BY LINDA BENTLEY | JULY 21, 2010
Arek Fressadi ‘living in exile from Cave Creek’
Planning Director Ian Cordwell told the planning commission on Thursday, ěThe town has no intention of using eminent domain to acquire any of Mr. Fressadiís property.î
Photo by Linda Bentley
CAVE CREEK – During Thursday’s planning commission meeting, Planning Director Ian Cordwell explained Carefree Consultants, Inc. owns three parcels totaling 2.82 acres southwest of Cave Creek and School House roads, which it initially sold to Edge Development, LLC. Edge entered into a development agreement with the town, which consisted of changing the land use designations from a combination of commercial and medium density residential to commercial and open space.
Since that time, the property returned to the former owner Carefree Consultants, Inc., which agreed to honor the same agreement Edge had entered into with the town.
Cordwell said the town was the applicant for the minor amendment to the Town Core Plan, as per its development agreement with the land owner in March 2009.
In essence, the development agreement recognized that in exchange for the donation of a right-of-way (ROW) on Mark Way, the town would follow the process to change the land use and zoning on the property.
In addition to the ROW that has already been dedicated and partially improved, the town would gain additional area for open space within Andora Wash, whereas the newly-zoned open space would satisfy the requirement for landscaping and undisturbed area without further application.
The owner was also given credit for eight additional residential units for future development in exchange for the land dedication to the town for ROW and land rezoned to Open Space Recreation.
During public comment, Arek Fressadi, a Tucson resident who owns property on School House Road directly adjacent to the subject parcels, brought an assessor’s map to show the commission that Mark Way does not go through to Military Road and accused the town of eminent domain to “take” his driveway, unless he said the assessor’s map was wrong.
Fressadi stated open space is a great commercial buffer and he had no objection to open space or up-zoning the subject parcels to commercial core, “provided the appropriate procedures are followed, including landscape and revegitation.”
He claimed the deed of gift for ROW extended Mark Way to his property, not School House Road and stated, “My concern is the town is using this so-called open space to create a taking of my property.”
Fressadi then cited a number of subdivision ordinances and repeatedly stated the ROW created a five-point intersection at his driveway, which is prohibited by the subdivision ordinance.
Fressadi provided a letter to Ian Cordwell for the planning commission that claimed the town was “essentially creating a secondary traffic route through Cave Creek which in times of parades and such is beneficial to the community. But it will also encourage drunk drivers to circumvent Cave Creek Road late at night to avoid the Sheriff.”
In conclusion, Fressadi said he would like to “obtain a letter from the town evidencing that the town has no intention to apply eminent domain to my northern driveway entrance …”
Cordwell told the commission if the assessor’s map was incorrect, “which is often the case,” the town would see to it that it is corrected.
He then made it clear, “The town has no intention of using eminent domain to acquire any of Mr. Fressadi’s property.”
Commissioner Shelly Anderson moved to approve the general plan amendment and stated the density was being reduced and the change doesn’t seem to impact the neighbors.
Commissioner Bob Williams said it was a good idea.
Chairman Dan Baxley said, “I took a look at the property today and it makes a lot of sense.”
The commission then voted unanimously to recommend approval for the general plan amendment.
When they began the rezoning case, Williams asked if it was the first downzoning the town has had.
Cordwell responded, “Yes it is, on residential property.”
During public comment, Fressadi recited his Tucson address and said, “I’m living in exile from Cave Creek.”
He stated he had no objection to downzoning to open space but reiterated the only way for Mark Way to intersect is to use the entrance to his driveway, creating a five-point intersection, which, he reiterated, is prohibited by the subdivision ordinance.
Fressadi said he just wants the town to abide by the same rules that he, as a developer must abide by.
Commissioner John Ford moved to recommend approval, commenting, “I went to look at the property today. I do not see anything related to a five-point intersection.”
Commissioner Reg Monachino, who seconded the motion stated, “The issues may or may not be valid and should be addressed separately.”
The commission voted 7-0 to recommend approval.