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Bullhead City/Mohave Valley

Bullhead City/Mohave Valley

MEC warns members of potential scam

BY TSN 

BULLHEAD CITY – Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) members need to be aware of a potential scam. Members have been calling the MEC Member Services Office after receiving both an automated and live person call.

The recorded message and live person call had a similar dialogue: “This is the power company. If you don’t pay over the phone, we will disconnect” or a close variation. This is not a message from MEC. “The members calling in are taking the proper precaution,” said Jerry Hardy, Manager of Engineering & Operations “If in doubt, call. We do not want any of our members getting caught in such a scam.”

MEC will never ask for payment over the phone and does not disconnect after hours, on weekends, or MEC recognized holidays. “Do not provide personal or bank information over the phone unless you are 100 percent sure you know who you’re talking to,” Hardy said. “If you aren’t sure, hang up the phone and call the business in question.” Members may also call (928) 763-1100 to verify their account status during normal business hours.

Commercial plat again on city agenda

BULLHEAD CITY — If at first you don’t succeed …

A request for approval of a plat that will be used for an oil change business will be before the Bullhead City Council for a second time at tonight’s regular meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 1255 Marina Blvd. in the Bullhead City Administration Complex. It will be broadcast live on TV4, the city’s cable-access channel on the local Suddenlink system, and also will be streamed on the city’s website, www.bullheadcity.com.

The meeting has a relatively short agenda — there are only two action items following a public hearing on a liquor license for a convenience store — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a short meeting.

The call to the public is expected to include a number of residents concerned about safety on the Colorado River.

River safety also is among items on Toby Cotter’s city manager’s report, along with a fireworks update and a report on the city’s bond rating.

On June 15, the council was asked to approve a final plat for Bullhead Square Unit 3, for a commercial building immediately north of the Dutch Bros coffee shop. No one made a motion to approve — or reject — the plat, so the item died on the vine.

Now, it has come back to life with the prospective tenant, Take 5, a nationwide company that performs quick oil changes, presenting updated plans to address traffic concerns and other issues that derailed the proposal.

There will be no new access required on Highway 95.

The vacant lot already is zoned for commercial use.

Also on the agenda is consideration for a final plat for a housing development east of the Bullhead Parkway.

Belle Air Heights, a planned development by Abundant ETGM LLC would consist of 21 lots for single-family residential development in a 4.95-acre site that is part of a 540-acre master-planned community near the intersection of the parkway and Landon Drive.

The agenda items also include a request for 7.06 acre-feet of water on an annual basis and would be deducted from the city’s contract service area total.

Central Arizona

Central Arizona

Work study on Payson community center Aug. 3

The Town of Payson invites the community to attend a joint work study meeting between the council and the Rim Country Educational Alliance on a proposed community center at 3 p.m. today, Aug. 3 in the library meeting room.

This meeting will summarize the community center and Granite Dells Park projects to the council and board and give them a chance to ask questions. The two organizations will then discuss next steps.

Last spring, the RCEA and MHA Foundation announced they would build a park and community center off of Mud Springs Road on land owned by the RCEA. The organizations indicated they had other partners in town that would share in the project.

The Town of Payson soon after the announcement approached the RCEA asking if it could partner.

The suggestion of a partnership stirred up so many in the community, the town and MHA Foundation held a town hall on July 19 to hear concerns. Those ranged from how can the town take care of another park when it can’t take care of its own to where will the water come to fill the lake?

But it was clear the most pressing concern is the lack of a town pool. Earlier in the year, Town Manager Troy Smith condemned the decades old Taylor Pool as unsafe. This is the second year the community has gone without a town pool. Last year, the pandemic closed the pool.

At the town hall, parents and swim team members lamented any pool project would not be complete until after they graduated.

This work study will be the first of many meetings between the organizations to decide if a partnership is possible and what that would look like.

For more information, call the Town of Payson at 928-474-5242.

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

Massive housing project on Doll Baby road moves forward

Plans are in the works to build Canyon River Ranch at the end of Doll Baby Ranch Road in a housing site abandoned years ago. At build-out, there would be 721 homesites with a mixture of single and doublewide mobile homes as well as RV sites.

