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County commission recommends changes requested by businesses

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The Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission has made some recommendations that would allow a couple of businesses to go forward with their plans.

The applications still require a vote by the Chaves County Board of Commissioners, scheduled to hear the matters at the group’s April 19 meeting.

Three Planning and Zoning Commission members — Jerry Wagner, Chair Dale Rogers and Andy Morley — decided at their Tuesday evening meeting to recommend the special use permit requested by J and H Services Inc. for a Hagerman property and a rezoning request by a trucking business for a Hagerman parcel now zoned agricultural.

Chaves County Planning and Zoning Director Marlin Johnson told commissioners that neither request had garnered objections from other county agencies or by neighboring property owners. The rezoning notification, he added, had been sent to property owners in a larger area than required.

The special use permit for two or three years involves property on East Chickasaw Road, about a half a mile from U.S. 285, that is part of a large agricultural parcel.

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J & H Services Inc. seeks to use the Hagerman property to establish a business that supplies asphalt hot mix and aggregates to the construction industry, said Project Manager Jana Lessard.

“We believe we can be a great impact to this community and this county,” Lessard said, who explained that the company has contracts in Carlsbad and Eddy County and with state agencies and hopes to expand its operations in the area.

The second request has broader implications, whether a certain area in the county now zoned agricultural can have commercial and industrial businesses.

The specifics of the case involve 40 acres on a private road, Bronzite Road, about 500 feet from U.S. 285, in Hagerman.

Johnson said the general area has been identified by Chaves County Comprehensive Land Use Plan as intended for future industrial area. He also said other properties in the area already have been approved for business uses.

“There is a need for areas that can be zoned for these types of industrial uses,” Johnson said, “particularly small- to medium-sized trucking businesses and perhaps oil field services businesses as well. …. We have trucking businesses in the county in areas where they shouldn’t be, so we need to steer them to areas that we feel is appropriate.”

The applicant, Yolanda Martinez, told commission members that she has four trucks she intends to park and use on the property.

Before voting to recommend the rezoning application, a couple of commissioners said they had some concerns about property owners who previously had purchased land to build homes on.

Johnson explained that the person who owns most of the property in the area signed the rezoning application and is aware of how people intend to use the land.

“That’s why we have this hearing. That’s why we have zoning,” said Johnson. “To take these issues into account.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.