Letter of understanding could circumvent condemnation action

By Linda Bentley | March 17, 2010

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CAVE CREEK – Monday’s council meeting began with Mayor Vincent Francia asking Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch to introduce his brother, Senator Ed Bunch, R-Dist. 7, recently appointed to fill the balance of Jim Waring’s term, to lead council in the pledge of allegiance, as Waring often did when he attended council meetings.

Korina rigginDuring Call to the Public, Korina Riggin passed out flyers to council for the inaugural Cave Creek Trail Run on April 3.

The fundraising event is for assisting with the purchase of 4,000 acres of open space and includes a 2K Kid’s Desert Awareness Fun Run/Walk, a 5K Run/Walk and a 10K Run.

Riggin stated there were 80 participants and they were expecting 130. However, she stated about 30 volunteers were still needed, without which the event will have to be cancelled.
Details can be found on here and at www.cavecreektrailrun.com about both participating in the event and volunteering.

Council unanimously approved the expenditure of funds not to exceed $17,000 to APS for design and construction services to relocate the sewer lift station at 5600 E. Rancho Mañana Boulevard, as part of the old wastewater treatment plant decommission project.

Council also unanimously approved the Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, which comes up for renewal every five years to address emergency response to natural and man-caused disaster events.

According to Town Marshal Adam Stein, the only thing different is this is a multi-jurisdictional plan.

Addressing questions from Councilman Adam Trenk, Stein said loss data in the document was based on FEMA formulas.

Councilman Ralph Mozilo asked if the town’s ordinances addressed how close people can build to washes, citing the house that was partially swept away in the last storm event.
Stein deferred to Town Engineer Wayne Anderson for an answer.

According to Anderson, the town has drainage guidelines in addition to Maricopa County Flood Control and said the erosion setback is 130 feet from a wash.

He said he didn’t know how the Copenhaver’s home came to be only 80 feet from the wash, as aerial photos taken before and after the event indicated.

The last item on the agenda, which was unanimously approved by council, was to start the process to acquire, including by eminent domain, approximately 1,400 square feet located at the southwest corner of 56th Street and Carefree Highway necessary to complete a public right of way.

Francia said he and Town Manager Usama Abujbarah met with the Bullingtons, who own the property, and their attorney Paul Gilbert, early Monday morning and the town should be receiving a letter of understanding and development agreement.

However, because eminent domain is a lengthy process, the right of way is necessary for the development of Walmart and the resolution requires two readings, Anderson asked council to move forward with the resolution, just in case things to go as expected.

When Mozilo asked if the town had determined a value for the area of land, Anderson stated it was roughly between $16,000 and $25,000, which Abujbarah confirmed would be paid for by Walmart.

Trenk questioned if that included compensation for the Bullington’s loss.

Anderson explained, because Walmart is developing first, they’re tasked with improving the intersection instead of the Bullingtons. However, if the Bullingtons were to develop first, they would have been required to provide the same right of way to the town. In this situation, Anderson indicated the Bullingtons were coming out ahead since they’re being compensated for the right of way.