Plans for Canyon River Ranch include a large community clubhouse, multiple miles of multi-use trails and paths, a 1-acre fishing pond, pickleball, tennis, baseball and softball, basketball courts, three dog parks and three community swimming pools.

The massive Canyon River Ranch project planned on Doll Baby Ranch Road had a series of zoning changes approved by the county last week.

The planned senior living community is on approximately 158 acres west of Payson on both the south and north sides of Doll Baby Ranch Road.

The property has sat untouched for years after the Great Recession of 2008 put development on hold.

Originally, the county approved residential development plans for Canyon River Ranch in 2008. A 5,600-square-foot pavilion was constructed along with a 20,000-square-foot covered arena, a well site, a decorative entry feature/water tower, and some internal road work and grading. Everything came to a halt in 2009, according to a Community Development staff report submitted to the supervisors for the July 27 public hearing.

Canyon River Partners LLC and International West Civil Contractors Inc. now own the property. The applicant for the changes is Michael Baker International, who was represented at the meeting by Adam Pruett with the Phoenix office of Michael Baker International.

Responding to questions from Supervisors Steve Christensen and Woody Cline, Pruett said the project is for those 55 and older and expects to see approximately 35% seasonal occupation and between 60% and 70% year-round occupation.

The “new” Canyon River Ranch project, according to the staff report, is a mixed-use development consisting of residential and commercial uses with a substantial amount of passive open space. At complete build-out, there will be 721 residential homesites with a mixture of single and doublewide mobile homes with approximately 40% of the overall homesites devoted to RVs (288 sites). Each homesite will have electricity, water and wastewater services and leased to the resident for placement of a home or RV.

The owners would, however, like the ability to lease up to 100% of the property for RV uses until the project is fully developed.

“We’re excited about the project and are working to keep the process moving at a fast pace,” Pruett said in an email to the Roundup. “It is our goal to have the Doll Baby Ranch Road improvements underway in the next few months and completed for a project groundbreaking in the first quarter of 2022.”

The project will develop in two phases — broken into the north and south side of Doll Baby Ranch Road.

“Occupancy should begin within six to eight months from the start of construction and is anticipated to increase rapidly as marketing efforts get underway,” he said.

Amenities

The proposed commercial uses include restaurants, personal service businesses, self-storage facilities and motor fuel and propane sales.

The property owners also envision temporary outdoor events.

The property owners propose offering a significant number of amenities with the development including the existing pavilion and arena, a large community clubhouse, multiple miles of multi-use trails and paths, a 1-acre fishing pond, passive open space representing almost 60% of the property, and multiple sporting opportunities such as pickleball, tennis, baseball and softball, basketball courts, three dog parks and three community swimming pools.

County staff said the applicant would also like the flexibility to develop the property either as a single phase, or as a two-phased development, depending on the timing of the approvals related to infrastructure permitting, construction costs and mobilization. If it becomes a two-phased project, the applicant expects one phase north of Doll Baby Ranch Road and the second phase to the south of this road.

Water

Water is currently planned to come from seven wells on the property, plus a 60,000-gallon water tank, with more as needed.

The applicant is exploring those options. Previously, when the property was to be developed for single-family residences, water was to be provided through private wells. With a change in use of the property from single-family residences to a mobile/manufactured home/RV project, the applicant has retained a hydrologist to determine the potential capacity and availability of water to serve the project. Ultimately, the applicant will need to get approvals from the Arizona Departments of Environmental Quality and Water Resources to provide water to the property.

Already the Salt River Project is raising red flags about drilling wells on the property because of its proximity to the East Verde River. In a letter to the county, Shawn Lucas with SRP said the company has serious concerns. It is only 1.5 miles from the East Verde River and any wells on the property will conflict with the rights of SRP. An independent hydrology study was suggested.

Backup plans for water include buying it from the Town of Payson and piping it in or hauling it in, said Paul Brown, another representative of the developer.

