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Sat, June 15

Residents speak out against condo project

Bob and Margaret Darnell purchased their dream retirement home overlooking the golf course with a view of the Bradshaw Mountains. A proposed condominium development, slated to go before the Prescott Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, would block their views and, the Darnells say, decrease the value of their home.<br>
Trib Photo/Briana Lonas

Bob and Margaret Darnell purchased their dream retirement home overlooking the golf course with a view of the Bradshaw Mountains. A proposed condominium development, slated to go before the Prescott Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, would block their views and, the Darnells say, decrease the value of their home.<br> Trib Photo/Briana Lonas

A day spent driving and looking for a home led Al and Martha Beachy to the Prescott Country Club with its golf course views and small-town charms.

Even the rain couldn't dampen the couple's spirits as they stopped in front of their future home, just to take a quick look and see if it fit their idea of a retirement haven.

Martha Beachy recalled that on that day, she stayed in the car as her husband braved the wet weather and ran around to the backyard. In no time, he arrived back at the car and announced, "we need to make an appointment to see this place, it's beautiful!"

The couple moved into the home but several years later, their peaceful lifestyle came to a halt when a neighbor alerted them about a meeting taking place regarding a proposed condominium project.

The owners of the Prescott Golf and Country Club, Jeff and Jessica Hall, hosted a meeting at the clubhouse and the PCC Property Owners Association on Sept. 16, in which they introduced their plans for a condominium complex within the golf course.

"We are sick about it," Martha Beachy said.

She cited concerns about her property value dropping, not to mention the increase in traffic, noise and lack of privacy.

"The thought of 82 three-story condos being built in the middle of a golf course, it's just crazy!

"It is obvious that the golf course owners have no regard for any of us living in the country club, especially those of us on Buena Vista and Manzanita, who will be affected the most," she said.

Hall submitted plans to the Town of Prescott Valley's planning and zoning department over a month ago for a 110-unit condominium project throughout three parcels of land within the golf course.

Hall and her husband, along with her father Tim Henrickson, who produced the condominium designs under his company Desert Development and Design and owns several commercial properties in the PCC, coordinated the neighborhood meetings.

One couple that attended those meetings walked away with more questions than answers.

Bob and Margaret Darnell also enjoy their mountain and golf course views and if the project sees completion, would have to view those condos situated just beyond their backyard, obstructing the view of the Bradshaw Mountains.

Their back deck overlooks Area B, one of three proposed sites for the project.

"It's a high-density project, that is going to decrease high density somewhere else?" Darnell questioned.

According to Darnell's computations, the condos slated for areas A and B would create a 1.64 density ratio to the entire Buena Vista complex, thereby increasing the density by about two-thirds.

Darnell said he wants to know what the height of the condos would be, what type of lighting would be installed, where would the sewers run, who is the contractor, how would the ingress and egress be addressed and most important, just how would this project improve the community?

Darnell is not the only one with questions.

Joan Egnatoff has lived in the country club for ten years, and said, "We didn't buy here so we could live with condos. If we wanted to live in Prescott Valley, we would have moved there.

"The sentiment here, how we all feel, is that the owners bought it and will rezone it and sell it," she said regarding the golf course.

Egnatoff explained that during one of the monthly board meetings several months ago, someone mentioned that they thought Prescott Valley had annexed some of the golf course and maybe someone on the board should research that to see if, in fact, that information was true.

"I don't think it really sunk in about what he said," Egnatoff recalled.

Soon thereafter, she heard from a neighbor about the condominiums.

"This process happened under everyone's noses without proper notification."

There are still several areas zoned for that purpose, to build condos, so why take up space on the golf course when there is plenty of land available? There is something here that just does not make sense," she said.

Jessica Hall owns the Prescott Golf and Country Club and spoke to the Tribune last week.

She explained that she and her husband Jeff want to turn the golf course into a viable operation.

Hall said the decision to build condominiums "has been in the works for years."

She acknowledged that zoned areas do exist throughout the country club that could foster this type of project; Hall said she wants to spread out that type of zoning and decrease the density that already exists at those areas.

"In our mind, if you look at where the location is for the current zoning, you would obviously have a higher density in that area."

Would Hall stick around if the proposed rezoning takes effect or leave it to another buyer who would build another version of the project?

"What we're submitting to the town for approval, I mean, whoever would take that offer, they would have to go with what we've approved already with the town or they would have to go through a whole rezoning process again," Hall said.

When asked what plans she has to upgrade the golf course besides the condos, Hall stated, "I don't think there is any secret on golf course histories," adding that the golf course industry has been struggling for years.

When pressed further, Hall said that having a larger membership, by way of the condo project, would add another piece to help bolster the business.

"Jeff and I love owning a golf course, we love the community and we recently bought a home here. We want to see it grow. We want to make sure we're doing everything in our power to make it sustainable." she said.

Would condo buyers be required to buy a membership to the club?

"At this point, it's hard to say they would be required to do that, but yes in a perfect world, if everything went as we have planned, we would like them to essentially be due-paying members.

I think it's something you can see happening more and more in golf course developments, so they can have that guaranteed membership, and not just to live and enjoy the views on it," Hall said.

She added that her contact information is located on the condominium packets located at the golf course pro shop and citizens may call her or send her an email to set up a meeting.

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