At the April 16, 2013 La Mesa HOA Annual Meeting, Tom Ashe (the A in KGA Development, who originally developed La Mesa) gave the history and update on current discussions about the Lafarge Placitas gravel mine immediately to the southwest of La Mesa. Key points:
- In 1973, the owners of the property (about 1000 acres), the Grevey-Lieberman family, signed a lease for gravel mining.
- Sand and gravel mining started around 1986.
- In 1988, with the support of Sandoval County, the Town of Bernalillo, pursuant to the Extraterritorial Zoning Ordinance then in effect, granted a “Certificate of Nonconformance”, allowing sand and gravel mining and processing. This explicitly designates two areas (“A” and “B”) to be mined last.
- In 2005, the Grevey-Lieberman family sold the property to Mt. Adams Holding, LLC, a Washington limited liability company.
- Over the years, discussions with the mine operator (first Western Mobile, now Lafarge) indicated that mining would cease when the lease runs out in 2015, and that certain areas were not to be mined. Generally, the mine was a “good neighbor”, and considerate of Placitas subdivisions and homeowners.
- Lafarge is currently mining in the areas that were thought to be left alone.
- In discussions over the past year or so, the current Lafarge managers have indicated that they plan to renew the lease and continue mining as long, and as much of the area, as possible.
- So far, efforts to contact or engage anyone from the current property owner, Mt. Adams Holdings, have been unsuccessful.
- The Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Division has become involved, exchanging letters with Lafarge. The essence seems to be the County challenging Lafarge’s adherence to the original “Certificate of Nonconformance”, and the Lafarge response.
Tom has provided some letters relevant to this:
- Letter from Pepi Strahl to Bill Gates
- Letter from Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Division to Lafarge, February 21,2013
- Letter from Lafarge to Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Division, March 19,2013
- Letter from Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Division to Lafarge, April 10, 2013
- Letter from Lafarge to Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Division, April 19,2013