard to Huitt-Zollars Inc.