Thursday, September 28, 2023

Lower Walls Make Better Neighbors


At the Village Council meeting on Aug. 23, councilors unanimously affirmed the wall-and-fence height ordinance. Now Corraleños and visitors will not fear having to drive through a tunnel from one end of the Village to the other and still can enjoy views that are more than glimpses along the way. The new ordinance’s Chapter 18 at (m)(1) states that for properties along Corrales Road, no solid fence exceeding four feet in height shall be constructed within the front setback line. Paragraph (2) says that open fencing, with at least 65 percent of the top being open, may be placed upon the four-foot solid wall/fence to a maximum height of six feet. This means, no more six-foot  tall solid concrete block walls will be built along Corrales Road.

The Village administrator reported that the average number of COVID cases in the Village is three per day. There were 64 cases in August to date, a decrease from July; hospitalizations are down as well. There have been 12 deaths this month in Sandoval County. There are 19 cases of monkeypox in the state, and 400-600 cases per day in the U.S. Monkeypox might eventually become endemic. Polio boosters may soon be available for everyone as they are in New York state. She recommends that residents talk to their physicians about vaccinations on an individual basis.

Animal Services requested public input at the next meeting (Tues., Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m.) about the need to build a slab for a pre-made structure for up to four dogs and 12 cats to be complete Spring 2023 or sooner. Discussion ensued on whether or not the shelter should be located near the Village Complex because there are homes abutting. Barking dogs could be a noise problem. Besides the shelter area, there is a need for a meet-and-greet space for potential adopters to get to know their animals and an adoption office.

Fire Chief Anthony Martinez made a presentation about the large-animal rescue training his crew recently received. CHAMP (Corrales Horse And Mule People) footed the bill. They used live animals for part of the session and a life-sized horse mannequin for most of the day. The crew learned how to strap down a horse and move it into a trailer, and how to rescue a large animal from the acequia, among other skills useful in the Horse Capital of New Mexico. Chief Martinez also showed photos from a rescue in Placitas of a wild horse trapped in a cesspool. Swimming pools are also frequent traps for horses: two horses recently were rescued from swimming pools by the fire crew within one month this year when on average two horses are rescued per year. Large-animal rescue training for the fire crew will renew each year.

Among the Department reports, Parks & Recreation discussed new renovations for the gym at the Corrales Recreation Center. The council will discuss plans and costs at the next meeting.

The Councilors' Forum, designed to bring up issues not otherwise addressed on the agenda, Councilor Murray suggested Village rebates for homeowners who install water-conserving devices like low-flow toilets and shower heads. He will investigate the idea.

The Corraleños Forum included a resident who requested that glass recycling bins carry hours of the day permitted for us, as the noise of discarded glass can be deafening. The area around the dumpster is also very messy. Suzanne Huff and her attorney requested the council to make a determination as to whether Huff Rd. is public or private. Janet Blair, co-chair of the Corrales Equestrian Advisory Commission, notified the council that here is a microchipping clinic for horses by CHAMP and the charge is $55 for the veterinarian. Sixteen horses have been microchipped so far. Microchipping is especially handy for identification in case of evacuation. The Christmas de los Caballos parade requested money from the Village for the holiday parade of costumed, miniature and draft horses all dressed up for the season.

The Consent Agenda was approved unanimously. For a full agenda, go to

All new business was approved, including Resolution 22-50 for an overhead power line at 5801 Corrales Rd.

Liquor license was application was approved for O'Brien's LLC, d/b/a Casa Vieja Brewery and Wine Bar. Dan O'Brien, an attorney for 39 years, Molly O'Brien and Gary Webb have bought the property and are planning to keep things the way they are, with gradual improvements including a Sunday brunch and/or food trucks.

The Ditch Run Special Event application was approved. MainStreet's services contract with the Village was renewed. The Main Street rep declared the Starry Night event "a great success."

Ordinance 22-03 Chapter 18 regarding fences was approved (see first paragraph of this article).

The next meeting of the Village Council will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m.


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