The Valencia County Commission has approved two zonal changes that will bring a restaurant to a community on the east side of the county and a new food truck to the valley.
At the December 15 meeting, the commissioners granted a zoning change from Rural Residential 1 to Commercial 1 at 496 Meadow Lake Road to allow a restaurant on the property, as well as a conditional use permit for a park of camper vans.
Los Lunas architect John Kirkpatrick represented owner Gilberto Carbajal at the public hearing for the rezoning application.
“Property has priority for commercial use. It was a barber shop and restaurant in the past,” Kirkpatrick said.
He went on to say that a restaurant and RV park at this location would fall into what is identified as a priority growth center in the county’s draft comprehensive plan, and continues the trend of commercial development along this part of the highway.
“There are no restaurants or RV parks in the area. This change benefits the county economically by increasing the tax base,” the architect said. C-1 is more consistent with development in the region. This allows a buffer zone between the residential and the freeway; it is undesirable to have a residential (development) adjoining a main road.
Kirkpatrick said Carbajal plans to fully develop the property and put in quality structures that will improve the quality of the neighborhood.
Commissioner Joseph Bizzell asked if there would be an adequate septic tank on site for both businesses. Kirkpatrick said that instead of installing a larger septic tank than what already exists, motorhomes would be required to empty their tanks at a dump station, adding that Carbajal would fully comply with septic tank requirements and water from the New Mexico Department of the Environment.
Gabe Luna, the county planner, said the septic tank would be considered during the administrative review of the site design.
“This is not the last step, and there are still other permits needed. Site design is still an important part of this process,” Luna said.
The man living on the neighboring property said he was concerned about the amount of water businesses would use which could cause problems with nearby wells. He also said he was concerned about lighting at night and noise from the RV park.
Kirkpatrick said there was an existing 6-inch domestic well on the property as well as an irrigation well, both with water rights. As for the lights, he said the owner will comply with the Dark Sky Act, which requires lights to be shielded to direct light downward and away from neighbors and the sky.
The commissioners also granted a zoning change from Rural Residential 1 to Commercial 1 at 3077 NM 47 in Tomé to allow for the operation of a family food truck, Tomé Todo.
The location includes an outdoor dining area, with large colorful umbrellas for shade, and parking for 12 vehicles.
Alondra Chavez said her parents lived on the neighboring property, directly east of the food truck location.
“We are trying to open a small business and are aware of the sensitivities of the Tomé community,” Chavez said. “We have over 2,000 people in the community who don’t have access to a restaurant. This will add cultural value to a historic place. … The location provides a good environment for families to sit and relax.
She added that older people in the community would have a convenient place to grab a hot meal to take home.
“We have invested a lot and are very committed to creating a unique family zone in Tomé and the county of Valencia at large,” Chavez said. “There is a diversity of business ventures in the area – Family Dollar, Get Hooked (On Jerky), Osprey Storage, Trees That Please, Serenity Stone Monument Creations – I think we fit in here. The development of the land is not at the level that speaks of commercialization, but rather minimal and colorful. »
In response to questions from Bizzell, Chavez said there were two septic tanks — one on each lot — with a connection for the sewage from the food truck to that on the west lot.
She also noted that there were two large entrances to the property – one 32ft and the other 27ft wide – which were unidirectional, so traffic entered one and exited the property. other on and from NM 47.
Commissioner Jhonathan Aragon quipped about the food offered by Tomé Todo which must be really good.
“When there’s an ad offered to Tomé, we usually get all Tomé in that room,” Aragon said with a laugh.
The room was devoid of inhabitants of Tomé opposed to the change of zone.
Both Aragon and Commissioner David Hyder questioned Chavez about the family’s intentions, wondering if they might consider building a permanent restaurant on the property if the venture proves successful.
Chavez assured the commission that she and her family are very aware of community concerns about commercial development in Tomé.
“At the moment the plan is to sell only from the truck. However, the point of what if we grow? Given the financial need for this to rise, it is going to take some time,” she said. declared.