- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The developers behind a massive planned community on the edge of New Mexico’s largest metro area can move ahead in the process now that the Bernalillo County Commission has amended some conditions of the master plan.

The commission voted 3-1 Tuesday night to allow the developers of the Santolina project to negotiate a water agreement with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority later in the process.

County officials say the next step will focus on where housing, businesses and community services will be located within the development. That part of the plan will be considered later this month.

Environmental groups and other community activists have raised concerns about the development, saying it would need about 4.6 billion gallons of water a year to support its residents and businesses once the area is fully developed.

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