The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Apache Mesa subdivision breaks ground in Placitas

Bill Diven

With a snip of the fence along NM165, construction has begun on the newest subdivision in Placitas.

The thirty-five-lot Apache Mesa development won final approval from the Sandoval County Commission on February 17, although the commission added requirements to the project, including stabilizing the banks of two arroyos below road crossings. The next day crews were on site cutting large-diameter culvert pipe for use in the arroyo crossings.

Two other subdivisions also are progressing, including the two-hundred-acre Anasazi Meadows given approval by the town of Bernalillo planning commission and now moving on to review by Sandoval County. That 125-lot development is near the I-25 frontage road north of NM165 and adjacent to the existing Anasazi Trails and Placitas Trails neighborhoods.

Tom Ashe of Delashe Investments said about 60 percent of the lots already are being held under nonbinding reservations pending final county approval expected in April. Home construction would begin by late summer, he said.

Metered water will be provided by an extension from the Anasazi Trails water system, which was designed for expansion, he added.

State approvals already are in place, including a requirement for three traffic improvements: deceleration lanes on westbound NM165 at Trails East Road and on the northbound I-25 frontage road at the development access, plus a dedicated right-turn lane from I-25 northbound to NM165 at the north Bernalillo exit.

Closer to Placitas village, preliminary work continues at the controversial Piñon Ridge development even though a protest to its approval remains pending in court. Last July the county granted developer Jack Hostetler permission to build five homes on eight acres south of NM165 opposite the main Placitas fire station.

Residents in the adjoining Puesta del Sol neighborhood protested, raising questions about water and claiming Hostetler was manipulating zoning regulations to avoid public review of what likely will become a sixteen-acre project. Hostetler scaled back an earlier sixteen-acre proposal using a process that requires only administrative approval when a larger tract is split into smaller parcels that then are divided into no more than five lots.

Hostetler and his attorney argued their well had state approval and that the neighbors' real concern was someone building in their view. Utility work and site development have continued on the project even though the appeal is pending.

“They are apparently willing to take some risk that their approval could be overturned,” said protestors' attorney David Campbell.

Apache Mesa is the first development project by Albuquerque contractor Joe Kruzich, managing partner for the investors who bought the forty-six acres in 2003. Lot sizes range from just under one acre to 2.5 acres, and Kruzich says he's already picked out one for his new home.

“We've observed recent development in Placitas and have tried to pattern ourselves after that,” Kruzich said. “This is a high-end residential subdivision.”

Lot prices have not been determined, as the partners are still adding up the cost of the additional requirements imposed by the county.

Kruzich said the development will have paved roads, underground utilities, shielded lighting, and architectural and landscape restrictions. Homeowners will share metered wells with two or three of their neighbors and be limited in their consumption, he said.

“We understand the water situation in New Mexico and want to be neighborhood friendly,” he said. Putting in a community water system for a development this small was neither required nor cost effective, he added.

The triangular property south of NM165 fronts on the highway and is bordered by U. S. Forest Service public land and the Placitas West development. Its access road intersects NM165 opposite Homestead Lane.


Guy Vecchitto and his son Crazy Horse enjoy their lunch.

The kitchen staff at St. Anthony’s Kitchen  prepare another fine meal.

The kitchen staff at St. Anthony’s Kitchen prepare another fine meal.

St. Anthony’s—“not your typical soup kitchen”

Signpost Staff

St. Anthony’s Kitchen now serves free lunches Tuesdays through Fridays at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Bernalillo starting around 11:30 a.m. The February 10 menu included roast turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, pudding, and doughnuts. Guy Vecchitto of Placitas says he has lunch at the Kitchen as often as possible. “The food is always good, and sometimes it’s my only meal of the day,” said Vecchitto. “We found out about it when somebody from the Kitchen saw my friend looking through a dumpster and said to come and get something to eat. They even serve our meals at the table.”

“That’s true,” said Gina Gonzales, St. Anthony’s Kitchen coordinator. “This is their restaurant; it’s not your typical soup kitchen.

“Today we had fifty people for lunch and even though we cooked four turkeys, we ran out. So then we made hot dogs. Nobody goes away hungry.”

Gonzales says she serves as coordinator, cook, dishwasher, or whatever is needed when other volunteers are not on hand to fill in. John Franklin, co-owner of the Piñon Café, cooks on Thursdays.

St. Anthony’s is funded mainly by the Catholic Foundation. Placitan Cheryl Boll is in charge of administration and fund-raising. She says that most of the people who eat at the kitchen are homeless. Another common problem is lack of transportation, especially since St. Anthony’s lost the use of a van. Clothing and personal hygiene items are also provided. Once a month, the St. Vincent de Paul Society provides health screening.

 For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer, call Cheryl Boll at 867-5252. Our Lady of Sorrows is located on Camino del Pueblo across from El Zócalo.


El Rinconcito español 

El que canea, no calvea.
He whose hair goes gray doesn't go bald.

El que carece de ideas, hace suyas las ajenas.
One who lacks ideas takes those of others as his own.

Deseando bienes y aguantando males, pasan la vida los mortales.
The life of mortals is passed desiring good and enduring bad.

Submitted by SOS-panyol, Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication skills,


Historical society presents program on Pueblo storytelling

The Sandoval County Historical Society presents its March program “Three Tribes” on March 6 at 3:00 p.m. at the DeLavy House Museum in Bernalillo. The program will include “Storytelling,” by Emmett Garcia from Santa Ana Pueblo, “Storyteller Dolls,” by Mary Lucero from Jemez Pueblo, and a performance by Sandia Pueblo children. The event is free and open to the public Refreshments will be served. The DeLavy House is just west of Coronado Monument and the Texaco gas station and is the last house on Edmond Lane.


Coronado Monument program on Pueblo ethnobotany

Jean Brody, a noted authority on Pueblo ethnobotany (the plant lore of indigenous cultures), will give a talk and slide show on Sunday, March 20, at 2:00 p.m. at Coronado State Monument in Bernalillo. Brody will show slides on pre-European wild-plant use in the Southwest, referencing archaeological evidence for wild plants and farming practices.

Brody received her graduate degree in cultural anthropology at the University of New Mexico, but more recently her interest has turned to human ecology and ethnobotanical studies. A docent for the Maxwell Museum for over twenty-five years, she has served on the faculty at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center for several educational tourism tours to Casa Grande, Mexico, and southern New Mexico, focusing on Southwest ethnobotany.

The program “Pueblo Ethnobotany: Sustainable Living in a Marginal Environment” is sponsored by the Friends of Coronado State Monument.

Coronado State Monument is located off I-25, Exit 242, west of the town of Bernalillo. Call Katherine at 867-6115 to reserve a space at the program or for further information. Admission is $5 per person, free for members of the Friends of Coronado State Monument.






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