Zoning and Permitting

Socorro County does not have a zoning or permitting ordinance. At this time there are no County regulations or restrictions on the use of real property regarding the location and use of buildings/structures or use of land for trade, industry, residence, or control of population density. 

Socorro County does have ordinances that regulate the placement of buildings in flood zones, the division of real property for sale, lease or other disposition and an ordinance that prohibits any use of land creates a “nuisance” to neighbors.

There are state and federal regulations that also control the use of your real property. In particular, the State prohibits more than one residence on a piece of land smaller than ¾ acre in size and the State requires building permits for the construction of dwellings. Furthermore, state and federal environmental regulations limit land usage. 

Although Socorro County does not have zoning regulations, two areas in the Northern part of the County (around the Veguita area) are designated as special zoning districts and may have zoning regulations that affect your real property. The zoning commissions of these districts are responsible for any zoning and enforcement in their respective areas. These districts are governed by independent boards outside of County government.  To determine if your real property is subject to a special zoning district you need to ascertain if your land is within the boundaries of a named district in plat(s) filed with the Socorro County Clerk’s Office. The plat for Zoning District I can be found in Book AA, Page 2114 of the Clerk’s records. The plat for Zoning District II can be found in Book AA, Page 2171 of the Clerk’s record. The Clerk can be contacted at 575-835-0423. You can also find a copy of that record at the bottom of this page.

Your real property may or may not have restrictive covenants.  Covenants are private restrictions and rules on the use of land and, by law, are not enforced by the County. To research the possibility that your land has restrictive covenants, please contact the Assessor’s office at 575-835-0714 to obtain the proper parcel identification information then the Clerk’s office at 575-835-0423 to determine if any covenants have been filed.

Please understand that this statement is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  It is important that you contact the proper regulatory agency and/or consult with an attorney in regard to your specific question.

Building Permits

Construction within the County and outside of the Village of Magdalena and City of Socorro, is subject to State regulation. Anything within the Village of Magdalena and City of Socorro must be coordinated through those entities pursuant to their rules and regulations. To obtain a building permit, visit the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Construction Industries Division at their website at http://www.rld.state.nm.us/CID or you can contact them at the following locations: 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505, (505) 476-4700.

Liquid Waste (Sewer/Septic) Permits

All septic tanks in non-incorporated county areas are regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department Liquid Waste (Septic) Program. You can visit their website at http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/fod/LiquidWaste or you can contact the following District 5 Staff: Los Lunas Office Phone 505.841.5306 or FAX: 505.841.5284 or the Socorro Office at Phone 575.835.1287.

Land Divisions

If you are interested in dividing land, please review the County's Subdivision Exemption Ordinance on our Ordinances Page. If you qualify for an exemption you may complete a Claim of Exemption form located on our Manager's Forms page. If you do not qualify for an exemption, you must follow the New Mexico State statutes for dividing land and apply for such action with our Land Use Commission.

For your convenience, a form letter stating this information is located below.
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Executive Assistant,
May 4, 2017, 3:05 PM
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Executive Assistant,
May 4, 2017, 3:05 PM