Wastewater

The applicant is proposing to use a private wastewater collection and treatment plant. The proposed treatment includes the reuse of effluent with a private hauler to remove the remaining material for off-site management. The applicant will need approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for the wastewater system.

Emergency services

The applicant has had many discussions with the Town of Payson regarding emergency medical and fire service to the project.

Per a letter dated May 12 from Payson Fire Chief David Staub the town supports the project subject to the following conditions:

1) The developer of the property creates a fire district which will contract with the town to provide fire and emergency service

2) The developer will contribute $700,000 to the town for the purchase of a fire engine and equip it as needed by the town (the truck will be kept at a town facility).

3) The developer will ensure that all access roads within the development meet the International Fire Code.

4) The developer will provide fire hydrants throughout the community.

5) The developer will provide a water fire flow of 500 gallons per minute from all fire hydrants at 20 psi residual pressure that has a duration of two hours.

6) That all buildings in the development will be equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system that meets the use of the building which is required when there is no secondary access out of the development.

7) That the developer will dedicate two acres of land for the fire district to use for a future fire station.

Road improvements

Doll Baby Ranch Road, which is the primary access road between the property and the town, is a public, two-lane road. Approximately 1,000 feet of this road is within the town and roughly 2,000 feet is within the county’s jurisdiction. The applicant has discussed the required improvements of Doll Baby Ranch Road with the town and the county and has agreed to make the improvements. Part of the improvements will include road realignment and drainage crossings over the American Gulch drainage.

The U.S. Forest Service must sign off on the road improvement.

Due to the significant number of amenities proposed and the fact that the project will bring more affordable housing to the area, the Community Development staff, in its report to the supervisors, said it believes the project will have a positive overall impact on the community.

The changes approved by the Gila County Board of Supervisors July 27 are just the first step in a long process before they break ground.

The changes approved by the BOS: A minor amendment to the Gila County Comprehensive Plan to change the land use designation from residential to mixed use, an amendment to the Gila County Zoning Map to change the zoning designation from R1-D40 and R1L-D40 to Transitional Residential with a Planned Development Overlay and Trailer Overlay and a Reversion to Acreage related to the Canyon River Ranch subdivision plat.

Green Valley/Sahuarita

Green Valley/Sahuarita

Kingman

Kingman

Diagonal Wash Sewer Line Project Update

BY TSN 

KINGMAN – Beginning Monday, Aug 2, Diagonal Way will be closed westbound entering from Route 66. Diagonal Way will be open one way eastbound at Mallard Drive. The Gas n’ Grub will have access one way in and out eastbound from Diagonal Way. This closure will be in effect through August 20, 2021. The contractor, Eagle Mountain Construction, has been working with residents in the area regarding notification and access to homes.

The City of Kingman urges motorists to pay extra attention while driving in and around work zones, maintenance vehicles, and encourages the importance of maintaining safe and smart driving habits during the construction season, and always, when operating a motor vehicle.

The project to install a new gravity sewer interceptor between Diagonal Way to Castlerock Road, started December 7, 2020. This project is a new gravity sewer interceptor that will allow sewer flows to be conveyed from the areas of Kingman east of Route 66 and north of Interstate 40. The total cost for the project is $4.5 million.

Up-to-date street closures and detours are located on the City of Kingman’s engineering website page of interactive Maps through the city’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS): https://www.cityofkingman.gov/government/departments/engineering/gis

MEC warns members of potential scam

BY TSN 

BULLHEAD CITY – Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) members need to be aware of a potential scam. Members have been calling the MEC Member Services Office after receiving both an automated and live person call.

The recorded message and live person call had a similar dialogue: “This is the power company. If you don’t pay over the phone, we will disconnect” or a close variation. This is not a message from MEC. “The members calling in are taking the proper precaution,” said Jerry Hardy, Manager of Engineering & Operations “If in doubt, call. We do not want any of our members getting caught in such a scam.”

