A. Twenty-five landowners whose land lies within the exterior limits of a geographical area proposed to be organized into a district may petition the commission for the organization of a district. The petition shall state:

Terms Used In New Mexico Statutes 73-20-33

  • Adjourn: A motion to adjourn a legislative chamber or a committee, if passed, ends that day's session.

(1)     the proposed district name;

(2)     the need for the proposed district and the manner in which it would be in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare;

(3)     by accurate description, supplemented and depicted by an accurate map, the geographical area proposed to be organized into a district; and

(4)     a request that:

(a) the commission define the boundaries of the proposed district;

(b) a referendum be held within the boundaries submitting to the voters’ determination the question of creating the district; and

(c) if a majority of votes cast are in favor of creating the district, the commission subsequently declare the proposed district be created.

B. If any portion of the same geographical area is described in more than one petition, the commission may consolidate petitions in the manner it deems expedient.

C. In the event of a challenge to the validity of signatures on a petition, the burden of proof shall be on the sponsors of the petition.

D. Within thirty days next succeeding the filing of a petition, the commission shall cause due notice to be given to all affected persons of a hearing scheduled to determine the necessity and desirability of the proposed district and to determine district boundaries, the propriety of the petition and any other relevant questions. All affected or interested persons may attend a commission hearing and shall have the right to be heard. If, upon hearing, it is determined to be desirable to include in a proposed district lands not contemplated by the petition, the hearing shall adjourn, an amended petition shall be required and due notice shall be given to all affected persons.

E. The commission shall determine, at the conclusion of a hearing, whether a proposed district is necessary and desirable. In making its determination of the necessity of a proposed district and in defining district boundaries, the commission shall consider:

(1)     the need for the proposed district and its probable effect upon the public health, safety and welfare;

(2)     the topography and composition of soils comprising the area of the proposed district;

(3)     the distribution of erosion within the proposed district and within surrounding lands;

(4)     the prevailing land-use practices; and

(5)     the probable effect of the proposed district upon, and its relation to, watersheds, agriculturally productive lands and other extant or proposed districts.

F. The findings of the commission and its final determination shall not be limited solely to an evaluation of the facts adduced at the hearing or those set forth in a petition, but shall be predicated upon all reliable information available to the commission, including reports, studies and other authoritative publications.

G. If the commission finds that a proposed district is necessary and desirable, it shall approve the petition, enter and record its final determination and define the district by legal description. If the commission finds no need for a proposed district, it shall deny the petition and enter and record its final determination. A geographical area or a substantial portion of it may not be the subject of a petition submitted for consideration by the commission more than one time in any calendar year.