Just a reminder:

RV Blvd - New Stop Signs

Coffee and Conversation: Land Use and Development in Santa Fe County and How It Affects Rancho Viejo


Rancho Viejo South Association Invites the Entire Rancho Viejo Community to:

~ Coffee and Conversation 

Date:    Saturday, August 5th – 2017

Time:   Presentation Begins 10AM Sharp – 12 Noon, Doors open at 9:30AM

                                    Coffee and refreshments will be available

Location:   IAIA Campus @ The HOGAN Building

 83 Avan Nu Po Road 

                               Please save parking spaces at the building for Disabled Parking

                                    Park along driveway to the building or park in main lot and walk.

                                    (Per request from IAIA, no pets at this event. Thank you)



(This is not a discussion on Flying J)

Presenter:       Marcia Kaplan, Urban Planner

Marcia Kaplan is a resident of Rancho Viejo South and worked as an Urban Planner for several cities and counties in California and Oregon. In New Mexico she has worked as a consultant to the Interstate Stream Commission in updating New Mexico’s regional water plans.   



Pilot/Flying J Proposal Underway

On May 9th, representatives of the Pilot/Flying J Corporation gave a presentation on a new proposal to build a Travel Center at the intersection of Rancho Viejo Blvd and NM-14.  The meeting was not well publicized and about 60 people from the area attended the meeting.  Please see The New Mexican article on May 10 for more details.  The following are my personal notes from the meeting and may contain inaccuracies and omissions – use at your own risk.  My intent is solely to inform residents that this project proposal is underway.


  • Mr. Siebert – Made comment about how a Master Plan becomes invalid after 5 years if development doesn’t take place. Several times during the meeting, they made the point that the area is zoned for this time of development.  “Conditional use” requires hearing officer, then planning commission (July?), then County Commissioners (Sep?).
  • According to Siebert, per the Santa Fe County Land Development Code, all residents within 500 ft. must be notified by mail (there are a few in the Turquoise Trail Business Park). The SLDC doesn’t require notification signage, but they were “kind enough” to put up a small sign in RV.  They thought the meeting was well attended.
  • Ross Schaver, Pilot’s Project Engineer treated us to a presentation of how wonderful Pilot is, how they have 600 locations, how wonderful the Haslam family is, and how they also own several fast food chains. They want to create jobs for everyone and increase commercial property values.  He claimed that extending the sewer line would accomplish this.
  • Pilot is currently building 20 stores per year. They are the largest diesel supplier in the US and and the largest hauler of supplies for the fracking industry. They also own a construction company.
  • The “Rancho Viejo Partners” were “approached” by Pilot and the land is now under contract. The parcel is 26 acres split into 3 lots – the travel center will be on a 10 acre site immediately across from Rancho Viejo Blvd on highway 14. There will be one entrance in and out, and the center will include a Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.  (The 2 lots will probably be for hotel/retail, like most Pilot Centers.) The project is currently at the “proposal” stage and will go to county hearing officer, Nancy Long, soon.
  • The site has perfect infrastructure including power and natural gas. The sewage line may run to a lift station at Gruda Vet Clinic, or the prison system. Water will be County (if they are willing).  Doing a “willing and able letter” to County.
  • Detention pond will contain all fuel spills, which Pilot will monitor to make sure they comply with all state and county codes. Roof runoff will go to culvert. (When challenged by the audience, Shaver challenged us to do our own testing, because Pilot NEVER pollutes any areas it operates in.)
  • Pilot’s traffic engineer is doing study now. The Center will contain 70 semi stalls and they anticipate 300 semi’s per day.  They say this is small for them and that there should be no traffic congestion.
  • Lighting: all Cree. (They said this as if that will be sufficient to meet codes and not violate night sky restrictions.)

Questions/comments from audience:

  • A (female) truck driver in the audience said all 70 stalls will be idling and very noisy.   Shaver claims that company testing shows decibels will be low.  He went on to say that newer rigs have sound mitigating equipment and ignored her remaining point about older trucks.
  • How many jobs? 80-90 jobs. 3 Corporate Managers who will make 6 figures. Everyone else will be local talent. Half will be part time and all will make better than minimum wage.
  • The Center will create a $2-3M tax base – gross receipts taxes will take care of roads.
  • RV only has 2 exits. How will this enhance home values and how will Pilot alleviate traffic problems? Shaver thinks extended sewer will increase commercial property values.  He did not answer how this will increase residential property values.
  • How will they control pollution? They  have secondary tanks to catch fuel leaks. This goes to the detention pond.
  • A homeowner said she can smell the coffee and donuts from thd BLM offices. How will Pilot control diesel smells?  Shaver’s answer: “I hope you’ll smell the Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts instead.”
  • A former law enforcement officer from the Arizona City area said he and other cops stopped meeting at the the Flying J on I-10 because it became a bottleneck that they couldn’t get out of and it was too noisy for meetings. He said he didn’t move to RV to go through the same thing that AZ City residents are dealing with.
  • Emergency Evac plan?  Shaver totally denied noise and traffic concerns. Pilot only builds nice, safe facilities that comply with all state and local regulations.
  • What about road abuse and damage – who will repair NM-14 and surrounding roads? Ross says there won’t be any and that Pilot follow all state regs re: axle loading.
  • How much will taxes increase as a result of increased policing? Shaver says he has a letter from a police chief saying how wonderful Pilot Centers are. Comments about crime at truck stops are untrue  generalizations. Most truck drivers are like the nice lady in the audience (she’d left) and just want to make an honest living. A resident objected saying she researched crime stats on Travel Centers and that Shaver’s statement was uninformed.
  • Where else did you consider? Pilot’s real estate group looked for 2 years until they found this spot. They have plans for 3-5 more from here to Denver.
  • Next Step?  Planning Officer will review proposal to see whether it meets codes, etc., then on to County Planning Commission.

