VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 20   |   MAY 18 – 24, 2011

MAY 18, 2011

Council approves preliminary plat for Overlook at Black Mountain

Councilmen Ralph Mozilo and Adam Trenk bid council adieu, express serving as educational, challenging, a pleasure, privilege and honor

cave creek film festivalCAVE CREEK – Mayor Vincent Francia began Monday’s meeting by announcing the Desert Foothills Film Festival will be held in conjunction with the Taste of Cave Creek event on Oct. 5 and 6 and called for film entries.

He said this year’s theme is “Our community through your eyes” and the deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2011 at Cave Creek Town Hall.

The application and details are available online at cavecreek.org.

The mayor then announced it was the final meeting for two members of council and gave departing councilmen Adam Trenk and Ralph Mozilo an opportunity to say a few words.
Trenk said he learned a lot about himself, it was a pleasure serving on council, and stated he will be back once things settle down in his personal life.

Mozilo, first elected to council in 1999, said it has been an educational and challenging experience. He stated it had been a privilege and real honor to be given the opportunity to serve.

During Call to the Public, Cave Creek Museum Executive Director Evelyn Johnson played a “snippet” from a documentary being created on the history of Cave Creek covering 140 years.

She began with the segment showing Grace Schoonover talking about the prehistoric peoples that once inhabited the area.

marshall trimble
Cave Creek Museum Executive Director Evelyn Johnson played a “snippet” of a documentary on the history in Cave Creek, which included a clip of Historian Marshall Trimble musing about Mark Twain’s definition of a mine: “a hole in the ground with a liar on top.”

Another segment on mining featured Historian Marshall Trimble, Joni Chattman and Johnny Ringo.

Johnson said the film will be shown in its entirety at the Taste of Cave Creek Festival.

Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the town and Maricopa County regarding the transfer of water rights associated with certificate number 402, which Utilities Manager Jessica Marlow explained addressed water rights associated with the purchase of Spur Cross Ranch and the Phoenix Mine site.

Mozilo questioned why the IGA was for 60 years.

Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Manager R.J. Cardin responded 60 years is the maximum term allowed for an IGA.

The town also voted unanimously to approve the preliminary plat for the Overlook at Black Mountain, with council members giving kudos to the planning commission for addressing the bulk of their concerns.

Like the planning commission, council dwelled on the liability on keeping the trail open while heavy construction equipment worked on the road.

It’s been established that there are two trails on Black Mountain, one of which follows the eastern boundary of the Overlook’s parcel, while another runs parallel through what will be one of the project’s home sites.

While the planning commission added a stipulation to keep the trail open during construction, Francia questioned which trail it referred to and confirmed with Planning Director Ian Cordwell that the eastern trail was a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) easement and the applicant would have no jurisdiction over the trail.

There was also the question of liability while construction was underway.

Councilman Jim Bruce commented on the stipulation requiring the trail being kept open during construction, stating, “We’re opening the up the applicant to liability.

Trenk said he didn’t have a problem with temporarily closing the trail during business hours while the road was under construction to minimize the town’s liability.

jim shellyJim Shelly, the applicant for the Overlook at Black Mountain, told council his client RHS West, LLC, is an investment group out of Michigan that intends to sell the subdivision to a developer.
The applicant Jim Shelly said his client would provide the barriers and signage to direct hikers to the BLM easement.

Councilman Dick Esser expressed concern about the number of native plants that will be destroyed.

Shelly stated the building envelopes were designed to minimize destruction of native plants and said they would salvage as many of the plants as possible.

When asked if the owners planned to develop and sell improved lots or build spec homes, Shelly said the owner was an investment firm out of Michigan and were not developers.

He said the plan was to sell the subdivision to a developer.

During public comment, Councilman-elect Thomas McGuire asked if anyone had addressed the safety of the road when there’s snow.

Cordwell responded, “No, the issue of snow didn’t arise.”

In addition to amending the stipulation regarding the trail, making it specific to the BLM trail, Francia asked that another stipulation be added so prospective buyers know there is a BLM easement along the east boundary of the parcel.

ralph mozillo
Councilman Ralph Mozilo sought clarification of the School House Road alignment with respect to the preliminary plat for the Overlook at Black Mountain.

Mozilo, who made the motion to approve, said, “I wish the developer well. It’s an expensive property to develop.”

The last item on the agenda, which also received unanimous approval, was for the purchase of a new Freightliner Dump Truck, for an amount not to exceed $115,687 to replace the dump truck destroyed by fire.

Town Engineer Wayne Anderson said the driver was able to escape with minor injuries but the truck was completely destroyed.

He said the insurance company paid the town $25,000 for the truck.

Responding to Francia’s question, Anderson said the cause of the fire was unknown, although there was a trail of fluid of some sort, possibly brake fluid, which was apparently flammable.

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