Otero County, NM
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 200.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
County ordinances — See NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1 et seq.
County highways in general; vacation, alteration and establishment of county roads and bridges; county highways and bridge bonds — See NMSA 1978, § 67-4-1 through 67-6-7.
[Adopted 5-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-05; amended in its entirety 12-10-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Otero County Rural Addressing Procedures Ordinance."
These requirements relating to the naming and renaming of roads and the numbering of properties within the unincorporated portion of Otero County roads are adopted pursuant to NMSA 1978, §§ 4-37-1 through 4-37-13, and pursuant to NMSA 1978, §§ 67-4-1 through 67-6-7.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: NMSA 1978, § 67-4-1, was repealed by L. 1989, Ch. 117, § 3c, effective March 28, 1989. NMSA 1978, §§ 67-4-9, 67-4-14 and 67-5-3 were repealed by L. 1991, Ch. 249, § 1, effective June 14, 1991.
This article is enacted for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a uniform rural addressing program in Otero County for the naming and renaming of roads and the assignment of rural addresses. It is intended that this article will clarify and set the requirements and responsibilities of individuals, public bodies, committees, planning commissions, and departments involved in the naming and renaming of roads and the assignment of addresses. In addition, it provides the public with an outline of the required procedures for road naming and renaming and the assignment of addresses.
All roads that serve three or more properties shall be named regardless of whether the ownership is public or private. A "road" refers to any highway, road, street, avenue, lane, private way, or similar paved, gravel, or dirt thoroughfare. "Property" refers to any property on which a more or less permanent structure has been erected or could be placed. A road name assigned by the rural addresser shall not constitute or imply acceptance of the road for maintenance by Otero County.
A. 
Required review and action for road naming. The Otero County Board of Commissioners shall review and take appropriate action on all road naming and renaming in the following circumstances:
(1) 
Any existing public or County road.
(2) 
Any public or County road established in a new subdivision.
(3) 
Any private road that provides access to three or more properties and requires a name in order to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
B. 
Application.
(1) 
An application to name or rename a road shall be submitted to the Otero County GIS Department, 1004 White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310, and shall include at a minimum the following information:
(a) 
Name of applicant;
(b) 
Location or roadway by description and/or map;
(c) 
Ownership of road, if known;
(d) 
Existing road name;
(e) 
Proposed road name;
(f) 
Reasons for request;
(g) 
Petition (attached, if any);
(h) 
Fee: See Subsection C.
(2) 
The application may be submitted by any of the following applicants:
(a) 
The property owner(s) or person(s) living along the road.
(b) 
Any public or private agency whose function is affected by road names.
(3) 
The proposed road name shall comply with the following:
(a) 
Name limited to a maximum of 15 letters and spaces, excluding the suffix directional indicator, e.g., St., Rd., Dr. or Lp.
(b) 
No duplication with other existing road names.
(c) 
No similar sounding or confusing names.
(4) 
The proposed road signage shall conform to the Otero County Road department color coding system, where blue street signs will be used for County-maintained roads, and green street signs will be used for unmaintained public and private roads.
C. 
Fee. A fee will be charged for renaming a road.
(1) 
Once an applicant(s) has submitted an application to change a road or street designation with a required minimum deposit of $100 to the Otero County Treasurer's office, the matter shall be forwarded to the Otero County GIS Department for review. The deposit money will be utilized for notice, mailing and costs of sign production and installation; unused portions will be refunded. If the cost exceeds the deposit, a bill will be forwarded. In those cases, payment must be made prior to production and installation.
(2) 
The GIS Supervisor's review shall be completed within 30 days of the date of application. It is the County's responsibility to notify all interested parties of the name change. Those to be notified will be the property owners of the subject street. After completion of its review, the GIS Department will submit its recommendations to the Otero County Manager's office for review. If the County Manager's review is favorable, then notice will be given to the Otero County Planning Commission, and the matter will be placed on the next available agenda of the Otero County Commission.
(3) 
If the review of the County Manager, as described in Subsection C(2) above, of this article, is unfavorable, then the applicant(s) may schedule a public hearing with the Otero County Commission. The Commission will schedule and hear the matter and then render a decision after deliberation. Its decision is final.
D. 
Otero Commission.
(1) 
The Otero County Commission shall consider Planning Commission and staff recommendations for new and changed road names at a regular County Commission meeting.
(2) 
Copies of the Commission's order shall be sent by the GIS Department to the following:
(a) 
Road Department;
(b) 
Assessor's office;
(c) 
Treasurer's office;
(d) 
County Clerk's office;
(e) 
People on the renamed/named street;
(f) 
Affected fire district(s);
(g) 
School district(s);
(h) 
Sheriff's office.
(3) 
The original documentation shall be recorded in the office of the Otero County Clerk with a copy of the original to be kept in the office of the Planning Commission. Maps and files shall be updated as appropriate.
