Originally Published: December 2, 2010 9:55 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Town Council voted unanimously Thursday to give a boost to home construction in the Granville subdivision by deferring building and other fees until new homes are ready for occupancy.
The council approved a development agreement with the Granville Development Co. Inc. of Phoenix that would enable the developer to defer $10,244 per new home. The agreement, which would remain in effect until June 30, 2012, would apply to as many as 296 homes, but Granville is likely to build far fewer homes.
Town officials and Granville President Joe Contadino see the deferral as a means to stimulate home construction for an industry that has not recovered from a nationwide slump.
Community Development Director Richard Parker introduced the fee deferral policy at the Oct. 21 council meeting. He said the policy is needed in part because developers are having a harder time obtaining financing, a view that Contadino shares. The council approved the first fee deferral Oct. 28 for an apartment complex for seniors that WESCAP Investments of Phoenix plans to build near the Civic Center.
"It is just a little help," Contadino said before the council deliberations. "It's just real difficult these days if you have any kind of business and the business is subject to financing. Banks are not lending to small businesses."
Contadino said his development company started building a house per week in Granville over the past five weeks, adding he does not know how many homes the company will build during the timeframe of the development agreement. His company has built about 1,100 homes so far in the subdivision, located on both sides of Glassford Hill Road.
"We have 2,000 more lots to go," Contadino told the council.
Councilman Mike Flannery said he had no problem deferring impact fees, arguing the impact of growth does not occur until a family moves into a house.
Contadino said buyers close escrow in a month or sooner after they buy a home in Granville.
"We have to have a variety of homes available for sale," he said.
Responding to a question from Councilman Harold Wise, Contadino said duplexes are as dense as any dwellings his company is building in Granville, adding he targets them to young singles and married couples.
He referred to the continuing housing slump, saying, "I have been doing this for 40 years now. This is the least fun I have had."
He said about 1,200 homes in Prescott Valley faced foreclosure notices from January 2009 through this September.