Santa Teresa residents continue to fight Sunland Park annexation

Santa Teresa in new legal fight with Sunland Park

SANTA TERESA, New Mexico - A meeting was held to address the ongoing battle to stop the annexation of Santa Teresa and 229 acres of Santa del Sol subdivision. Organizers updated residents about the latest legal action to stop the annexation.

Dr. Mary Gonzalez is a member of the Provisional Government of Santa Teresa.

"We want to be our own city. We think it's about time, we deserve our own city. We are a large community, we have over 4,000 residents," Gonzalez said. 

Sunland Park City Council recently voted to annex the subdivision in Santa Teresa. The 229-acre acre tract is near Country Club and McNutt roads. Another portion of the land is just north of Country Club Road.

Santa Teresa residents working to incorporate their community told ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom the property in question is within their borders. For years, they have fought to keep the two neighboring communities separate.

Sunland Park City Manager Bob Gallagher says a developer, Bill Hagen with Socorro Partners, plans to build 867 homes. Gallagher says the developer will pay to reconstruct County Club Road to meet city standards and Sunland Park will maintain it. He also says the $17 million investment was brought to the city solely by the developer.

"Annexation was requested 100 percent by the property owner," Gallagher said. "The reason why they wanted to be inside the city is because they wanted to have quick response time by police and fire and I believe they feel they can build a nicer neighborhood if they build it by city standards rather then county standards."

The vote by Sunland Park City Council to annex the land came with a lot of opposition from some Santa Teresa residents. They told the council they fear the development will make their property values go down.

Santa Teresa resident Wilfredo Santiago attended the meeting. 

"The problem is a lack of planning. And in a sense it is the responsibility of the county to bring some order into the process. There is a lot of money involved in the developments. And I think they should take more care in preparing for the future," Santiago said.

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