The purpose of this section is to provide a uniform numbering system which allows adequate space between numbers for development and also provide a simple and logical method for expedient response in locating all buildings. "Buildings" means a structure designed for human occupancy, such as a residence or place of business, or other structures as determined by the Board of County Commissioners.
A. 
Application. An application for address shall be submitted to the GIS Department Supervisor and shall include the following information:
(1) 
Name of applicant;
(2) 
Location of property for which an address is to be assigned;
(3) 
Name of the road(s) abutting the property for which an address is to be assigned;
(4) 
Current mailing address, wherever it is;
(5) 
Contact phone number, work;
(6) 
Name of persons occupying property.
B. 
Address numbers. The following criteria shall govern the numbering system:
(1) 
Addresses shall primarily encompass areas outside city limits or urban growth areas.
(2) 
Address numbers shall be assigned based on the distance the building is from the beginning of the road in hundredths of a mile.
(3) 
Every structure with more than one principal use or occupancy shall have a separate number for each use or occupancy. For example, duplexes will have two separate numbers.
(4) 
Apartments/mobile home parks will have one property number followed by an apartment/space number, such as 235 Maple Street, Apartment 2/Space 2.
All owners of structures shall display and maintain in a conspicuous place on said structure the assigned numbers in the following manner;
A. 
Number on the structure. Where the structure is within 50 feet from the edge of the road right-of-way, the assigned number shall be displayed on the front of the structure in the vicinity of the front door or entry.
B. 
Number at the street line. Where the structure is over 50 feet from the edge of the road right-of-way, the assigned number shall be displayed on a post, fence, wall, mailbox, or on some structure at the property line adjacent to the walk or access drive to the numbered structure.
C. 
Size and color of number. Numbers shall be a minimum of four inches high and be of a contrasting color to its background.
D. 
Old numbers. Every person whose duty is to display the assigned number shall remove any different number which might be mistaken for the number assigned in conformance with this article.
E. 
Interior location. All residents and other occupants are requested to post their assigned number and road name on their telephone for emergency reference.
Any person who violates any section of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine not to exceed $300 or by imprisonment in the County jail for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
[Adopted 4-13-2017 by Ord. No. 17-03]
This article shall be known as the "Road Encroachment Act."
The Act will address the issue of encroachments onto Otero County roads, either easements or deed property. Encroachments include both physical obstructions and severed access to Otero County residents. Such encroachment will result in a demand for removal, or removal by Otero County, if it is recommended by Otero County Planning Commission and approved by the Otero County Board of County Commissioners that there is an access, maintenance, utility, fire, safety or health issue. If it is recommended by Otero County Planning Commission and approved by the Otero County Board of County Commissioners that there is not an access, maintenance, utility, fire, safety or health issue, then this policy provides an application process whereby the encroaching party may apply for a conveyance of an interest in the property, at fair market value.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COUNTY PROPERTY
Real property in which the County has any interest, including but not limited to an easement interest and fee simple absolute.
ENCROACHMENT
The existence of property placed upon County property, or County easement, by anyone other than the County.
A. 
Ownership. Upon discovery or complaint of an encroachment on County property, the County will identify its interest in the property through County land records. The Road Department, the Tax Assessor's office, and the County Attorney's office will make a determination of ownership. If it is determined to be County property, then the determination will be forwarded to the Road Department and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/ Fire Department heads to evaluate access, maintenance, utilities, fire, safety, and health issues.
B. 
Access, maintenance, utilities, fire, safety, and health.
(1) 
The County Road Department will determine whether conveying an interest in the property that includes the encroachment(s), as well as a setback requirement, would encumber the road requirements, access, maintenance, or utilities in the future.
(2) 
The County EMS/Fire Department must determine whether conveying an interest in the property that includes the encroachment(s), as well as a setback requirement, would encumber emergency services access, water truck access, or any other health or safety issues.
C. 
Review, recommendation and approval. Staff findings and the recommendation for removal or application for conveyance (§ 195-13A) will be presented to the Planning Commission for review. A hearing by the Planning Commission will be scheduled by the County Manager for the next normal scheduled Planning Commission meeting. The following parties will be provided with written notice of the location, date, and time of the Planning Commission hearing: the owner and occupier of the encroachment, any utility companies with existing easements, and all adjoining property owners. During the hearing, the Planning Commission shall allow all interested persons a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, and written or oral comments. A record of the Planning Commission hearing shall be kept. The Planning Commission shall, within 30 days, submit its recommendation, as a resolution, to the Board of County Commissioners. At the next regularly scheduled Commission hearing the Board of County Commissioners shall approve or disapprove the recommendation, either requiring removal of the encroachment or approving the application for a conveyance of interest.
In the event Board of County Commissioners approves the removal of the encroachment, the County will send a cease and desist letter to the occupier of the encroachment. The letter will demand removal of the encroachment within a specific time period (e.g., 30, 60, or 90 days depending on the nature of the obstruction). The letter will inform the addressees that failure to remove the encroachment will result in removal by the County, with costs assessed to the owner of the obstruction and the filing of a lien for the removal costs.
