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Planning and Zoning

Mission Statement
The mission of the Planning and Zoning Department is to assist the residents of  Ruidoso Downs in the achievement of their personal and community development goals. We will provide this service on an individual and timely basis with a commitment to community values, and ecological principles for the protection of the environment while evaluating competing priorities and interests.

Our goals for the accomplishment of this mission are as follows:

  • Provide superior public service in a responsive and courteous manner.
  • Coordinate information and provide technical support to all other departments and City officials.
  • Strive to arrive at decisions that will best serve the entire community and improve the quality of life within our community.
  • Implement the ordinances of the elected representatives of the City, and process all building permits by following all City and State regulations.
  • Dedicate all of our professional and technical skills to the enhancement of the quality of life for every resident of Ruidoso Downs.
  • Adhere to ecological principles for the protection of the natural environment, as well as preserve the heritage of and investment in the built environment.
  • Systematically and critically analyze proposals related to land development and evaluate competing priorities and interests in order to provide recommendations for action. 

Business Registrations
Any person with a place of business in the City shall apply for renewal business registrations without payment of a late penalty. The annual renewal fee is $35.00. There is a $10.00 late penalty will be assessed to all unpaid business registrations.

Prior to December 31st of each year, Renewals may be obtained in person at the P & Z Department at City Hall, 123 Downs Drive. We accept cash, checks, and most major credit cards. If your business is no longer in operation, please contact the P & Z Department at (575) 378-4422 to have your business registration canceled or complete the renewal form indicating closure and mail it back to the P & Z Department.

All businesses located within the city limits are required to obtain a business registration each calendar year. Each business is required to have a New Mexico gross receipts tax number and the business owner must verify the accuracy of such number in writing.

As a reminder, businesses that are engaged in mobile activity, temporary vendors, and secondhand dealers (businesses selling used merchandise) are also required to obtain an appropriate license in the P & Z Department at City Hall.

Whether you’re a startup or a returning business renewing your registration, the City of Ruidoso Downs wants to help you succeed. Your success enriches the entire community. Businesses like yours generate money for their owners and employees and pay taxes that contribute to public services that improve the quality of life and the business environment.

Failure to comply with these provisions of the City of Ruidoso Downs Code of Ordinance could result in a fine or imprisonment, or both.

For more information click here

Jennet Recendez, Planning Services Director
T: 575-378-1342   Ext. 1021

Nancy Gutierrez, Administrative Assistant/GIS Technician
T: 575-378-1342   Ext. 1041

State Permits Forms and Applications

Do I need a permit? (
Click Here)

Why Do I Need a Building Permit? 
Building permits are mainly about safety. By enforcing construction standards, they give you and the other occupants of the building the best chance to avoid fire, structural failure, or something as simple as a child getting his head caught between stair posts. If you decide to move, the permit process also protects future owners. The first reason to obtain a building permit is that it's illegal not to. If you fail to get a permit for work that requires it, you can be fined. You may be forced to remove a building or tear out completed work. But there are plenty of positive reasons for following the permit process as well:
It keeps your contractor honest. To beat competitor prices, a profit-driven contractor may be tempted to cut corners. How would you know? A building permit requires that a contractor use safe and sound methods and building materials. Inspections assure that he does so.
It guides your do-it-yourself projects. No matter how handy you are, you may not know everything about modern building practices. When you get a permit, you'll have to show the building department your plans. If they don't follow current building codes, the building inspector will ask you to revise them. But if you never apply for a permit, you might go ahead with work that's dangerous or unsound.
It keeps your insurance valid. Building done without a permit can mean that your insurance company may not honor your policy. A fire resulting from work without a permit could leave you responsible for the damages. If someone falls off a deck that was built without a permit, your liability insurance may not cover his or her injuries.
It's valuable when you sell your home. If you perform work without a permit, you can assume a potential buyer will know about it. The permit process is a matter of public record. In addition, you may be required to sign a Property Disclosure Statement, in which you have to reveal all problems or defects in the property. Having all the necessary permits makes the sale proceed much more smoothly. Even if they understand building permits' value, they often, homeowners get confused about the type of work for which they need one.
Building permit picture (002)Comprehensive Plan
Comprehensive Plan 2021
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Document Center

The Document Center provides easy access to public documents. Click on one of the categories below to see related documents or use the search function.

Categories always sorted by seq (sub-categories sorted within each category)
Documents sorted by SEQ in Ascending Order within category

Applications & Permits10 documents

  • Mobile Home Placement Application Packet
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  • Sign Permit Application
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  • Political Sign Application
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  • Solar Panel Instillation Application
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  • Demolition Application
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  • Residential Building Application
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  • Homeowner Building Application
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  • Commercial Building Application
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  • Mobile Home Division Home Owner Responsibility
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  • Business License Application
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GIS Maps4 documents

  • Address GIS Map
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  • Flood Zone GIS Map
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  • Zoning GIS Map
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  • FEMA Map
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Licensing1 document

  • Animal Licensing
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Zoning & Land Use Ordinances6 documents

  • Chapter 154: Flood Hazard Regulations
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  • Chapter 92 General Nuisances
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  • Chapter 155 Zoning 2023
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  • Chapter 150: General Provisions
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  • Chapter 155 Land Usage
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  • Fence Ordinance
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Cannabis6 documents

  • Cannabis Application
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  • Cannabis Definitions
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  • Legalization of Cannabis in NM
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  • FINAL-Licensure-NMAC-16.8.2.pdf
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  • New Mexico Cannabis Control Division
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  • Cannabis Ordinance
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Short- Term Rentals2 documents

  • Short-Term Rental Ordinance
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  • Short-Term Rental Application
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    Short-Term Rental Application