The Rio Rancho Governing Body approved the site plan for townhouses at the addresses of 700, 704 and 708 Southern Blvd. at the Oct. 26 meeting.
“I would like to formally request the approval of a proposed site plan. I believe this site plan meets all of the requirements of city codes and overlay,” applicant and X2D owner Matthew Herrera said.
The proposed townhouses would be three stories with a two-car garage level, living/dining room level and bedroom level. X2D plans to have 42 townhouses available. The subject properties were zoned in 2007 to allow for townhouses.
While no one physically went to the council meeting to speak in public comment against these townhouses, a few of the residents around the proposed townhouse location did write to the governing body.
“I am opposing the request and approval of townhomes being built in what is essentially my backyard. I am a single mother with a young daughter who enjoys spending time outside. Spur Road is a busy street with speed bumps, which makes it unsafe for children to play in the front yard. Our only other option is to spend time in our backyard. If multifamily buildings are constructed, I believe it will pose an invasion of privacy as new residents would be able to see into my private backyard and into the windows of my home,” Angela Romero writes.
She says she also feels that multifamily homes would increase the constant change and fluctuation in residents in the area, which makes her feel unsafe. She added that her property values will be affected by the change.
“I have lived in my home since 1999 and I take pride in the neighborhood and city I live in. Please consider the current residents before approving a zoning change. I would hate to have to vacate my home of nearly 25 years over feeling unsafe and violated,” Romero said.
Other people doubled down on the possible drop in property value.
“It is a fact that our current home sale valuations will drop! Who do we as homeowners hold responsible for this difference in valuation? The city of Rio Rancho or the developer? Who will be responsible for the reimbursement of the difference in the sale value of our homes upon this date October 10, 2023, some valued at over $500,000, compared to the LOSS in value IF townhomes are built on these parcels? Homeowners are willing to have realtors value our home’s current sale value,” Susan Babcock wrote.
Babcock also claims the addition of townhomes would increase the crime rate in the area.
For some people, the concern is about traffic more than anything.
“The traffic congestion has gotten so bad at certain times of the day you cannot turn left off Baltic or Pecos. We were told the road would become four lanes years ago, and that never happened, but building has continued,” wrote Patricia Ferryman.
She also said that the schools will not benefit from the addition of multi-family residences.
“The two elementary schools that service our area and the one middle school are so crowded now they house three times the number of students they were built to hold, and adding apartments will only make it worse,” Ferryman continues.
The townhouses do not have a construction date yet. They are set to be built adjacent to Puesta del Sol Elementary off of Southern Blvd., between Seventh and 10th streets.