If it is determined by staff that there is no access, maintenance, utilities, fire, safety, and health issues, then the property owner who is encroaching will have the option to apply for a conveyance of interest in lieu of removing the encroachment. Application to purchase an interest in County property must be submitted to the Otero County Manager. The property owner can apply for abandonment of the encroachment and a conveyance of interest in lieu of removing the encroachment, after submitting a formal application to the Otero County Manager along with the appropriate application fee as set forth hereinbelow.
A. 
Application process for abandonment of County easement.
(1) 
Application. The application shall be signed by the property owner(s), and shall address/include the following:
(a) 
Identification of and contact information for the owner/applicant(s).
(b) 
An application fee of $250 made payable to Otero County.
(c) 
A fair market value appraisal fee of $1,500, or other amount denominated by the Planning Commission, made payable to Otero County (this fee will be refunded in the event the Board of Commissioners does not approve the conveyance).
(d) 
An estimate from a licensed land survey company for the cost to replat the property following conveyance of an easement.
(e) 
A replat fee in the amount of the estimate to replat (The final replat will show the property with the dimensions of the easement included. This fee will be refunded in the event the Board of Commissioners does not approve the conveyance.)
(f) 
All attachments, see Subsection A(2), request to purchase an easement that includes the encroachment, and a setback to be determined by the County Commission.
(2) 
Attachments. All attachments hereinbelow described shall be submitted with the application at the time application is made. No application will be considered for review until and unless it is complete, including all attachments, and will be returned to the applicant.
(a) 
Letter of intent. A letter of intent must accompany any application for abandonment and conveyance.
(b) 
Acreage of encroachment. Provide an estimate of the acreage of the encroachment proposed to be abandoned and vacated or closed, citing the measurements or criteria and sources used for the estimate and the method of calculation of the estimate.
(c) 
Description in detail of location of encroachment. Provide a legal description obtained from a New Mexico registered professional land surveyor or provide a detailed description of the approximate location of the encroachment or right-of-way, e.g., "Approximately [X] fee south of [road name], approximately [X] feet north of [road name], approximately [X] feet east of [road name], and approximately [X] feet west of [road name]."
(d) 
Name of subdivision. Provide the name of the subdivision, if any, of record within which the road or right-of-way lies.
(e) 
Reason for the proposed abandonment. Specify clearly any and all reasons for the proposed abandonment and vacation or closure.
(f) 
Special considerations. Outline any special considerations the applicant believes to have bearing on the review of the application for abandonment and vacation or closure, e.g., any special circumstances applicable to the applicant and/or adjacent and/or affected property owners which have particular impact on the reasons for the proposed abandonment and vacation or closure given above.
(g) 
Utility company approvals. The application must contain a statement of approval of all affected utilities companies or providers on company letterhead showing the title or signature of a utility company or companies on the plat.
(h) 
An accurate drawing of the encroachment to be abandoned and vacated, showing all adjacent landowners' property lines and names shall be attached to the application.
(i) 
Legal description. A proper legal description of the parcel to be abandoned and vacated shall be included with the application.
(j) 
Determination of square footage The applicant shall calculate the approximate square footage of the parcel of the road proposed to be vacated and state the total estimated square footage showing the measurements and the method of calculation used on an attachment to the application.
B. 
Hearing process for completed applications for abandonment of County easement and conveyance.
(1) 
Planning Commission hearing. Within 15 day of submission of a complete application to the County Manager, the application package will be submitted to the Planning Commission for review. A hearing by the Planning Commission will be scheduled by the County Manager for the next normal scheduled Planning Commission meeting. The following parties will be provided with written notice of the location, date, and time of the Planning Commission hearing: the owner and occupier of the encroachment, any utility companies with existing easements, and any property owners potentially subject to severed access. During the hearing, the Planning Commission shall allow all interested persons a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, and written or oral comments. A record of the Planning Commission hearing shall be kept.
(2) 
Recommendation of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall, within 30 days, submit its recommendation in the form of a resolution to the Board of County Commissioners. In the event the Planning Commission recommends approval, the recommendation will specify the property interest to be conveyed and to whom, the required setback from County property, all of the dimensions of the property to be conveyed, and any other requirements of the conveyance.
(3) 
Action by the Board of County Commissioners. At the next regularly scheduled Commission hearing the Board of County Commissioners shall approve or disapprove the recommendation of the Planning Commission. In the event the Board of County Commissioners does not approve a conveyance of an interest in property, the process for the removal of the encroachment as set forth in § 195-12 will commence. In the event the Board of County Commissioners approves the conveyance, the County will order a replat showing the proposed transfer, and also order an appraisal to determine fair market value. The replat and appraisal will be paid for with the designated fees submitted with the application of the requester. Finally, upon payment of the fair market value by the applicant, the County shall convey the property interest at issue, subject to the terms and conditions set forth by the Board of County Commissioners when it approved the conveyance.