Some residents of Vista Entrada are objecting to what they maintain is a low-income housing project coming to their area (Garrison Wells/Observer)


A developer and the City of Rio Rancho are headed for a fight with some residents of Vista Entrada.

Many of the residents of the subdivision are adamant: They don’t want what they consider to be low-income housing in their neighborhood.

The developer, Dominium Development & Acquisitions, wants to build a 216-unit multi-family development at 7201 Oersted Rd. NE, that is described as affordable housing.

Dominium, according to its web site, manages more than 38,000 apartments in 19 states and is “committed to helping solve the affordable housing crisis.”

The property, according to an April 20, 2022, letter to neighboring property owners, “is located on the east side of Camino Encantadas between Oersted Road and Hapsburg Road.”

Say residents of Vista Entrada, it’s low income.

“We don’t want low-income apartments,” said Helene Apper, who lives in Vista Entrada.

The group is fired up over what they feel is a violation by the city and property owner that they would receive 30-days’ notice prior to anything placed on the city agenda regarding the land adjacent to the courthouse on Idalia at NM 528.

A public meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 11 by the governing body, and residents plan to be there.

The settlement agreement, dated Nov. 2, 2009, established the 30-day notice. It also sets lighting standards, a landscaping buffer and provisions for traffic concerns.

The agreement is between “petitioners of neighboring properties, the City of Rio Rancho, and the property owner.”

Rio Rancho spokesman Peter Wells in an email response to questions from the Observer said “The notice requirements you are referencing pertain to the applicant/private property owner and other private property owners via a 2009 settlement agreement, not local government. If private property owners believe notice requirements were not met by the applicant/private property owner, the 2009 settlement agreement identifies what the recourse would be.”

At the meeting, he said, “the Governing Body will consider a site plan and compliance with applicable regulations via a quasi-judicial public hearing.”

The developer, in the agenda, noted that notice was included and that an open house was held at the Sandoval County Administration Building on May 4, 2022,” satisfying the notice requirement.

“The design team were available to answer questions and respond to concerns at this meeting, and a member of staff attended the open house,” the agenda notes.

Staff also “received this Site Plan Application on June 1, 2022, meeting the 30-day requirement listed in the Settlement Agreement.”

There are eight people signed up for public comment on the project. Apper is among them.