Prescott Valley council OKs amendment near Viewpoint
PRESCOTT VALLEY – Councilwoman Lora Lee Nye made an “agonizing” decision Thursday evening when she voted in favor of a general plan amendment that will allow a developer to pursue a zoning map change south of the Viewpoint subdivision.
The other six members of the Town Council also voted to approve the amendment after listening to many pleas from Viewpoint and Pronghorn Ranch residents who opposed the project. The majority of people who spoke during the public hearing before the council’s vote opposed the amendment, and almost all mentioned that the development will cause traffic problems in the area.
The council’s action changed the general plan designation of 30 acres that are northeast of the intersection at Highway 89A and Viewpoint Drive from low-density residential to community commercial. The new designation will allow the owners of the property – the Brown Family Trust and Valerie Richter – to pursue a zoning map change that would allow them to build a grocery store, restaurants and other retail shops on the 30-acre area.
Vice Mayor Mike Flannery said that he was disappointed that the developer, the residents and the town could not create a “win-win situation” after the property owners and residents both attended numerous meetings to try to reach a solution.
“The developer is trying to work with the community in down-scaling this and trying to meet need here,” he said. The property owners reduced the size of the original proposal from 90 acres to 30 acres after several Planning and Zoning meetings.
Bill Pokorny, a Pronghorn Ranch resident, said that a traffic problem already exists in the area and that the proposed development would only make it worse.
“I work and I go into Prescott daily,” he said. “At about 7:15 in the morning, there is a backup from the light at Viewpoint to practically the entrance at Pronghorn Parkway. We have a problem now – what is it going to be like when we have additional homes built in the area?”
Currently, there are about 6,000 of the 12,000 planned homes in the area.
Randy Anton, another local resident who has spoken during previous meetings, said that the relationship between the developers and residents has been thorny. He also asked the council to weigh the pros and the cons of the proposed development.
“Is there going to be any detriment if it does not get built,” he said. “Is anything going to be hurt? Are we going to lose any revenue? No. People are still going to shop at places. This 30-acre proposal is just going to take money away from the 69 Corridor.”
Other residents’ complaints included construction, traffic, lighting, noise, and many noted another developer’s plans to build a development on the west side of Viewpoint Drive. A resident named Don Rakovic gave the council a survey stating that 184 Viewpoint residents oppose the development.
Despite this, some Viewpoint residents supported the proposal.
Craig Dorn, the vice president of the Viewpoint East Homeowners Association, said that he originally opposed the project before watching the developers work with the area’s residents.
He said the council should approve the amendment with several conditions: that the town require the developer to build more residential buildings between existing Viewpoint homes and the development, and that the developer create an easterly route to Robert Road that would connect to Pronghorn Parkway.
The easterly route would help alleviate traffic problems in the area, Dorn said. During previous Planning and Zoning meetings, Dorn appeared to be undecided about the development. He also noted that when he moved to the area several years ago, he noticed a large sign that detailed development plans for the area.
Nye and several other council members also noted that they always expected commercial development to arrive along Highway 89A. Councilwoman Angie Parker (also a Viewpoint resident) noted that when she moved to the area, she expected commercial development to accompany it because most master planned communities are near commercial zones.
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