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Tue, June 25

Committee suggests denial of condo water request

PRESCOTT ­ A plan to replace five single-family homes on Gail Gardner Way with 20 condominiums may have hit a hitch with its water allocation from the city.

On Tuesday, the city's Water Allocation Committee, which consists of three City Council members, recommended denial of an allocation of 5.25 acre-feet of water per year for the condo project.

The matter must now go to the full City Council for final consideration. Before that happens, city officials say they might take the existing water allocation policy back to the City Council in a workshop setting for a review of some of the specifics.

Connie Tucker, management analyst for the city, explained that committee members questioned whether the city should be allocating water to projects that intend to increase zoning density.

Developers of the Arbor Place Condominiums plan to build the 20 condos on 1.22 acres at 905 Gail Gardner Way, about 1,000 feet south of Iron Springs Road. Along with the water request, the applicant, B&R Commercial Group, is seeking a rezoning from the existing Neighborhood Oriented Business designation to Multi-family Medium.

Tucker pointed out that five homes previously occupied the site. The owners have already removed several of the homes, and plan to remove the rest to make way for the condo project.

However, the Water Allocation Committee members had issues with the increase of density from five homes to 20. The existing NOB zoning entitles the owners to just 16 lots, and Tucker said the committee members leaned toward limiting the owners to that number.

When a consulting firm conducted a water model for the city in 2005, it counted about 6,800 potential unplatted lots in Prescott. Committee members voiced concerns that allowing more homes than originally planned on the property would absorb some of the water that the model projected for other land.

"Our water portfolio has pretty much the amount needed to serve everybody," Tucker said.

At a future workshop, council members likely will discuss whether to change its policy on replats that would increase density, Tucker said.

City Attorney Gary Kidd said the council also broached steering such projects toward the water that the city has set aside in its budget for affordable housing ­ another issue that could come up at a future workshop.

Contact the reporter at cbarks@prescottaz.com

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