The city Planning Commission approved a series of developments at its Thursday meeting, including two new hotels and multiple housing projects, but tabled a contentious item that could have paved the way for 88 new homes near historic Agua Fria Village.
The commission approved a 19-room boutique hotel slated for Old Santa Fe Trail and Water Street, next to Loretto Chapel. The site was originally owned by Jim Kirkpatrick, who developed the Inn & Spa at Loretto in 1975. Kirkpatrick sold the resort in 1996 but kept the surrounding property.
The building will have four floors and 31,000 square feet. The hotel will mostly consist of 15 single-bed units, spread throughout the first and second floors, with three additional two-bed rooms. The fourth floor will hold a single two-bedroom suite.
Commissioners praised the site’s developer, Kirkpatrick LLC, for “protecting” the nearby Loretto Chapel.
The commission also unanimously gave the green light to 21 Club Holdings’ plan to construct a 60-room hotel resort village at its Monte Sereno development in the northern part of Santa Fe.
The development, west of US 285 and north of Tano Road, consists of about 300 acres and mostly holds single-family homes. The hotel plan will take up 168.27 acres in the northern part of the development, with the hotel on about 19 acres.
A proposal to add 88 homes near historic Agua Fria Village at Caja del Oro Grant and Hernandez roads was tabled until the commission’s March meeting, following concerns about the development’s effect on the neighboring area.
In addition to an approval of the development plan, the developer was seeking to rezone the 16-acre site from one dwelling unit per acre to 10 dwelling units per acre. It also was attempting to get rid of any commercial zoning at the site, which previously was intended for a community grocery store. “I think we need to give this the time it deserves,” Commissioner Jessica Lawrence said.
The item was tabled after multiple people raised concerns about the project’s fit in the mostly rural community, especially after the commission had already approved other large developments nearby.
Commissioner Anna Hansen raised concerns about traffic. “I agree we need single-family homes, but I think that the South Meadows, Alameda area is already completely overdeveloped,” she said.
Other speakers wondered whether nearby schools could handle the influx of new students. William Mee, president of the Agua Fria Village Association, said the project should wait until the city and county have ironed out any lingering annexation issues in the area.
Commissioner Dominic Sategna questioned why the applicants had to apply for a R-10 zoning, as opposed to something more in line with the rest of the area. He also requested more details on the traffic impact analysis, in particular where 88 new residents would be driving to access services.
The commission approved two other developments.
It gave the green light to a final subdivision plan from The Housing Trust for 20 single-family lots on about 3.2 acres in Tierra Contenta. A proposal to repurpose a 15,448-square-foot bank office building on a 0.91-acre lot on Rosina Street into a 32-unit apartment building was also approved.
The owner plans to add about 23,500 square feet of new construction on top of the building at 2020 Rosina St., bringing the height to three stories with a rooftop deck.
The commission postponed a vote on a height variance request to allow for a 52-foot structure, renewing concerns that the commission was “spot zoning” in lieu of a general plan revamp.
Hansen, who also serves as president of the Casa Allegre Neighborhood Association, backed the project.
“We talk about infill, we talk about being progressive and doing the right kind of thing, and in many ways, I feel like this is a building that is doing the right kind of thing,” Hansen said. “Infill — using an existing building and repurposing it.”