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Notice of Public Meeting to Receive Public Comment Regarding

Proposed Sale of State Trust Lands

Land Sale No. LS-0521

The New Mexico State Land Office (“SLO”) gives notice in accordance with NMSA 1978, Section 19-7-9.1 that it will hold a public meeting through Zoom on February 17, 2022, starting at 6:00 p.m. MST. Those wishing to participate may do so by visiting or dialing in by phone at 1-669-900-9128 and entering the meeting ID: 880 5856 8292. Any change to the time will be posted with a final agenda on the SLO webpage ( at least 72 hours prior to the date and time specified above.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive public comment regarding a proposed sale of 44.526 acres of state trust lands located in the Paseo Gateway master plan area of Rio Rancho west of the V. Sue Cleveland High School and north of and abutting Paseo del Volcan.  The 44.526-acre tract is designated as Tract 17 of Unit 17 as the same is shown and designated on the plat entitled “Paseo Gateway Parcel A, Tracts 1 thru 9, 10A, 10B, 10C, 11 thru 18, A and B-1A, a Replat of Portions of Tract C in the Town of Alameda Grant Unit Seventeen etc.,” filed in the office of the County Clerk, Sandoval County, New Mexico on November 14, 2008 as Instrument No. 2008033908, in Book 411, Page 33908.

Tract 17 is zoned R-4 (Single Family Residential).  It is expected that any buyer of Tract 17 will develop the land for use consistent with the R-4 zoning.  The land is currently subject to a 2010 lease (No. BL-1952, as amended) under which the lessee has performed certain real estate planning and development for the purpose of increasing the value of the land by making higher and better uses available and making the land suitable for future sale or lease for those uses, as anticipated by the lease.  Pursuant to the lease, which would be relinquished as to the land at the closing of the proposed sale, the lessee has extended or caused to be extended certain infrastructure to the boundary of the land.  The City of Rio Rancho may, in accordance with current resolutions, ordinances and policies in effect at the time for any specific proposal, require additional off-site improvements in order to approve development and use of the land and issue required development permits. 

Some, but not all, of the land surrounding Tract 17 is state trust land under the custody, control and management of the Commissioner of Public Lands and subject to the aforementioned lease under which the lessee has performed and will continue to perform certain real estate planning and development on a large portion of the land within the Paseo Gateway master plan area.  Under that lease, the lessee’s authorized planning and development project involves (i) bringing municipal water and all necessary infrastructure to the leased land; (ii) obtaining all necessary approvals of zoning; and (iii) creating buildable residential, industrial and/or commercial lots or tracts and reserving certain open spaces, all for the purpose of successfully establishing and maintaining a profitable mixed use development on the leased land.  Under the lease, the lessee may request that the Commissioner of Public Land offer for sale or long-term lease lands that the lessee has improved by constructing base infrastructure to or through it and obtaining entitlements.  An abutting 44.5-acre tract designated as Tract 15 was sold in 2018 and has been fully developed with single-family residences.  The State Land Office recently conducted a public meeting regarding a proposed sale of Tract 2 (zoned C-1:  Retail Commercial) at the intersection of Paseo del Volcan and Westphalia Road and expects to make a final decision regarding proceeding with that sale shortly.

Sale of Tract 17 and development by the eventual purchaser is expected to substantially increase the housing stock in this part of the City of Rio Rancho with a commensurate increase in traffic and demand for public services.  At the same time, conveyance of the land from state ownership to private ownership would remove its tax exempt status and increase the tax base substantially. 

If the SLO makes a final decision to proceed with a potential sale, the Commissioner of Public Lands would conduct a public auction in accordance with the New Mexico Enabling Act (36 Stat. 557); NMSA Sections 19-7-1, 19-7-2 and 19-7-9; and State Land Office Rule 19.2.14 NMAC.  The Commissioner of Public Lands would issue a notice of public auction published for at least 10 weeks as required by law soliciting bids on the land. A minimum sale price would be established in accordance with an appraisal to ensure that any sale is for at least the true value of the land.  The land would be offered for a cash sale (i.e., full payment in cash due at closing) as a single tract.  Additional requirements may be established for submitting bids and completing the sale.  The Commissioner would also reserve the right to reject all bids and withdraw the land from sale or to reinitiate the process of offering the land for sale on the same or different terms.  The purchaser would be required to pay all costs associated with the transaction, including but not limited to the cost of the appraisal, advertisement of the auction, and recording fees. Conveyance of the land would be subject to all valid and existing leases, easements, restrictions, and reservations, including a reservation to the State of New Mexico of all minerals and geothermal resources in, under or upon the subject land.  The SLO may offer a negative easement or surface non-disturbance agreement with regard to the reserved minerals and geothermal resources. 

If you have any questions please contact Tarin Nix, Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs, at 505-827-5760 or email

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