Blowing dust a problem for Santa Fe neighborhood
March 07, 2018 10:30 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Spring isn't in New Mexico officially, but it sure feels like it. With the return of the season comes the windy weather and a handful of problems for one Santa Fe neighborhood.
KOB first visited the Nava Ade community last summer. At the time, residents dealt with large amounts of dust blowing into their neighborhood due to ongoing development in the area. Today, those same residents say problems persist, but city leaders say a fix is on the way.
Residents have been documenting issues with nearby development since last year.
"Property damage, cleaning, health issues, you name it," says resident Steve Burns, describing all the problems that have come as a result of the dust.
When the wind picks up, residents say so does the dust. It's infiltrated their homes, cars and overall well-being.
"Headache, allergies, runny nose, sneezing. It’s horrible," added another resident, Miquela Gonzales. "It's affecting everything -- our quality of life -- and that shouldn’t happen."
Grading and ongoing construction have been happening south of their neighborhood in the area between I-25, Cerrillos Road and Richards Avenue. When residents eventually began publicly voicing their concerns, they felt like city leaders and construction companies were listening.
"They were going to have water trucks while they were grading," Burns said. "The city was going to be extremely vigilant and start issuing citations and violations."
That was the word when KOB first visited the area back in July 2017. Burns and others say things got better for a while until this past Sunday when the spring-like weather started to make its return. With that weather, the ominous cloud of dust returned as well.
"If that foretells what’s to come we're really worried," Burns said.
But there may also be a lasting solution in sight. Lisa D. Martinez, Santa Fe's land use director, said Pulte Homes has come forward with a new agreement which has also been approved by the Nava Ade Neighborhood Association.
"They have gone through a number of different requirements that we would all like to see happen to better mitigate the dust issues at Las Soleras," Martinez said.
Martinez shared the proposal with KOB, which ensures things like monitoring wind speed on a daily basis, ceasing all grading if wind speeds reach more than 20 miles per hour and a long list of other precautions.
"We will be carefully monitoring and following up and we have commitments from Pulte and from their staff," she said.
The two main entities working on a solution have been the Planning Commission and Santa Fe’s Land Use Department, along with city council. A more permanent dust mitigation ordinance is in the works for the city of Santa Fe.
Leaders are promising vigilance and residents are just hoping to see the difference.
"We're fed up and they need to hear how fed up we are and they need to something about it," Gonzales said.
Created: March 07, 2018 10:30 PM
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