SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – Hacienda Doña Andrea, located in Los Cerrillos, is now facing the heat of its neighbors and the county. “A few parties is fine, but once you do 8 weddings a month, it’s a nightclub. We didn’t come here to live next to a nightclub,” Ken Perlow, a neighbour.
When residents moved to the remote area of Santa Fe County near Madrid, Hacienda Doña Andrea was a quiet bed and breakfast, with a maximum capacity of just 18 people. But when someone complained and a county official went to investigate, they discovered that Hacienda Doña Andrea was actually a wedding venue that accommodated up to 180 people on the premises at a time.
Neighbors say it gets very noisy and the number of guests creates a fire hazard and some are worried about all the water people are using on the property. “We started having trouble with the hacienda last summer when the music got louder and louder and more frequent, which made it impossible to work during wedding hours,” Mary said. Springfels, a neighboring resident.
Hacienda owners admit they have booked more weddings than usual this year due to the pandemic. They say their events average 50-60 people at most. They submitted a request to extend the use of the property, which was denied. They now have the option of appealing.
“We have our lawyer filing any appeals he may file. We’ll go as far as we can through the justice system and if we have to, we’ll go outside and have a bloody wedding. If they want to come and arrest us, they can,” said Britt Contreras, owner of Hacienda Doña Andrea.
She said they are quieter now and move all the music inside at 9pm. Owners of the property have filed a lawsuit against county officials as they struggle to meet their commitment to 40 couples who are to be married at the premises. County officials will continue to issue special use permits for weddings at the Hacienda on a case-by-case basis.