Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Tue, Oct. 22

Volpe: Is population growth good or bad?

We moved to the Quad Cities four years ago, we’re newbies. We decided to retire in Dewey to enjoy its rural effect and natural beauty. However, we have already seen a noticeable influx in traffic, and housing development has had a direct effect on the aesthetics our property.

We bought a home that backs up to farm acreage and have a 180 degree view of the mountains. When we first moved here we saw three to 30 antelope grazing along with five to 30 bulls. In the evening we heard coyotes and occasionally a mountain lion or javelina visited us. We thought, alright! We escaped all the bricks and mortar, the cookie-cutter houses, apartments, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic that accompanies such growth.

Now, landowners, developers and builders are striving to take all this away from us with all their cockamamie ideas of rezoning and needless construction. The antelope have been shipped out of the area to make room for more houses and apartments. I don’t need to get hit in the head with a bunch of bricks and mortar to realize that the quad-city area is growing much too rapidly! If we newbies feel this way, we can’t even begin to imagine or realize how those who have lived here 20 to 60 years must feel.

We received a letter from a builder stating; “with the rapidly increasing demand for multi-family housing in the Quad Cities area, we are planning a new community here. It will be built along highway 69 adjacent to the Family Dollar store in Dewey. We have long wished that this stretch of land be improved both aesthetically and economically, while benefitting those in the surrounding area. Great lengths will be taken to ensure we create something special, with walking trails, a dog park, and green-belts.”

We went to a disorderly meeting of builders and engineers who had colorful charts and graphs, but no definitive answers. They did say the project will comprised 17 buildings consisting of 288 (moderate income) multi-family apartments spread over 40 acres. With that comes (section 8) government subsidized housing!

I asked how this will aesthetically and economically benefit the surrounding area with people moving in who don’t have any investment in the property. I think they will run it into the ground and within two years it will be an eyesore.

I envision more crime and unbearable congestion. These new people will be coming and going on the same entry/exit street we presently use. I would much prefer to see mountains, bulls, antelope, and weeds, rather than bricks, mortar, and more people. The only people I expect to benefit economically are the landowners, developers and builders.

Should this come to fruition, property values and retirement investments will begin depreciating in value. Our homes will have a greater propensity of being burglarized because of a group of greedy people attempting to insult our intelligence, feeding us a bunch of rhetoric about aesthetically and economically improving the area.

If this project is going to be so special, aesthetically appealing and so economically advantageous to the surrounding area, why don’t these landowners, developers and builders put it in their surrounding areas? Because they live in Phoenix, and they have already overbuilt and overcrowded their surrounding areas!

We have options. You can fight city hall! We must fight! We must make our voices heard at our local government and town council meetings. Raise the cost and limit the number of building permits and put a moratorium on building. We must at least slow down this rapid, rabid unneeded growth before it becomes nonsensical overbuilding and overcrowding.

Ciao for now!

J.J. Volpe is a resident of Dewey, Arizona

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