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Sat, Oct. 19

Arizona Eco Development submits revised Granite Dells application
City staff to begin review request for annexation; no date for hearings yet

Under a master plan map, 244 acres of land — much of it near the Point of Rocks — would be dedicated to the city for open space preservation. (Cindy Barks/Courier file)

Under a master plan map, 244 acres of land — much of it near the Point of Rocks — would be dedicated to the city for open space preservation. (Cindy Barks/Courier file)


Save the Dells Chairman Joe Trudeau talks to the crowd at the “Hike and Bike to Save the Dells” rally at the Point of Rocks on Saturday, Oct. 20. (Cindy Barks/Courier file)

It is now official: Arizona Eco Development has finalized its request to the City of Prescott for annexation and development of hundreds of acres of Granite Dells-area land.

Late Friday afternoon, April 12, the city issued a news release reporting that it had received the final revised annexation application from Arizona Eco Development (ADE).

The news release added that the application “has been deemed complete by staff.”

That sets off a “round 1” review of the development proposal by Prescott city staff — a process that is expected to take four to five weeks.

Jason Gisi of AED said late Friday that the final application contains the same proposal that was included in a master plan map and accompanying letter that he delivered to the city on March 25. At that time, the submittal was still conceptual.

Under that master plan map, 244 acres of AED’s land – much of it near the iconic Point of Rocks — would be dedicated to the city for open-space preservation.

In addition, AED proposed another 11 acres of dedicated public open space in conjunction with the city’s trail system, along with about 152 acres of private open space.

Gisi’s March letter and master plan revised the original annexation and development proposal that he had initially submitted to the city in late 2018, which the city had deemed incomplete.

In late March, city officials called Gisi’s latest open space proposal a “tremendous move forward,” although they added that they hoped more open space would be preserved during the course of the project review.

Members of the community group “Save the Dells” have pushed for preservation of 500 acres of open space near the Point of Rocks. The Prescott City Council opted not to adopt a resolution endorsing that position in late March, but several council members said at the time that they would continue to work toward more open space.

Gisi’s March 25 letter to the city emphasized that the former ranchland that holds the iconic granite formations known as the Point of Rocks “has been privately owned for over 100 years,” although the city-owned Peavine Trail and the Prescott Valley-owned Iron King Trail run through the AED parcels.

AED’s annexation proposal includes 866 acres of land in its southern section near the Point of Rocks, and 1,656 acres in the northern section near the Prescott Airport.

The master plan map shows a total of 1,160 homes and a 200-unit resort in the southern portion of the annexation.

To accomplish preservation of the Point of Rocks area, Gisi said he is proposing a relocation to the north of the 300 or so homes that were originally planned to be built there.

In exchange for the preservation, developers are seeking the promise of city water and sewer services for the relocated homes, which would be slated for land that is owned by Arizona Eco east of its northern annexation proposal. The property would be outside of the annexation area and would remain in unincorporated Yavapai County.

The Friday news release stated that the documents filed on April 12 would be uploaded to the city website and available for viewing at the Community Development counter starting Monday, April 15.

After the completion of the review by city staff, Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meeting discussions will follow.

“No dates have been set for public meetings as of this time,” stated the city’s news release. “The city will notice all subsequent public meetings as they are scheduled.”

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