Masterplan of 13,850-Acre Santolina Awaits Approval in West Albuquerque

The Albuquerque area might transform completely in the near future. A big empty space along I-40 could turn into a new development for tens of thousands of people.

The Albuquerque area might transform completely in the near future. A big empty space along I-40 could turn into a new development for tens of thousands of people.

Santolina is a proposed master plan on the West Side that would spread across 13,850 acres along Interstate 40 and just 10 minutes from downtown. At the moment, it has an agricultural zoning that allows for low-density, rural residential development.

Projections made by Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments and the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research indicate a growth of 438,522 in population and 182,188 in jobs by 2040. The master plan translates into about 38,000 homes over the next 40 to 50 years.

One of the concerns raised by critics was water-related, but the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority (ABCWUA) confirmed several times that it has the available supply and capacity to serve Santolina and growth in the region.

Furthermore, in accordance with the Planned Communities Criteria, Santolina complies with the requirement that new developments must be able to generate revenues equal to or greater than expenses to the County. Reports created by experts and reviewed by the County and specialized third parties determined that the master plan will generate an annual surplus of $9 – $22 million to the County’s general fund.

Planning has been in the works for nearly two years and now it has its own website and social media accounts. It awaits approval from the Bernalillo County.

Photo courtesy of Santolina Twitter Page