BY LINDA BENTLEY | MAY 23, 2012
Development fees brought to Cave Creek Council during Call to the Public
CAVE CREEK – Call to the Public brought Wild West Pawn owner Dana Gonder (r) to the podium to address council about the development fees he is being charged to remodel the former home of Cody’s Steakhouse that he recently purchased.
Gonder said he was told it was going to cost him $35,000 in development fees, roughly 35 percent of the cost of adding 3,500 square feet of showroom space to the building.
He read the section of statue that states for what reasons municipalities may charge development fees, one was for subdividing, which Gonder is not doing, another was for increasing the size of a building to increase the service units, which Gonder also said he is not doing.
In fact, Gonder stated he was lessening the impact and decreasing the service units since he was removing the kitchen, lessening the number of parking spaces required from 200 to 50, since it was no longer a restaurant, which also meant he was reducing the amount of impact on water use and sewage treatment.
Gonder asked council to address the situation as soon as possible so he could get his building completed and start ringing up more sales and more tax revenue for the town.
Council unanimously approved an expenditure not to exceed $49,792.18 to purchase automated meter reading equipment and approximately 150 new meters for the Desert Hills Water service area.
Utilities Manager Jessica Marlow said the new meters meet the new lead code and would save on manpower.
She said it currently takes three employees approximately four days to read the meters and one person another day to enter the data.
According to Marlow, the new meters and equipment would only require one man and one day to read the meters.
During public comment, Steve Snyder questioned if the current meters met the lead code.
Marlow said they did not but were grandfathered in.
Snyder also asked if the town would be getting rid of any employees as a result of this purchase.
Marlow said they would not but stated it would free those employees up to do other things.
Council also unanimously authorized two contracts to make roof repairs and replace A/C units that received hail damage in the storm two years ago.
According to Town Engineer Wayne Anderson, the town has a $1,000 deductible and the work will cost the town a total of $2,000, with the insurance company picking up the tab for the rest.
Council voted unanimously to abandon a dedicated right-of-way (ROW) on Highland Road that was created prior to the town’s incorporation and return it to that property.
Planning Director Ian Cordwell said the ROW was natural desert and confirmed it is not needed to connect any roadways or trails in the town.
In moving to approve the abandonment, Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch said, “I like fixing this silly stuff that happened long ago.”
Last on the agenda was the first reading of an ordinance to update the town code to comport with state statute by eliminating development fees for open space, trails and recreation.
Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek, stating the ordinance was a housekeeping measure, said the town adopted a resolution in December to acknowledge the change in statute but in order to change the town code council must pass an ordinance, which requires two readings.
Council voted unanimously to approve the first reading.