10,500-unit Deep Well project will be focus of study session

Prescott council members to get overview of project

Traffic enters the roundabout on Highway 89 where the future Deep Well Ranch subdivision will be centered.  (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier)

Traffic enters the roundabout on Highway 89 where the future Deep Well Ranch subdivision will be centered. (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier)

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Michael Lamar

Fresh off its 4-3 recommendation of approval by the Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission, the Deep Well Ranch project will head to the Prescott City Council this week.

The council will conduct a study session at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, to discuss the rezoning, master plan, and Airport Specific Area Plan text amendment being requested by developers for the 1,800-acre Deep Well Project.

The meeting will take place at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

A memo from the city notes that the Deep Well master plan was submitted this past June, after which an extensive staff review got underway. Meanwhile, in August, the Planning and Zoning Commission began its review of the plan, and conducted six meetings throughout August, September and October.

On Oct. 12, the commission voted 4-3 to approve the master plan, with 21 conditions. Among the conditions was a suggestion that the City Council negotiate a 50-percent reduction in the 10,500 homes proposed by Deep Well.

City Manager Michael Lamar said Friday, Oct. 27, that this week’s meeting likely would include a review of a number of aspects of the project, including; the existing zoning and what it allows; the developers’ request; the Planning and Zoning recommendation; and the project’s existing water rights.

The discussion will include a comparison of the 1,800 acres that make up the Deep Well proposal with Prescott’s existing downtown, Lamar said. The memo notes that “the downtown has the only roughly comparable mix of zoning districts” to the Deep Well Ranch’s proposed mix of districts.

In addition, Lamar said the council likely will discuss whether it is realistic for the current council to review and vote on the Deep Well project, or whether the matter should go to the new council that will be seated this fall.

With the city’s general election approaching on Nov. 7, the possibility exists that as many as four new members (mayor and three council members) could be sworn in on Nov. 28.

Among the options for the current council would be to keep moving forward with the review, or to halt the discussion until after the council change-over in late November, Lamar said.

If the council opts to keep moving forward on the Deep Well approval, Lamar said special meetings would likely have to be scheduled in November to deal with the issue. Just two regular meetings currently are scheduled for the coming month — Nov. 14, and Nov. 28 (when the oath of office for new members is set).