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Sun, Jan. 19

AED, Jasper development receive encroachment permit to cross Iron King Trail at unspecified location

First roundabout heading into Jasper subdivision. (Les Stukenberg/Tribune)

First roundabout heading into Jasper subdivision. (Les Stukenberg/Tribune)

With open space versus development at the heart of Arizona Eco Development’s (AED) plans for The Homestead and Point of Rocks subdivisions and possible annexation into the City of Prescott, the Town of Prescott Valley has a stake in one portion of the project – the Iron King Trail.

The town owns the Iron King Trail, having purchased it from the Atchinson, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railway abandoned right-of-way in 2003 for $10. The 4.2-mile-long trail starts at Glassford Hill Road and Santa Fee Loop in the Granville subdivision and ends at the connection with the Peavine Trail at Entro Junction.

The trail is between 60 feet and 100 feet wide and runs from inside Prescott Valley’s boundary west into Yavapai County. Prescott Valley will continue to own the trail even if the City of Prescott annexes AED property.

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In Jaspar subdivision, possibly leading to future Glassford Heights development.

Five roadways cross the Iron King Trail, said Prescott Valley Town Manager Larry Tarkowski. The crossings are at Glassford Hill Road and Santa Fe Loop; a paved portion of the trail in the Granville subdivision at Tuscany; Granville Fairway; Jasper Drive; and a yet-to-be-named crossing in the Jasper development farther west in the later stages of development.

Members of the public who want to know about proposed trail crossings must keep their eyes open for planning and zoning commission and council meeting agenda items from developers in whose jurisdiction is developing either side of the trail, Tarkowski said.

All of these crossings were approved by the Town Council during the subdivision approval process after they received approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Tarkowski said.

The town received a request from AED for a crossing of the Iron King Trail near the Point of Rocks east of Entro Junction to allow AED access to its property south of the Iron King Trail and east of the Peavine Trail. The crossing would be used by vehicles, pedestrians, utilities and emergency vehicles.

“The crossing shall be within the general area as depicted and the exact location will be fixed and memorialized at final plat,” the encroachment permit document states.

PV Public Works Director Norm Davis and Jason Gisi of AED, both signed the document Dec. 20. It was recorded with Yavapai County Feb. 7.

Tarkowski said the issue of this crossing would be something that goes before the City of Prescott or before the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. “Right now, the area that the encroachment permit is for is on both sides of the Iron King Trail in Yavapai County. It does not have Prescott Valley on either side of it. The permit is needed because we own the trail,” he said.

If the City of Prescott annexes that particular area, and the developer asks would they be able to cross the trail, Tarkowski said the answer is yes.

The Prescott Valley Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed and recommended the Jasper Master Plan in April 2014 for 3,587 units on 1,245 acres. In March 2018, the Town Council approved Phase 1 for 362 lots. Phase 2, situated north of Phase 1, consists of 290 lots on 128 acres west of the current Granville subdivision.

In a letter from Gisi to the City of Prescott dated March 25, Gisi proposes two trail crossings, one of which is an at-grade crossing of the Iron King Trail east of the intersection of the Iron King Trail and the Peavine Trail. He makes mention of the easement granted by Prescott Valley and the previously granted easements.

Prescott resident Joe Zarnoch said he and others were unaware of AED’s request for permit, and he feels members of the public were denied an opportunity to comment.

“The granting of this easement is especially critical because it is the first for the Iron King Trail in the heart of the Dells near the iconic Point of Rocks,” Zarnoch said. “Currently, there is only one other trail crossing in the heart of the Dells and that is the small, rather unobtrusive dirt Storm Ranch Road on the Peavine Trail.”

He added that granting the easement has eliminated any discussion of other possibilities for a roadway such as an underpass, or if, in fact, this crossing is necessary.

Tarkowski said there has been no public opposition to crossings of the trail. “If that development is proposed in the City of Prescott, there will be all kinds of opportunity to object to a road connecting the development on the north and south side at that point,” he said.

“If the City of Prescott came to us and said, ‘OK, we have this land that has been annexed and we want a road,’ what kind of basis can we deny that when we have approved five already?”

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