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Rail park draws protest in Los Lunas

LOS LUNAS — Some San Clemente residents objected to a proposed 1,600-acre rail park at a recent planning and zoning meeting here, saying they didn’t  want an industrial park in their front yard.

“You are taking our retirement from us, and I am too old to start all over,” San Clemente resident Annette Kaylor said during a hearing on annexation and zoning for the Central New Mexico Rail Park. “You put a Santa Fe railroad up there and it’s going to be so noisy none of us can rest.”

The 1,627 acres of Huning Limited Liability Partnership real estate is owned by Rock and Rail, LLC.

Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend the annexation and special-use zoning designation to the village council, which will consider the issue at its July 28 meeting.

The broker, Tim Cummins, owner of Real Estate Investment Opportunities, LLC, which also owns the Merillat facility and Los Morros Business Park, said the project  was an opportunity for the village to create another job center, potentially providing 3,000 to 5,000 jobs once completed.

The broker explained that the rail park would not be a rail yard, but rather an industrial park similar to Los Morros Business Park except with rail service.

“That would allow us to be competitive with businesses that need rail service to export their goods and services,” he said.

The rail park would allow manufacturers to move goods and services on N.M. 6, west to Interstate 40 to California, he said.

Homeowner Ed Chaveux said he was concerned with the number of shipping containers that BNSF would be bringing in.

“It could be hundreds of thousands,” Chaveux said. “In order to move these containers they have to have cranes, they have to have trucks, they have to have extendable trailers that these containers will fit on.

Residents also raised concerns about traffic, air quality and the project’s effect on water resources.

A few spoke in favor of the project. Among them was Joseph R. Trujillo, who said the village is in dire need of more jobs.

“The whole north side should be industrial,” Trujillo said.