Home News Local News ETZ grants rezone for trucks near cemetery

ETZ grants rezone for trucks near cemetery


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A few months after wrangling with local officials to keep two commercial semi-trucks on his home property, a local man has been approved to have as many as five more trucks after purchasing an adjacent parcel off of Sena Road in Chaves County.

Servando Villanueva’s request to rezone a parcel from rural suburban to industrial was approved by the Roswell-Chaves Extraterritorial Zoning Commission Oct. 16. The 5.5-acre property is off of Sena Road and East 19th Street and falls within the commission’s jurisdiction because it has authority over county land within about two miles of the city limits.

Villanueva said he already has moved his trucks, which he uses for a hay-hauling business, to the new parcel and plans to build a shop in the near future.

“It will be better for the north neighbors,” he said. “There will be less noise.”

The property acquired by Villanueva used to be part of the Memory Lawn Memorial Park cemetery acreage, but it was sold to Villanueva by the investor group that purchased the cemetery property from a court receivership in March.

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That group has formed two entities, a nonprofit to run the cemetery, and Roswell International Products LLC to operate future commercial enterprises on other parts of the property. It was Roswell International Products that sold Villanueva the parcel that was rezoned.

Roswell International Products intends at some point to build a hydroponic greenhouse and a water bottling plant on some of its property. The investors have said that at least a portion of the revenues derived from those businesses will be used to support the cemetery.

Partly because of current industrial activities and plans for future industrial development in the area, the Chaves County staff recommended Villanueva’s rezoning. County staff indicated that nearby neighbors did not object and that the city of Roswell did not appear at the commission meeting to voice any concerns.

Previously Villanueva had been involved in an eight-month dispute with county and city officials over land on Sena Road, zoned rural suburban, on which he had built a home. When he began to park semi-trucks there, complaints began to be made.

That case ended in June with the ETZ granting Villanueva a special permit to keep up to two semis on his property after Villanueva offered to grant easements for emergency crews and utility companies and to take steps to ease impacts on neighbors, including those living in a city subdivision just to the north of his home parcel.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.