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‘Save the Dells’ petition position set for Prescott Council vote March 26
Group has submitted a petition seeking the city’s support

Looking south at the Points of Rocks pre-development along the Peavine Trail Prescott on Thursday, August 9, 2018.  (Les Stukenberg/Courier file)

Looking south at the Points of Rocks pre-development along the Peavine Trail Prescott on Thursday, August 9, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier file)

The “Save the Dells” organization’s push to preserve 500 acres in the heart of the Granite Dells is scheduled to go to the Prescott City Council for a vote later this month.

During the City Council’s Tuesday, Feb. 26 meeting, Save the Dells member Thomas Rusing submitted a revised petition, asking for a city resolution in support of Save the Dells’ position.

Rusing told the council that the petition asks the City Council to adopt a resolution to endorse Save the Dells’ official position “regarding Arizona Eco Development’s annexation, rezoning, and development in Granite Dells of Prescott, Arizona.”

Submission of the revised petition comes two weeks after Rusing presented the original petition to the council on Feb. 12.

Prescott City Attorney Jon Paladini said the resubmission restarted the 30-day time period during which the city must provide an answer.

City Clerk Maureen Scott reported on Friday, March 1, that the petition has been scheduled to be on the City Council agenda for the March 26 voting meeting.

The vote will pertain to whether the City Council supports Save the Dells’ position, but will not deal with the actual annexation and project being proposed by Arizona Eco Development. That vote is reportedly still months away.

Currently, the city is awaiting a revised application from Arizona Eco Development. As of Friday, that application had not yet been submitted, according to the Prescott Community Development Department.

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Looking at the Points of Rocks pre-development along the Peavine Trail Prescott Thursday, August 9, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier file)

In Rusing’s remarks to the council this week, he asked that the matter be placed on the council’s next regular meeting (March 12), but the city ultimately opted to place it on the March 26 agenda.

Rusing told the council he plans to give a formal presentation of Save the Dells’ proposed resolution at that time.

Joe Trudeau, conservation director and former president of Save the Dells, said the original resolution was revised to remove two clauses that he said were “peripheral to our position.”

The new petition focuses directly on the value of the Granite Dells to the community, as well as Save the Dells’ main goal of protecting “a 500-acre portion of the Granite Dells and the ecologically important wooded valley along No-Name Creek …”

The petition, which Trudeau said now has more than 5,000 signatures, maintained that “the most majestic portion of the Granite Dells is under imminent threat from Arizona Eco Development’s (AED) misguided plan to build hundreds of homes surrounding the Point of Rocks, as well as a sprawling hotel and eight miles of roads that would cross the Peavine and Iron King trails five times.”

In mid-February, city officials announced that the private negotiations that had been underway with Arizona Eco Development had not secured the amount of open space that the city had hoped for.

A press release at the time stated: ““At present, there is a divergence between what the city and AED (Arizona Eco Development) consider acceptable.”

Short of achieving the desired amount of open space, the city said the annexation and project would proceed to the usual public review for annexation.

Jason Gisi of Arizona Eco Development said at the time that he had proposed preserving about 250 acres of the 500 being sought by Save the Dells. He said he planned to submit a revised application to the city reflecting that within two to three weeks.

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