Carefree citizens oppose Cave Creek G.P. amendments

By Andrew Gesell | July 16, 2008

Primarily concerned with Carefree Highway
CAREFREE – Several objections were raised about Major General Plan Amendments in Cave Creek at the Carefree Town Council meeting on July 8.

Those at the meeting worry that converting residential into commercial property would create problems for neighbors.

Two residents opposed to the zoning changes outlined several problems that could develop.

Lyn Hitchon, an official with the Sentinel Rock Estate Home Owners Association, said 84 property owners polled there feared a “domino effect” if the general plan amendments are approved.

Sentinel Rock resident Val Root is among those opposed to the zoning changes.

“Fundamentally, Cave Creek Road is at saturation near the Carefree Highway,” he wrote. “I see no capability for that area to handle more traffic at morning and evening rush hours. Further, I see no reason to add more commercial along Carefree Highway.”

Sentinel Rock residents Jacqueline and Zak Dutton oppose up-zoning residential property in general.

“The reason most of us located up here was because of the larger plots, lack of commercial zones and lack of density,” they wrote.

Scott Sperl, a resident of Entrada, also opposes the amendments to the general plan over traffic concerns.

“Everyone in Entrada thinks the amendments are unneeded and will add to the traffic problems,” he said.

He added that more commercial property would detract from the businesses already there.

Cave Creek Planning Director Ian Cordwell told the Carefree audience general plan amendments are made on a case-by-case basis.

The cases Carefree residents discussed include approximately 25 acres at the southwest corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway and 34 acres at the northwest corner of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road. Applicants for both properties are requesting a change from Desert Rural to Commercial zoning.

These cases and three others are scheduled for a hearing before the Cave Creek Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, Oct 16. The Cave Creek Town Council will discuss the General Plan Amendments on Nov 17. All cases will be discussed at those meetings; general plan amendments are only heard once a year per Arizona’s Growing Smarter rules.

Other general plan amendments to be heard this fall include T.C. Thorstenson’s request to up-zone his 5.5 acres behind Hammerhead Jacks to commercial, David Lewis’ request to up-zone his property at Scopa Trail and Galloway Drive for a resort and the Cave Creek Museum application for a Minor General Plan Amendment, which could result in up-zoning its property at Basin Road and Skyline Drive.