Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, March 24

Talk of the Town: Will Young's Farm site be a blight or source of pride?

I have been following the question of the Young's Farm property development by Monogram.

At first I opposed any development because I wanted Young's Farm to stay there forever as our one-and-only famous landmark on our one-and-only prominent corner.

Then reality set in.

The Young family sold it, and they had the right to do that. It was theirs to sell and they chose to sell to someone who would make it something special for the area. (Their words).

So then the battle started. Leave it undeveloped (as several very vocal residents want), develop it (as some other very vocal residents want) by means of a planned community within itself with residential, commercial and town homes, or let it go back to the original zoning, 1.6 acres per home.

Granted, those who want it left undeveloped (me included) were unrealistic. You cannot forbid any owner from building whatever the law allows. Of course someone will develop it.

But the next question is what type of development? If it goes back to the original zoning, no water recycling will take place, and we won't get streets, nor will we have guaranteed quality of housing, whether trailers, manufactured homes or site-built.

Each 1.6-acre site will have a septic tank possibly polluting our aquifers. And what about all those wells possibly draining our aquifers? In other words, nothing will govern what it will look like or what they can do on that most prominent corner where a former landmark stood for many years. Is that what we want?

Or do we go with a planned area development (PAD) and make that corner what the Young family thought it should be?

That would make the border along the two main highways small commercial offices, stores, medical and some high-end apartments. The interior would have high-end houses with streets and a complete self-sustaining water system.

So I asked myself, would I want to live on the edge of the property by the highway? No, only commercial would make sense there. Would I want to live in the residential area and be able to walk to the stores around the edge instead of driving miles? What would you want?

Now for the hard part. The town council has a decision to make. It has the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Committee it appointed for the sole purpose to look over zoning and then recommend a decision to mayor and council. These decisions are never easy when you have friends on both sides, as I do.

But a decision is necessary because the issue is tearing this town apart.

The council needs to look ahead and decide what future citizens will be seeing on that corner long after we are gone. Will it be something you will be proud of or blight to the neighborhood? A coherent theme or hodge- podge development?

The decision either way is in their hands. Feelings for or against will fade with time. Friends will be friends again.

The main thing is that whatever the council de-

cides it must write it in an unbreakable agreement and then live with it.

I've been there and done that. It is never easy but the town needs to decide now and get on with it!

Frances Emma Barwood is a retired Phoenix City Councilwoman who lives in Dewey.


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