Departments and Divisions

  Planning & Zoning Department


Staff Directory

  Comprehensive Plan

Planning & Zoning Forms/Applications

 Planning & Zoning Monthly Calendar

 Planning & Zoning Ordinances 

Survey Plat Forms/Applications 

 Fee Schedule Resolution No. 2012-050

Hours of Operation:

Planning & Zoning & Rural Addressing is here to
serve the Public

Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We are open during the lunch hour for your convenience.



Phone 505.753.7774 
Fax 505.753.4732

Tierra Amarilla Office

PO BOX 126


Phone 575.588.7254


"Planning Protects Traditions, Community, Quality of Life"

By Patricio Garcia, Community Development Director

"The New Mexico sunlight sifts through the trees and mixes with the leaves scattered along the acequia to create an enduring sense of peace and place. For many of us, this walk along the water is where we find essential qualities of New Mexico, of Rio Arriba County, of community.

However, the very things that create this sense of place also creates an artificial sense of seclusion and protection.  Listen more closely and you can hear the cars on the highway or heavy equipment involved in nearby construction.  You can almost hear the population of Rio Arriba County.

Among the most valuable assets in Rio Arriba County are its deep-rooted culture and environmental beauty.  Together, they are a large part of why generation after generation has chosen to live here and why new neighbors arrive every day.

Yes, we need economic growth. Yes, development is on its way whether we like it or not.  But, we cannot grow at the cost of the very qualities that brought us and keep us here.

County Planning staff is working with representatives of the community on a comprehensive plan that attempts to balance the need for jobs, homes and services with the need to protect our quality of life.  The county has formed study groups that are looking at growth, development, and community needs and wants.

Our population of 41,000 is expected to reach 52,000 by 2010 and we must plan for smart growth and sustainable development. Land and water are important to the rituals of our community.  When we lose our connection to the land, to our traditions, to our roots, we lose who we are.

We must build our community but, if we fail to maintain our strong self-identity at the same time, we invite an upsurge in social problems like substance abuse. With every step we take forward, we must be careful to ensure that we are moving toward a future where our children can find their own path, perhaps along an acequia, and feel the sense of peace and place we do have today." 


The Planning and Zoning Department consists of three divisions:

The Planning and Zoning Division processes all Development Applications, Use Change Permits, and Business Licenses. Development Applications are regulated by the County's Development and include among other things, applications for amendments to the official zoning map, site plans, variances, special use permits, subdivision plats, amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, and applications for temporary uses.

*  A Planner is available throughout the day on a walk-in basis to assist you with any questions regarding land use regulations and applications. For more complicated questions, call ahead for an appointment.

*  All businesses paying gross receipts taxes in the County of Rio Arriba must obtain a Business License or Registration. Effective January 1, 2006, a Business License must be obtained from the Planning Department on a yearly basis at the cost of $30.00. For additional information on obtaining a business license, call either of our main numbers.

* For information about the Planning and Zoning Commission, call either of our main number or see our calendar about meetings held monthly, the first Wednesday of each month.

* All County Ordinances are currently available for public viewing on line. See main home page for directions.

Our Permitting/ Code Enforcement Division is here to serve the county hours are now from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our code inspector(s) are generally available in the office from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and usually conduct field inspections on a daily basis.

*  For general questions and information about permitting, call either of our main numbers.

*  We do not accept incomplete or inaccurate permits applications. Permits are available at our office for Utility hookups, Building and Foundation permits, and development permits. Permit fees are $50.00 for utility/mobile placement.

*  For complaints about violation pertaining to the zoning code such as; too many homes on a lot or trash in a yard contact a code inspector at (505) 753-7774.

 * The goal of code enforcement is compliance not punishment. If a complaint does not fall under the Rio Arriba County Design and Development Ordinance, then the code inspector will refer your compliant to the appropriate staff within the County and /or to the appropriate State agency.

* Any person may file a complaint. You must give your name in order to file a complaint. The reason a name is required is; a complaint itself is part of the public record. If a complaint proceeds to court a name is required or it could appear as though the county is acting without a complaint.

The Rural Addressing/GIS Division processes all addressing within the Rio Arriba County areas to issue that all our residents are located for E911 purposes. We issue addresses to residents for the Motor Vehicle department, WIC programs, Utilities, mortgage purposes and E911.

*  For general questions and information about the Rural Addressing/GIS Department, call either of our main numbers.

 * To obtain proof of a physical address, or changing your address please know your assigned house number and road number.

 * Mapping is being done on a daily basis you can obtain a copy of County Road Map Booklet in our office for a fee of $15.00.

 * Other larger maps are available upon request and can be obtained but you need to make an appointment with the Rural Addressing Department supervisor.