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Monday, August 19, 2013 - 11:57pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Las Cruces City Council voted to rezone about 30 acres of the Las Cruces Country Club property so a developer can build a new hospital and other facilities on the land.
Council heard arguments for and against the Park Ridge development but ultimately voted in favor of the change with only Councilor Miguel Silva in opposition.
"We think the uses we've proposed are the uses that should be on that property," said Bob Pofahl
with the Park Ridge Development Project.
The zoning change will allow for about 23 acres of the property to be used for a 42-bed hospital and about seven acres for a retirement and assisted living facility that would be the anchor of the Park Ridge Community.
During the meeting Las Cruces Country Club Board of Directors President Robert Caldwell became emotional at the realization the property will never be able to return to it's glory days.
The land is currently not being maintained or watered and most of the water rights have been sold.
"It's important such a large piece of property in our downtown area does not sit blighted like it's sitting now," Caldwell said. "It needs to be developed."
Some in opposition of the rezoning said it would allow for other types of construction if the developer were to change their mind on a hospital.
Pofhal said they are absolutely committed to the hospital.
"We're not interested in building anything other than what we put on our master plan," he said.
Pofhal expects the land acquisition to be completed early next year and hopes Park Ridge, once complete, will transform the vacant property into something for the people.
"This is their neighborhood, he said. "This is where they will live, work and play."