MEC will never ask for payment over the phone and does not disconnect after hours, on weekends, or MEC recognized holidays. “Do not provide personal or bank information over the phone unless you are 100 percent sure you know who you’re talking to,” Hardy said. “If you aren’t sure, hang up the phone and call the business in question.” Members may also call (928) 763-1100 to verify their account status during normal business hours.

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Mohave County Board of Supervisors OK $519M budget, no increase in tax levy

  • By BRANDON MESSICK
    Today’s News-Herald

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors has passed a $519 million budget, after almost four hours of discussion at this week’s meeting of the county’s governing board.

Employees in county departments including the sheriff’s office, the Mohave Superior Court, Mohave County probation and Community Services Departments, the public fiduciary, human resources, road maintenance and the county’s engineering department can expect raises this year. But while some county officials say those raises are overdue, others say it’s only the start of what will be necessary to make Mohave County competitive in the services it provides.

“We’ve let our employees slide for way too long,” said Mohave County Board Chairman Buster Johnson at Monday’s meeting. “The sheriff comes to almost every session to ask for more funding … there are fast food joints out there that are paying $16 an hour, and some are paying for two years of college for their employees. Our deputies make $20 per hour. If we’re not giving adequate pay, we’re not going to be able to efficiently provide county services to taxpayers.”

Raises are only the first step

The budget is expected to provide $430,721 for new Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies and vehicles, and almost $827,000 in raises for county law enforcement officials and $255,000 in raises for jail staff. Mohave County Animal Control officers will receive $26,566 in raises under the new budget, while Mohave Superior Court commissioners could receive an additional $30,370 in salary increases. The Superior Court will also receive $240,311 for five new court bailiffs.

The bulk of funding requested by Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster is expected to provide for additional deputies and staff raises to match compensation offered by other local law enforcement agencies. And to Schuster, it’s a problem that can either slowly get better, or become far worse for lack of attention.

“I find myself each year in a quandary, not knowing what the other county departments are doing,” said Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster. “We are so far behind the curb that we’re going to fail. We’ve worked so diligently to get to this point, and everywhere I go, people want more law enforcement on the streets … we’re rebuilding, but the coronavirus hurt us. One year of not giving raises to our deputies has put us two year behind, and it will continue if we don’t keep up.”

What goes down must come up

But there’s also the matter of maintaining those salaries, while still maintaining county services. The Mohave County Board of Supervisors rebuked a proposed quarter-cent sales tax in June, and the board weighed its options for or against a new property tax levy through much of Monday’s budget discussion.

Mohave County officials proposed a $0.076 increase to property tax levies over last year’s levy of $1.82. The new levy of $1.90 would have coincided with a four-year plan to fund capital projects, while investing $4 million into the county’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System liability.

County supervisors ultimately rejected the new levy on Wednesday, while denying the sheriff’s office an additional $2.8 million requested in this year’s budget session. The county’s property tax levy will remain at last year’s rate of $1.82 until the budget is decided again next August.

According to Supervisor Ron Gould, the situation may not be as positive as it sounds.

“Taxes are getting raised this year,” said Gould. “If you hold levies at the same rate, but the value of property goes up, then taxes will go up. I convinced them to hold the line on the television and library districts, but taxes will raise on the flood control and general fund.”

The tax levy of $1.82 was approved by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors by a vote of 3-2, with Gould and Johnson voting against.

No time for tea

Taxes may have to be raised in future fiscal years to meet rising costs of supplies and manpower to service the county’s needs. And according to Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith, doing so won’t be an easy decision for the county’s governing board.

“The County Attorney’s office is down three people,” Smith said. “Constituents don’t want to see a tax increase, and raising taxes wouldn’t just apply to them – it would apply to people who don’t live here, with Mohave County’s tourist business. Nobody wants to see taxes rise … but on the other hand, (the Board of Supervisors) is the largest employer in Mohave County. You have a duty that conflicts with what your constituents want, but it is a very difficult issue. You need tax revenue to provide the most important services, including public safety, public health and emergency services.”

And according to Johnson, Mohave County has long kept property taxes well below what the state of Arizona recommends.

