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Mon, April 22

Sign approval paves way for new shopping center

Courtesy illustration

Courtesy illustration

PRESCOTT - The site for a proposed shopping center at the corner of Willow Lake and Willow Creek roads could be under construction by next month.

The Lakeview Plaza, which got its plat approval from the city about seven years ago, crossed its latest hurdle Tuesday when the Prescott City Council approved the sign proposal for the center.

Owner Ken Mabarak is planning the 13-pad shopping center on a 14.2-acre parcel at the corner of the Willow Creek Road/Willow Lake Road intersection, across Willow Lake Road from the Express Stop/Dairy Queen.

Anchoring the shopping center will be a new McDonald's restaurant and a CVS Pharmacy.

Mabarak said after the meeting that dirt-moving work could begin at the site by March.

The Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the sign package in January. At that time, city officials said the grading for the project would require about 152,000 cubic yards of cuts and about 85,375 cubic yards of fill - leaving about 66,500 cubic yards of dirt to be exported off the site.

Community Development Director Tom Guice pointed out Tuesday that the project is bounded on three sides by city streets.

The plan shows three proposed shopping-center entrances off of Willow Creek Road, one off of Willow Lake Road, and four off of Mogollon Road.

Because the project got its plat approval years ago, the city's recent review has been limited to the signs that would be allowed at the shopping center.

Guice explained the purpose of the city's "comprehensive sign package" is to arrive at an improved sign design for the project.

Lakeview Plaza's sign proposal includes sizes that exceed what is allowed in the city's codes, according to a city memo for the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Councilman Jim La-merson asked whether the city's sign code has presented problems in the past - especially concerning city policy on company logos.

Noting that the city's code designates the McDonald's arches logo as a part of the signage total, Lamerson suggested that possible revisions to the sign code should be a topic of future discussions by the city's code committee. "Because somebody is painting their building a particular color doesn't necessarily make that a sign..." Lamerson said, adding, "But because that happens to be the logo, we're going to call it a sign" And referring to Sedona's restrictions on sign colors, Lamerson said, "We're not really trying to re-create Sedona here in Prescott."

Lamerson and Councilman Greg Lazzell thanked the developer and the tenants for investing in the community.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks

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