LINDA FILIPPI, ADDIE DRAPER, SUSAN OVIATT, and CHARLES OVIATT, Appellants-Respondents,
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF TORRANCE COUNTY, NEW MEXICO, Appellee-Petitioner, and JBM LAND & CATTLE, LLC, Intervenor-Petitioner.
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TORRANCE COUNTY Matthew G.
Reynolds, District Judge
E. Threet & Associates Joseph L. Romero Albuquerque, NM
Huss & Mendez, LLC Dennis K. Wallin Moriarty, NM for
Keleher & McLeod, P.A. Thomas C. Bird Albuquerque, NM
Hinkle Shanor, LLP Benjamin F. Feuchter Albuquerque, NM for
The Board of County Commissioners of Torrance County (the
Board) determined that JBM Land & Cattle, LLC (JBM) did
not need a conditional use permit under Torrance County's
zoning ordinance to grow medical cannabis on property it
owned in a rural section of the county. Several of JBM's
neighbors challenged that decision in the district court,
which overturned the Board's decision and held that
JBM's proposed use of the property was a "commercial
use" for which a conditional use permit was required.
This court granted and consolidated the Board's and
JBM's petitions to review the district court's order.
Concluding that JBM's proposed use of its property was a
permissive use under the zoning ordinance, we reverse the
district court's order and reinstate the Board's
JBM purchased land in Torrance County for the purpose of
growing medical cannabis to harvest and sell in a dispensary
outside the county. The land was in a subdivision zoned as a
"conservation district" that "protects and
preserves areas within the County which are characterized by
their limited access, minimal development, limitations on
water resources, natural beauty, fragile environment and
native wildlife populations." Torrance County, N.M.
Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Ordinance), § 8(A) (1990,
The section of the ordinance at issue first sets forth a
number of "permissive uses" of land that "are
allowed" in a conservation district:
1. Low intensity agricultural operations such as livestock
grazing and related ranching activities;...
2. Horse breeding, boarding and training;
3. Other low intensity production agriculture;
4. Cultivation and harvesting of plants and croplands;
5. Woodcutting and other activities related to harvesting
6. Singular residential dwelling unit provided it is in
compliance with the requirements of the New Mexico Liquid
Waste Disposal Regulations; and
7. Accessory uses and structures necessary to carry out the