“We’re 50 cents under what the state says we should have,” Johnson said. “We catch a lot of heat when we go the state and tell them to stop raiding our funds, when they say we’re not taxing our residents enough … but we’re the only ones who are keeping their tax rates low, and trying to give services for the least amount of money.”

MEC warns members of potential scam

BY TSN 

BULLHEAD CITY – Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) members need to be aware of a potential scam. Members have been calling the MEC Member Services Office after receiving both an automated and live person call.

The recorded message and live person call had a similar dialogue: “This is the power company. If you don’t pay over the phone, we will disconnect” or a close variation. This is not a message from MEC. “The members calling in are taking the proper precaution,” said Jerry Hardy, Manager of Engineering & Operations “If in doubt, call. We do not want any of our members getting caught in such a scam.”

MEC will never ask for payment over the phone and does not disconnect after hours, on weekends, or MEC recognized holidays. “Do not provide personal or bank information over the phone unless you are 100 percent sure you know who you’re talking to,” Hardy said. “If you aren’t sure, hang up the phone and call the business in question.” Members may also call (928) 763-1100 to verify their account status during normal business hours.

Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona

Recent traffic issues highlight access concerns for Bellemont

Adrian Skabelund

Local officials will be hearing from Bellemont residents during a community meeting this weekend on issues facing the growing community.

And access to and from the community may be top of mind for many residents, especially as traffic this summer on Interstate 40 has made traveling to and from the community exceedingly difficult at times.

Essentially all access to Bellemont is provided by Interstate 40 and a single interchange. And that can not only create real headaches for residents, but it may pose a potential risk to the community in the case of an emergency, said Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jon Paxton.

Paxton said local officials have long been aware of the access issue in Bellemont, but the growth of the community in recent years has made it even more relevant.

“Fire is probably the biggest threat here and that is a big concern of, if we had to evacuate, could we get everyone out that one exit?” Paxton said.

But those access issues are not just a problem in a natural disaster — as residents have found this summer, simply getting to work and running errands can be difficult.

This year, construction along I-40, the only developed road connecting Bellemont to the outside world, has forced traffic to a crawl between the community and Flagstaff on numerous occasions.

That construction, being worked on by the Arizona Department of Transportation, is set to last until fall.

Bellemont resident David McGee works at the Flagstaff Ranch Golf Club. Before this summer, getting there would have meant a 10-minute drive, but since the construction has closed westbound lanes in two places, that trip can often be closer to an hour.

McGee said luckily, he generally is at work early enough to beat the worst of the traffic. But his wife is not so lucky, and the back-up has become a constant factor determining when and how they go to run errands.

To get around the traffic, McGee said they have joined the many Bellemont residents who have been finding alternate routes to get to Flagstaff, primarily taking forest roads instead of the interstate.

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McGee said residents take forest roads north to Highway 180, coming out near Baderville before coming into Flagstaff from the north.

Although those roads are now restricted to only certain kinds of vehicles, McGee said there have been times over the summer that even regional traffic, including semi trucks, were attempting to get around the construction by going through the forest road.

On one Saturday in particular, there was bumper-to-bumper traffic, including large freight trucks, making its way through the forest in an attempt to avoid the construction.

“It’s been very frustrating and difficult too because you know, if you forget something in town that you need, well, do we go all the way through the forest service road?” McGee said. “There’s been some really nice people that are like, ‘Hey, I’m in town, I’m heading to this store and this store if anyone needs anything, let me know.’ That way people don’t have to sit through the traffic. […] The community there in Bellemont is great, but it’s still just kind of [frustrating] that we’ve kind of gotten to that point.”

On top of that, McGee said his wife is pregnant and although it is early now, he can’t imagine what it would be like if she was further along while the fastest route to the hospital during much of the day was on a forest road.

Paxton said so far, the sheriff’s department hasn’t been made aware of any times the traffic has impeded either private or emergency vehicles this summer.

But Andy Keenan, co-owner of Skyline Waste, which picks up trash from about 100 homes in Bellemont, said there have been instances when the access issues and traffic have impacted trash pick-up.

