Editorial: Compromise led to AED-Dells letter of intent

The iconic Point of Rocks in the Granite Dells. (Cindy Barks/Courier, file)

The iconic Point of Rocks in the Granite Dells. (Cindy Barks/Courier, file)

All along in the process of Arizona Eco Development’s proposal to develop a portion of the Granite Dells, all sides have been spoken about in an abusively disparaging manner.

Save the Dells, AED itself and the City of Prescott’s leadership/council.

It has been said underhanded tactics have been used, and one or more sides have not played fairly. It has also been alleged that some are in other’s pockets.

Near the end of May 2020, after two long years of back-and-forth debate, all three agreed to a letter of intent outlining preservation of the key Point of the Rocks portion of the Dells, as well as development and water use.

We have seen this come a long, long way from the beginning. Even though turbulent at times, ultimately it has been give and take to reach today’s, June 9, council meeting where the letter of intent is expected to be ratified.

This is an agreement that The Daily Courier Editorial Board can support.

The biggest point has been the Point of the Rocks, for which Save the Dells wanted 500 acres set aside; the LOI calls for 475 acres – though we should note that the other 25 acres is already protected.

The letter of intent also outlines land-for-water exchanges, which are well below original demands, with AED also giving surface water rights to the city and land for future airport expansion.

On Sunday, we presented Save the Dells and City of Prescott talking points on the letter of intent, something that is only a starting point for the city planning and council hearings that must come next.

Through the process ahead, they could add a little frosting on the cake, such as to protect archeological sites Save the Dells has mentioned. At the same time, we don’t have issues with the one crossing of the Peavine Trail.

This truly represents what this process has been about: To get something you want, you have to give up something else. Much of that fell in the developer’s lap.

In the end, we don’t believe it is right to label any of the sides here as anything other than people who have the best of intentions for our communities.

We may have not always agreed with the methods, but Save the Dells had good intentions. And let’s be realistic, the developers of this community have done a lot for Prescott and the Quad Cities. It is not right to vilify them either, for example, when many of the amenities we enjoy came from development.

In the end, there should always be concern over development, and civility and compromise should exist in how we interact and work together.

Achieved. Now, let’s move forward.

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