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Thu, Feb. 20

Prescott Valley panel OKs apartment plans

Plans for a possible 43-unit, two-story apartment complex near the Urban Forest stretch of Mountain Valley Park gained unanimous approval Monday from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

However, the property owner of the 3-acre site at the northwest intersection of Navajo and Lakeshore drives has not decided whether he will build apartment units or condominiums.

The fate of the development plans depends on ensuring a water supply for the site, Bob Duffel of Mountain Rose Properties LLC said during the commission meeting. Besides, two to three years will elapse before any building takes place because of the economy.

However, Community Development Director Richard Parker said Duffel would have access to other water sources if necessary, such as purchases from the New York-based investment group that bought effluent credits in 2007 from the town.

The accompanying documents for the P&Z agenda item include a letter of agreement dated June 10, 2004, in which the town agreed to assure a 100-year water supply for a 43-unit apartment complex.

The commission, an advisory body to the Town Council, voted unanimously to rezone the Duffel property from single-family residential to multiple dwelling units with a planned area development. The seven-member panel also voted to approve the preliminary development plan.

Only one member of the public spoke out and against the development: nearby Navajo Drive property owner Corky Gonella, a retired bar owner who moved to Prescott Valley from Tucson two years ago.

She expressed fears that an apartment complex would lead to more drug use in the park. She also criticized Community Development Department staff for notifying property owners only within 300 feet of the site - not 1,000 feet, which applied to a meeting that Duffel conducted previously with the neighbors.

"I would like to see the city extend the park," she said afterward. "I am going to look at roofs no matter what they build."

Gonella spoke before the commission approved the preliminary development plan. Commissioners Michael Whiting and Bill Johnstone advised Duffel and his wife, Peggie, to meet again with the neighbors to update them on their plans for the property.

"It would be illuminating if we had more detail," said Johnstone, who attended his first meeting as a commissioner.

The commission also breezed through approval of the final drafts of the first two chapters in the General Plan 2025 update: on the introduction and its Vision and Guiding Principles element.

The panel also conducted its annual election of officers. Commissioners voted to extend Rick Duskey's term as chairman and Whiting's term as vice chairman.

The commission also discussed proposed amendments to an ordinance regulating electronic signs.

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