Keenan said the traffic has forced his drivers to alter their time frames or risk running out of hours before their routes are complete. And at times, it has meant they are unable to collect trash from residents.

“I either had to sacrifice not picking up Bellemont or not picking up the rest of the route for the day. So and then we’ve had to alter our time frames going forward for as long as that construction is there,” Keenan said. “We’re picking up their trash and recycling first thing in the morning so that we can get back through the traffic to continue the rest of our day without spending so much time sitting in that traffic.”

The meeting is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday and will be held at the Ponderosa Fire Station at 11951 Shadow Mountain Drive in Bellemont.

Paxton said the meeting, organized by the Sheriff’s Office, is meant to give residents the opportunity to speak with officials from various agencies and county departments, include county engineering staff, the Forest Service, the Department of Public Safety and the Ponderosa Fire District.

In addition to issues of access and traffic, truckers dumping trash and transient campers causing fire risks will also be discussed.

Phoenix

Phoenix

Lennar Announces Innovative Next Gen Homes Coming to North Peoria

Lennar, Arizona’s largest homebuilder, is bringing its popular Next Gen home to the Northwest Valley.

Next Gen homes are basically a home within a home, giving residents the balance of family privacy and togetherness under one roof. Featuring two homes under one roof, this design allows residents to share their home with loved ones, whether it be aging parents or long-term guests.

With the coronavirus pandemic and more people looking for alternatives for elderly parents or work from home options, this multigenerational concept has taken off. Next Gen units can serve as fully functioning home offices, a state of the art gym, a home for aging relatives, or even a classroom that keeps kids engaged and learning.

These Next Gen homes are open in Peoria’s new 1,300-acre Mystic community, located just north of Happy Valley Road and west of the Loop 303.

“As Peoria continues to grow and maintains its reputation for a truly family friendly community, it’s a perfect fit for our Next Gen home concept,” says Alan Jones, Division President for Lennar Homes.
Lennar’s Next Gen homes range from 2,649 to 3,520 square feet and offer amenities such as Wi-Fi connectivity, green building and smart home features, and Energy Star appliances. Home prices start from the low $500,000’s.

Lennar sold more Next Gen homes last year during the pandemic than in any other year since Lennar pioneered the Next Gen concept in Phoenix in 2012. Nearly 500 Next Gen homes were sold in 2020 alone in the Phoenix market, accounting for more than 25% of all Lennar sales.

‘With the realities of home schooling, working from home and having parents and grandparents living in the family residence now, this project was accelerated due to what’s happening in the world today,” adds Jones. “Lennar will continue to identify consumer needs based on the lifestyle our clients are living today and design homes that meet those needs. These innovative floor plans better reflect the way families are expected to live, work, play and learn in the 2020’s. This is definitely our home of the future.”

For more information on Lennar’s new home community at Mystic, visit lennar.com/New-Homes/Arizona/Phoenix/Peoria/Mystic.

New 26-Story Multifamily Building Breaks Ground in Phoenix

inbusinessPHX.com

Real estate development firm Hubbard Street Group and capital partner Cresset Real Estate Partners today broke ground on a new multifamily project in Phoenix. Located on the Southeast corner of 6th Street and Garfield Street in the Roosevelt Row Arts District, the new Skye on 6th development will feature 309 units spanning 26 floors with approximately 6,500 square feet of ground floor retail. The project will be LEED certified and is expected to be completed by Summer 2023.

“We believe Skye on 6th will establish a new standard of modern luxury living in Phoenix with a wellness-focused approach, efficiently designed units and an expansive amenity offering located in the heart of the burgeoning Roosevelt Row Arts District and adjacent to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” said Kage Brown, Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Hubbard Street Group. “We are extremely bullish on the Phoenix market and are excited to establish a local presence with Skye on 6th.”

“Phoenix is an incredible market and we’re excited to break ground on this new project,” said Avy Stein, Cresset’s Founder and Co-Chairman. “We’ve been investing in opportunity zones since day one and Skye on 6th is something that caught our eye immediately. The area is rapidly transforming and attracting young renters from all over the country. It’s located near several transportation hubs and is surrounded by a growing and diverse set of employers, from cutting edge medical facilities, to universities, to a large legal and financial services presence and an emerging tech community. We think Phoenix is a great place to live and work with endless potential.”

