Submitted by Rick Thaler, Corrales resident
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I’m a founding member of the Corrales Interior Drain committee and I live on Hansen Road near the drain.
A couple of years ago I proposed via a letter in the Corrales Comment that the Village buy the Huff property which is a 6-acre tract south of La Entrada and north of Meadowlark on the east side. It’s a beautiful and almost undeveloped tract that could create a natural preserve that would elevate the interior drain preserve that we are working on to a whole different level, creating an open space walkway between the interior drain with the Sandoval Lateral.
It could be purchased and left as is, unimproved until the Village had funds and a plan to improve it as a park, or left as is forever. The dwelling on the property could be used as a nature center, or for affordable housing for village employees, or it could be sold off to defray part of the purchase price of the rest of the land.
After my letter was published I followed up with a letter to the mayor, and to the village administrator but I didn’t get a response. I also learned that the Village was embroiled in a lawsuit with the property owner over his subdivision plan. I got busy with my own life and new business with my son (also near the drain) and I didn’t follow up, much to my regret.
That was almost three years ago and the lawsuit is still ongoing. Apparently another lawsuit was recently filed to stop our interior drain project until the property suit with the Village is resolved, and if the subdivision goes forward there may be six dwellings on the property instead of the three proposed in the original plan.
I think the Village purchase of the Gonzales property has to be only a step in an aggressive program to take the remaining large tracts of land in Corrales out of the development game, whether through outright purchase, conservation easement or any other mechanism.
I urge you to take up the idea of purchasing the Huff property, for its intrinsic value as open space and its complementary value to the interior drain preserve, and then start looking elsewhere in the village for more key open spaces to preserve.