If you would like to voice your opinion to our County Commissioner, Ed Moreno, he can be reached at 505-986-6210 or

Please Don’t Put Glass in Recyling Bins, It Costs Us Money

Glass is not recycled in Santa Fe County. If you put it in your bin it taints the entire load, which then has to be taken to the landfill instead of being recycled. Additionally, we are fined $250 for each tainted load. So please, to avoid even higher recycling fees, please remember not to put glass in your recycling bin.



Transparency and the RVS Community Manager

Our HOA community manager Vincent Montoya became an owner and resident of RVS in April 2016. We previously had a community manager — Jessica Pfeiffer — who was also a resident and this was publicly known. There are certainly advantages to having a manager who lives in the community but some potential drawbacks and potential conflicts of interest also exist.

The previous Board of Directors chose to keep secret the fact that Mr. Montoya and his family moved to RVS. That secret started to unravel when the Montoyas’ house was broken into and Mr. Montoya’s wife Tina posted about the incident on the NextDoor Windmill Ridge website. Several days later she posted a critical comment about the new Board (which had not yet appointed officers or had an official meeting), not doing anything about the spate of thefts in RVS. However Ms. Montoya posted her comments using an assumed name, Roland Alarid, who I believe is a relative.

At the Annual Meeting when the issue of security was discussed, President Paiz referred to “something that cannot be revealed,” presumably the fact that the Montoyas’ home was entered. Publicly available information on the Internet shows that the Montoyas live on Madre Mountain. As a resident, Ms. Montoya is entitled to criticize the Board, but she should use her own name and not pose as someone else. Both posts have since been removed and the name Roland Alarid has been changed to TL Alarid on the Windmill Ridge NextDoor site.

By trying to keep it a secret that the Montoyas live here, both the previous Board and Mr. Montoya created an unnecessary problem. To avoid any other difficulties in future, I suggest that Mr. Montoya publicly reveal to RVS residents — perhaps via an email blast — that he and his family live here.

I also suggest that the new Board speak with Mr. Montoya about transparency and possible conflicts of interest, particularly regarding the election process. The Board should clearly set forth his different roles as an employee community manager and a resident.



Please attend the annual meeting next Tuesday. If you cannot be there, please vote by filling out the blue proxy form in your annual meeting packet. If you do not assign an individual to be your proxy, your form will be used only for establishing a quorum and your vote will not count. Remember to sign the form and give it to the person you have assigned as your proxy or send it to the HOA office.

You must be in good standing (not in arrears on your assessment) to be able to vote.


Why I’m A Candidate for the HOA Board

First, I would like to thank the residents who turned out for the Candidate Forum last Saturday. Some very thoughtful questions were asked. I also want to reach out to residents who did not attend.

I am running because we currently have a Board that is totally dysfunctional. Between December 2015 and September 2016, three of the seven Board members resigned. The Board has spent at least $6,000 of our money on legal fees related to internal disputes among Board members. The HOA attorney is representing some Board members against others. That is not what our legal budget was meant for.

Residents of RVS deserve better. You deserve rational, sane individuals who commit to representing your best interests. My objective is to have an honest, competent Board that is receptive to resident input.

Several residents have told me that they don’t get involved in politics and therefore are not interested in the activities of the HOA or voting for Board members. This isn’t about politics; it’s about money. Your money.

Your HOA Board gets to spend the money from your assessments and if you are not interested in how they spend it, there is opportunity for abuse — like the $6,000 mentioned above. Our assessments are increasing in 2017, mainly because of the County implementing a curbside recycling program. We should be looking for ways to cut costs to offset the increase, not wasting money.

For the third year in a row I have asked the Board to furnish residents with year-to-date expenditures for 2016 in the Annual Meeting packet, not just the budget for 2017. For the third year in a row they have not complied although they said would do so. Despite giving lip service to transparency, members of the current Board do not want residents to receive certain information, including how your money is spent. I want to know why. Don’t you?

Apathy is the greatest threat to an honest and accountable Board of Directors.  If residents show no interest in how the Board operates and how it spends your money, the Board can make decisions not in your best interest and waste your money as well.

We’ve had too much discord in our community over the past three years; we need Board members who can create a more harmonious environment to better serve the people who live here. I can help accomplish that.

It would be helpful if all candidates for the Board would post their views on the issues facing RVS on this blog. And I urge all residents to vote, either in person at the Annual Meeting on November 15, or by appointing a proxy.