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Public hearing on proposed La Bajada mine to be held Wednesday

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The Santa Fe County Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to consider an application to create a mining zone on 50 acres of land near La Bajada Mesa.

Anticipating a large turnout, the meeting will be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, beginning at 4 p.m., and will include a public hearing.

The proposal was rejected by the county’s Development Review Committee by a 5-2 vote in March. At that meeting, nearly 50 people — all of them opposed to the plan — spoke during a public hearing that lasted about 2½ hours.

Concerns over the mine included the use of water resources, environmental damage that could occur from erosion, the impact on wildlife, decreased property values, increased truck traffic, and safety concerns. Several people said a mine would desecrate the historical and cultural of La Bajada Mesa, which some call “the gateway to northern New Mexico.”

The application is being brought by landowner James Siebert and Rockology, an Albuquerque company that hopes to mine about 250,000 tons of aggregate per year that can be used to construct roads and buildings. The proposed mine would be located south of Santa Fe about one-half mile east of Interstate 25 off the Waldo Canyon exit.

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