Anderson Farm is a 300-acre property located in the South Valley of unincorporated Bernalillo County and adjacent to a major, mixed-use shopping center. The property currently consists of irrigated alfalfa fields that are bisected by irrigation ditches and drainage canals. The challenge was to create a planning and zoning framework that balances the County’s desire to preserve a significant portion of the property as agricultural open space while ensuring that reasonable development can take place to make the entire project financially feasible for both the developer and the County.
Consensus Planning assisted the developer in building a collaborative team of Bernalillo County elected officials and leadership; County Planning and Open Space staff; adjacent neighborhood associations; and homebuilders to create a common vision. A Sector Development Plan was created to accomplish the preservation of 180 acres of agricultural open space through a combination of County acquisition (at a reduced cost) and dedication of additional open space using the County’s cluster development process; zoning entitlements to allow for 450 homes with interior open space, trails, and a private park; and the preservation of the main irrigation canals and drainage canals as an informal trail system. The private park will be used to acknowledge and celebrate the history and contributions of Clinton P. Anderson and the agricultural heritage of the area. The plan and purchase of 147 acres of open space were unanimously approved by the Bernalillo County Commission in December 2019.