AZTEC — More San Juan County residents are complaining about land-use issues and the county pledged Tuesday to work to address those complaints in the near future.

San Juan County commissioners voted Tuesday to amend the county's growth management plan so it shows the county is considering zoning rules for businesses and residences in unincorporated areas.

Tuesday evening vote doesn't change any laws or ordinances within unincorporated parts of the county. The vote added updated information to the document the county government references when drafting ordinances and making other decisions that affect residents, Mike Stark, the county operations officer, said.

The document approved Tuesday contains a proposed land-use district map within San Juan County.

The map suggests designating certain areas of unincorporated areas for residential use and other areas for commercial or industry use.

The majority of the proposed map creates mixed-use areas, which would leave those areas as they are now, according to county documents.

"Things that might not have been a problem 20 to 30 years are starting to become problems today," said Phyllis Taylor, a senior principal for Sites Southwest, an agency that helped the county create it's planning document.

A growing population living on a limited amount of private land in the county is one reason zoning laws may be needed in the future, county officials have said.

The county's population is expected to increase to 160,000 by 2035, according to county's growth management plan.


The proposed zoning map shows large sections of areas zoned as a residential area. The residential areas are along both sides of the Animas and San Juan rivers, east and west of U.S. Highway 170 and in a few parts of Crouch Mesa.

The proposed map also designates certain areas for industry and commercial development.

"For an economic development standpoint, this is critical," San Juan County Commissioner Margaret McDaniel said. "This helps both sides."

She added that because there are also areas in the proposed map zoned for commercial use, it can also help businesses.

The amendment to the plan also updates the county's population statistics and adds recently obtained input from citizens, according to county documents.

In the last year the county received numerous complaints from home owners who were upset because businesses located near their homes.

The businesses that caused the uproar were companies that serviced the natural gas industry and an adult entertainment business that was planned to be built within a Flora Vista neighborhood.

San Juan County commissioners also voted Tuesday to lease the building that formerly housed the Halvorson House to the city of Farmington for a year.

The building, at 4500 Wildflower Road, near Mesa View Middle School and Esperanza Elementary School, was a youth residential treatment facility from 1979 until March 2010. It has been vacant for two years.

The building was used to treat 12- to 17-year-old students for behavioral, emotional and substance abuse problems.

Farmington is interested in using the building for an after school program for students in Crouch Mesa.

The program would be modeled after the Sycamore Park Community Center, Kim Carpenter, the county executive officer, said.

The county agreed to spend $4,500 on necessary repairs to the building, which was vandalized numerous times while it sat vacant. The county will also pay a $20 per month security bill.

Farmington won't be required to pay to lease the building. The lease lasts one year.

"There's really not anything for kids (in Crouch Mesa) to do," Carpenter said. "To me, this is a real plus."