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Tue, June 18

Deep Well annexation water management policy up for decision by council

PRESCOTT - Several long-discussed issues are scheduled to wrap up at this week's Prescott City Council meeting.

Along with a decision on $1.2 million in budget cuts, the council is also expected to decide the combined 1,625-acre annexation of vacant Deep Well Ranch land into Prescott city limits, as well as the first phase of policy changes on the use of alternative water.

The meeting is set for 3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

The Deep Well Ranch decision will be "the last step in a very long process," Prescott City Manager Craig McConnell said Friday, Nov. 6.

He explained that the procedure for the annexation was set in a 2009 pre-annexation agreement, which designated that the city would be the applicant for the annexation.

On Oct. 6, the City Council conducted a public hearing on the annexation, which includes two parcels - a 1,304-acre parcel west of the Prescott Municipal Airport and north of Pioneer Parkway, and a 321-acre parcel west of Pinon Oaks and north of Pioneer Parkway.

This week's meeting will also include a public hearing on both annexations, and will include votes on three actions for each parcel: annexation of the land; amendment of the master plan; and rezoning to single-family 18 (half-acre minimum lot size) for the southern parcel, and a combination of single-family, multi-family, industrial light, business regional, and mixed-use for the northern parcel.

The property currently lies within unincorporated Yavapai County, and carries the county's R1L-70 zoning, which allows residential lots of about one and a half acres.

The council also appears poised to vote on amending its water management policy as it relates to allocations of "alternative water," which comes from sources other than pumping groundwater.

Among the proposed changes is a temporary suspension of new applications for alternative water, effective Nov. 3. The suspension would not include applications that have already gone through the city's pre-application process. Other exceptions include applications that are subject to the Chino Valley Irrigation District intergovernmental agreement, and those for commercial/industrial uses.

The council is also considering prioritizing allocations by the type of development.

In other action, the council will consider approval of a "will-serve" letter to Bullwhacker Associates, Ltd., for water service application.

A city memo notes that the agreement dates back to a 1974 three-party agreement between the city, Yavapai Hills, and Bullwhacker Ranch, Inc., in which Bullwhacker granted an easement for an 8-inch water line to the city that was necessary to serve Yavapai Hills.

"These documents have been reviewed, with the conclusion that the city is contractually committed to serve the project ...." a city memo stated, referring to a 253-unit apartment complex requiring 63 acre-feet of water, to be located on the Bullwhacker Ranch.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-642-0951.

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