General plan moves on to planning commission

Wright said we must not allow developers to ‘pirate away’ our zoning and told attendees their input is really important on April 16

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CAVE CREEK – The public meeting to gather input for updating the town’s general plan was continued from 19 to April 2, when attendees stated they didn’t have sufficient time to review the plan in order to make comments.

During the April 2 meeting, Planning Director Ian Cordwell explained the general plan, by law, must be updated every 10 years.

He said all the comments received will be collated and forwarded to the planning commission for review during the April 16 meeting.

eileen wrightEileen Wright (l) prepared folders, which were passed out to attendees by Everett Bell, so citizens could follow along with her prepared presentation.

Wright said the deficiencies in the plan were detrimental to the town because it eliminated the specific Desert Rural zoning categories from the general plan’s land use map.

According to Wright, unless the general plan spells out each of the Desert Rural zoning categories on the land use map, Desert Rural zoning will be obliterated.

She included maps in her presentation that were included in the Enchanted Canyon Resort application and said because of deficiencies in the general plan developers will be able to wipe out large acre zoning in Cave Creek.

Wright, who is vice chair of the planning commission, claimed applications such as Enchanted Canyon, which was withdrawn by the applicant due to lack of support, are the “real-life consequences” of not including all the zoning categories in the general plan.

Wright said we must not allow developers to “pirate away” our zoning and told attendees their input is really important on April 16.

Kerry Smith said he had some of the same concerns as Wright and stated density changes are irreversible, affecting everyone’s property values.

Smith, who said he is an economist and serves as an expert witness, stated higher density means more people who will use more water.

He also said the 10-year capital improvement plan includes infrastructure with roads that will change from minor to major.

ray starkRay Stark (l), who said he’s only been a resident for about a year, discussed water and the decline in the water supply in Arizona.

Stark said the town’s CAP water allocation has approximately doubled and the current allocation will handle the existing plan through buildout without any zoning changes.

He then proceeded to criticize the “local newspaper” for its lack of coverage on the water crisis unless the water crisis pertained to the golf course.

Stark stated, “We must look at selling the Desert Hills Water Company that we stupidly purchased,” and which he claimed uses general fund money to support rather than user fees.

Joe DeFazio, who moved to Cave Creek from San Diego a little over a year ago, said he saw no stated reasons or substantiation for the changes staff made to the general plan when he reviewed the redlined version.

He said he worked in the aerospace industry and any time changes were made to documents they needed to be substantiated.

Bell said he sent quite a bit of information to Cordwell, including many of the same comments stated by those preceding him.

He asked why “encouraging slow growth” was taken away.

Bell said in addition to the 2005 vision statement declaring

Cave Creek to be a Western, equestrian community, it is also a community of rugged individuals with diverse interests.

Cordwell thanked everyone for their comments, which he said were all valid.

He said his department will continue to accept comments up until the April 16 planning commission meeting and will probably include information from the water advisory committee.

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