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Controversial county zoning issue revisited

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A county zoning issue that has been a source of strife among some neighbors for almost five years has returned again to the attention of the Chaves County Board of Commission- ers.

Neil Binderman has complained since 2015 about the operations of NG Trucking Inc. at 3768 E. Crossroads, near Old Dexter High- way. The business is owned by Ignacio Campa and his family.

The trucking property is only about 500 yards from Binderman’s home and is in an area zoned residential-agricultural.

On June 18, Binder- man told commission- ers that he wants the county to take some kind of action within six months to require NG Trucking to comply with zoning codes and prior county decisions.

“Now I would like somebody to actually do something (before I am required) to take this to its obvious conclusion, and that is to petition the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to compel you to act,” Binderman said.

County staff contend- ed that they did refer the matter to the district attorney’s office.

The Roswell location of the New Mexico 5th Judicial District Attor- ney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment by press time. NG Trucking also did not respond to several phone calls and messag- es to the phone num- ber listed online for the business.

Binderman has been among the most vocal opponents to the truck- ing operation in his neighborhood, appear- ing at several pub- lic meetings before the Chaves County Plan- ning and Zoning Com- mission and the Board of Commissioners to say that large commercial trucks “thunder” past his house every morning at about 6 a.m., seven days a week, 365 days of the year.

But, during those prior meetings, other neighbors and commu- nity members spoke and wrote in support of NG Trucking. Letters stat- ed that the Campas are hardworking people who take good care of the trucks and the property.

In August 2015, the Board of Commission- ers agreed to give the Campas a one-year special-use permit to allow operation of the business at the current location, with the stipulation that they were to find a more suitable piece of property for the business.

When the matter came back to county officials after a year, they chose not to extend the spe- cial permit, saying that it seemed to them that the Campas had not even tried to find a new loca- tion. The Campas then requested a rezoning of the property to mixed-use or light industrial.

In January 2017, the commissioners denied the rezoning request and instead granted a six-month extension on the special permit to give the Campas family more time to relocate the business, reduce the number of trucks used at the site or otherwise comply with the zoning codes.

Ignacio Campa and his wife, Norma Campa, said after that 2017 hearing that they had operated the business for about 13 years and were employ- ers and taxpayers. Some family members said that they felt they were being treated unfairly and were being singled out for com- plaints because other trucks travel East Cross- roads, as well.

Senior Writer Lisa Dun- lap can be reached at reporter02@rdrnews.com. or at 575-622-7710, ext. 351.