Rio Arriba County Planning & Zoning Department


The Planning and Zoning Department is responsible for overseeing the orderly and appropriate development and use of land within the jurisdiction of Rio Arriba County, while serving to protect the health, safety and economic wellbeing of the residents of the County.


DEVELOPMENT, MH PLACEMENT, UTILITY AUTHORIZATION OR SPECIAL USE PERMITS: (Including but not limited to manufactured home placement, signs, utility service, filming, temporary uses, construction, grading, floodplain, solar panels, cellular tower or tower collocation) require a permit from the Planning and Zoning Department before you begin your project. Fines may be charged if development begins before a permit is issued.

Please contact us prior to construction, placement, or a change of land use. For further instructions on how to complete a permit application or zoning requirements contact us with your questions or concerns @ You can find permit application-forms here. 


BUSINESS LICENSE: Any entity or individual conducting business in Rio Arriba County will require a business license. A County Business License must be renewed annually. A Home Occupation Permit shall be required if conducting business out of your residence. The Business License Application for out of County businesses can be found here. Business License Application for businesses within Rio Arriba County can be found here.  Business License fee is $35 per year. Home Occupation Permit is a one time charge of $50.00.


FILE A COMPLAINT To report a suspected zoning violation, please complete and submit this form to the Planning and Zoning Department. 

Please submit your completed complaint form to the email address provided with   the suspected violation. A Code Enforcement Officer will contact you if you wish to leave your contact information. Please click here  to submit your complaint form by email, or call 505-753-7774 for immediate assistance. Thank you for your cooperation.


LAND-USE APPLICATIONS: May be subject to a Public Hearing process. Depending on the class of application, there are three bodies that hold public hearings in which the application may be reviewed.

Administrative Public Hearing, may be scheduled at any time by the Director.

Planning and Zoning Committee, an advisory committee will review applications and will typically meet on the first Wednesday of each month.

Board of County Commission, will make final decisions on applications and typically meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month. (meeting dates subject to change with public notice)


PROOF OF PHYSICAL ADDRESS VERIFICATION CERTIFICATES  may be required of residents by the US Postal Service, New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department, utilities, and mortgage lenders. A charge of $5.00 for each proof of address verification certificate issued per person will be applied.

 (Note: Every habitable dwelling in the County must have an account with the             North Central Solid Waste Authority NCSWA.)


The Forest Plan is an important document that governs all of the Forest Service's management actions. Santa Fe National Forest is in the process of revising their existing plan and they invite you to work with them to develop a new plan that promotes a healthy, diverse, and productive Santa Fe National Forest. The goal is   to remain inclusive and efficient as they move through the collaborative planning process.


APPOINTMENTS: Walk-ins are accepted on a daily basis; however, appointments with staff are strongly encouraged to ensure that your needs or concerns are appropriately met.  Call  505-753-7774 for general information or to schedule an appointment with staff.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: Will be held before The Planning & Zoning Committee,         Board of County Commissioners or Administrative Hearing Officer when scheduled.

P&Z Committee Meeting: All scheduled Planning and Zoning meeting are held on the first Wednesday of the month in Espanola Complex or Tierra Amarilla Complex.

Board of County Commission Meeting: Are held each and every Last Tuesday of the month, (some meeting dates may change with proper notice).

Written Notice of Appeal: An appeal of a decision made by the Administrative Hearing Officer or the P & Z Committee shall be received by submiting a written notice of appeal to the Planning and Zoning Department within 15 days from the date the decision was issued. A BOCC decision may be appealed in District Court. 

FLOODPLAIN DEVELOPMENT PERMIT:   Floodplain Management consists primarily of assessing flood risk for structures prior to construction located in a designated flood zone. Development that falls within a floodplain is regulated by local governing using FEMA and NFIP standards. Mitigation efforts will minimize property loss to citizens in the event of a flood. All structural development or grading in a designated floodplain must obtain a floodplain permit prior to beginning your project. Contact  Michael Garcia, CFM (Certified Floodplain Manager) for more information regarding your project call 505-753-7774 or email me at 


Thomas Aragon, Director

Katrina SalazarAdministrative Assistant

505-753-7774 (General Office)

Michael Garcia, Assistant Director Certified Floodplain Manager, 911 Rural Addresser  505-753-7774

Berlinda Trujillo, Assistant Planner


Freddie Cordova, Code Enforcement

Officer  505-753-7774

Vacant, Land Use Clerk

Tierra Amarilla Office  575-588-7254



1122 Industrial Park Rd

Española, NM 87532

Phone: 505-753-7774 

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.



PO Box 127

Tierra Amarilla, NM 87575

Phone: 575-588-7254 

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday

8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.



Comprehensive Plan

Codes and Ordinances

Forms and Permit Applications

Survey Plat Forms/Applications



Summary Subdivision Review Plat Guidlines ("Appendix P")

Ordinance No. 2012-007                           click here to view

East Rio Arriba Soil & Water Conservation District Land Use Plan Click Here to View



(“Yellow Book”) click here to view



DRAFT MINUTES FOR PUBLIC HEARING, EL ALAMO WINERY, FEBRUARY 5, 2020                                    (Click Here to View)