BY LINDA BENTLEY | APRIL 17, 2013
Disgruntled Carefree resident attacks Cave Creek via Proposition 459
Peirce’s PAC claiming to support Cave Creek Town Council’s action and campaign literature in opposition is nothing short of confusing
Photo by Linda Bentley
CAVE CREEK – Proposition 459 is a referendum on Cave Creek’s Ordinance No. 02012-08, amending the zoning map to reflect two parcels located northwest of the intersection of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road between 54th and 53rd streets to be rezoned from Desert Rural (DR-89) to General Commercial.
A ‘YES’ vote shall have the effect of affirming the town council vote and shall approve Ordinance No. O2012-08 and shall amend the zoning map of the town of Cave Creek.
A ‘NO’ vote shall have the effect of not approving Ordinance No. O2012-08 and shall not amend the zoning map of the town of Cave Creek.
A postcard recently mailed asking citizens to vote no on Proposition 459 to “preserve our desert,” is from Carefree resident Jim Peirce’s Political Action Committee “Preserve Cave Creek’s Spirit of the Desert in Support of REF2012-01 PAC,” which is a PAC in support of council’s decision to rezone the property, contradicting the postcard asking for a no vote.
So, it’s unclear what Peirce (r) was thinking when he formed the PAC.
The postcard doesn’t show the boarded up dilapidated house on one of the two parcels that’s been vacant for years.
Instead it contains a picture of a Gila Woodpecker perched on top of a saguaro blossom and the monument sign at Cave Creek Recreation Area several miles away, each contrasted against a picture of a very congested commercial development at the bustling intersection of Figueroa and 28th streets in Los Angeles, just a stone’s throw from the heavily congested Harbor Freeway, showing a Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Panda Express and Grinder, which, by the way, does not have any locations in Arizona.
The postcard was mailed after the campaign finance reporting period closed and the next campaign finance report isn’t due until May 17, just a couple days before the all-mail ballots are due to be received at the county on May 21, so it’s unclear who is funding this campaign.
But what the postcard claims is an important message about Proposition 459 is rife with misinformation and fear mongering.
While there is indeed a lot of unoccupied commercial property within the Cave Creek town core with Commercial Core and Commercial Buffer zoning, those zoning categories do not permit many of the uses allowed under General Commercial, a category established for the intersection of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway.
A development agreem-ent was entered into between the town of Cave Creek and the Arizona State Land Department several years ago, allowing the town to rezone some of the land in the annexation area to General Commercial and more intense use in exchange for rezoning approximately 4,000 acres to Open Space.
The town has an unprecedented history of preserving open space beginning with the preservation of Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.
Open space, along with its eclectic town core, has been a boon to tourism in the town.
Peirce’s postcard claims any revenue to be made from new businesses on Carefree Highway will only be from a loss of funds from established businesses in the town core.
While that is the same fear mongering claimed during the referendum for Walmart’s rezoning application, several businesses in the town core claim they are having the best sales ever, not just over the last few years, but the best sales ever.
And while the postcard claims the two parcels may never be used even with rezoning to General Commercial, Stewart Jean of Park West Partners Development, who incidentally brought the first Walmart store to Arizona in Show Low, has businesses, including a McDonald’s, committed to establishing themselves at this location.
Considering Peirce is a Carefree resident, whose town developed the adjacent CVS and Lowe’s stores that likely extinguished any residential possibilities for the adjacent Cave Creek parcels, his PAC in support of Cave Creek Town Council’s action and campaign literature in opposition is nothing short of confusing.
Peirce took to the podium for Call to the Public during Monday evening’s Cave Creek Town Council meeting.
He got in a few digs against the town, including one about a 266 percent increase in his water rates, all things he claimed he wasn’t there to talk about.
Peirce said he was there to talk about the fact his political sign at the southeast corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway had been taken down Sunday night and a rock had been put on top of it. He said he filed a report with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and stated the area would be under increased observation.