Homeowners who live on Augusta Hills Drive NE with open space behind them are being asked to consider approval of a Lomas Encantadas Master Plan Amendment and a zone map amendment for land use that runs behind our back walls.
Builder AMREP Southwest Inc. wants to rezone the affected area from OS (open space) and R1 (single-family residential) to R4 (residential high-density). Most of us bought our homes here because of the open space, knowing that no one would build behind us. We were assured by Realtors and various other people that the open space would remain, along with its many arroyos.
Access to open space can increase levels of physical activity and have mental-health benefits, reducing health care and other costs. Neighbors hike the open space and enjoy the views, which may be obliterated by the rezoning. What about additional drinking water for new residents, particularly if there will be multiple-family homes? Also, local coyotes, jackrabbits, gamble and scaled quail, etc., will all be gone with the rezoning. Quail are threatened and live year-round in our open-space grasslands.
There is a public hearing for the City of Rio Rancho Planning and Zoning Board to consider the zoning request on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 3200 Civic Center Circle.