VOL. 18  ISSUE NO. 17   |  APRIL 25 – MAY 1, 2012


Enchanted Canyon protestors gather to beat a dead horse

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carolyn oberholtzerCarolyn Oberholtzer, a land use attorney with the Rose Law Group, explained how the withdrawal of the developer’s special use permit application and request to continue to a date uncertain limits what the applicant may resubmit in the future.  Photo by Linda Bentley

CAVE CREEK – Despite the applicant withdrawing its application for a special use permit (SUP) and requesting a continuation to a date to be determined, essentially killing the Enchanted Canyon Resort project in its current form and canceling the April 19 planning commission meeting, the project’s opponents insisted on holding a meeting anyway.
On April 16, Attorney Wendy Riddell, on behalf of CC Investors 220 LLC, withdrew her client’s SUP application and requested a continuance for the project to a date to be determined.

Since the Enchanted Canyon project was the only item for review on the agenda, the town issued a notice that the April 19 planning commission meeting had been canceled.
Additionally, Planning Director Ian Cordwell sent a letter to Riddell explaining, since the request for a continuance was not to a date certain, any future applications would need to go through the processes and procedures in place at the time of the application.

The original application included the use of a PAD (planned area development).

PADs have since been eliminated from the town’s zoning ordinance.

Mike Chutz chaired the substitute meeting for the approximately 60 citizens who showed up, many wearing blue “Protect Rural Zoning” T-shirts.

The T-shirted protesters showed up for the March 15 planning commission workshop about Enchanted Canyon, where several spoke in opposition to the project.

Chutz sat on a table a removed his shoes and began to explain “the primary reason why we’re here.”

He told the crowd the zoning ordinance no longer provides for PADs and said the property owners were welcome to develop their property under the rules in force.

Chutz said, “The primary reason we’re here … just to enjoy each other’s company.”

He introduced Carolyn Oberholtzer, a land use attorney from the Rose Law Group, who explained, since PADs were removed from the zoning ordinance the applicants, when and if they decide to bring the project back, no longer have the tools to bring it back in the same form.

Mayor Vincent Francia, who agreed to attend the meeting, put the kibosh on a number of rumors spreading through town, such as the paving of Morning Star Road, which he said would not happen any time soon, bringing traffic from the Cahava Springs Ranch development or plans for Rural/Metro building a fire station at the site of a private residence on Spur Cross Road, and other such tales.

Francia assured citizens the rumors were all false.

While Creekers have never shied away from expressing their views about cases before the planning commission and council or their intention of filing referendums, this amassing of citizens appeared to just beat a dead horse.

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