SUNLAND PARK ANNEXATION NIXED BY COURT

SUNLAND PARK ANNEXATION NIXED BY COURT

The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled this week that a controversial annexation of land by the City of Sunland Park was illegal, reversing a decision of the state district court.

The 1997 annexation attempt sought to bring about 37 acres near the Santa Teresa border crossing into the City of Sunland Park. The court, however, ruled that the city acted in violation of state statutes by failing to include all adjacent thoroughfares in its annexation attempt.

The land affected by the court’s decision includes two parcels of land totaling 19.2 acres owned by Las Cruces developer Jack Pickel’s Limited Land Company and 18 acres of public land that separate Pickel’s parcels. The appeals court ruled that Sunland Park improperly annexed the land without also annexing adjacent roadways, including a large portion of State Road 136.

The ruling, written by Appeals Court Judge Harris Hartz, did not address some arguments against the annexation raised by two other parties: Doña Ana County and Paseo del Norte Limited Partnership. In his opinion, however, Hartz made clear his belief that both the county’s and the PNL Partnership’s arguments could be successfully employed if Sunland Park were to move a second time to annex the disputed land.