Additional Facts on Skye on 6th:

  • Floorplans include studio, one- and two-bedroom, and penthouse units on the top residential floor.
  • Amenities include a pool deck with cabanas, state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga studio, steam room and sauna, co-working amenity area, outdoor amenity terrace, dog run, party room, chef’s grade kitchen for entertainers, package storage room, bicycles storage, indoor parking and storage lockers.
  • Located within Roosevelt Row – a highly sought-after entertainment, arts, retail and restaurant scene.
  • Adjacent to the expanding Phoenix Biomedical Campus as well as the growing footprint of the University of Arizona Medical School Campus
  • Close proximity to highways, light rail, airport, and several office submarkets.
  • One of only six Type I construction multifamily high-rise properties in Phoenix.
  • Shepley Bulfinch is the architect and Clayco is the general contractor.

Cresset Partners, led by private equity entrepreneurs Avy Stein and Eric Becker, united with Diversified Real Estate Capital, led by Larry Levy, to create Cresset Diversified Real Estate, a joint venture partnership focused on core real estate development investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Cresset Diversified Real Estate recently restructured and formed Cresset Real Estate Partners. Founded by a team of real estate entrepreneurs, Cresset Real Estate Partners manages a rapidly growing real estate portfolio—currently valued at over $3 billion—on behalf of institutional and family office investors.

Cresset Real Estate Partners is currently raising the Cresset Diversified QOZ Fund II, which targets opportunity zone projects with the potential for substantial risk-adjusted, tax-advantaged returns. Fund II recently closed on its first deal—two multifamily buildings in the Seattle metropolitan area—and has one deal under contract and another deal under LOI. Previously, the Cresset Diversified partnership launched its first fund, Cresset Diversified QOZ Fund I, in December 2018 and raised $465 million to invest in seven institutional-quality projects located in top-tier markets around the country. *

*The contents hereof are not to be used as the basis for making any investment decision and are not a recommendation of, or solicitation for, the subscription, purchase, or sale of any security, including the fund mentioned herein.

Founded in 2016 by real estate veteran John McLinden, Hubbard Street Group (formerly Centrum Partners, founded 1980) is a real estate investment and development firm based in Chicago that is passionate about creating residential, retail and office developments with a focus on urban infill sites. The Principals at HSG have extensive national development experience with over 12.5 million sf developed, 5,000+ residential units and over $3 billion in aggregate capitalization for these projects.

Prescott Area

Prescott Area

City of Prescott Seeks Public Input Regarding City Hall Redevelopment

By City of Prescott

Following the purchase of a new City Hall Building at 201 N. Montezuma Street, the city plans to pursue requests for qualifications (RFQ) and then requests for proposals (RFP) from the private sector on the redevelopment of the current City Hall site at 201 S. Cortez Street.

The city is seeking public input on concepts for the City Hall redevelopment. These ideas and concepts will be shared with the Facility Optimization and Property Usage Commission and the City Council and will be taken into account while developing the RFQ and RFP process.

All are encouraged to participate in the survey here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/PrescottCityHall.

The survey will remain open until September 17, 2021. There will also be a dedicated information page on the City’s website, which will be online within a week.

Prescott Valley to Begin General Plan Update Process

By Staff 

The Town of Prescott Valley this summer will begin the process of updating its General Plan. Voters approved the previous plan, General Plan 2025, in March 2013, and by State law, the Town must update the document every 10 years.

The General Plan serves as a guide for the Town’s physical, economic and social development. It is a compilation of goals, policies and implementation strategies reflecting the vision of the Town’s citizens. The Plan is used by staff, the Planning & Zoning Commission, other Town boards and commissions, and the Town Council to make land use, public infrastructure, and other development-related decisions involving economic vitality, environmental quality, and other aspects of life in the community.

During a July 8 General Plan 2035 presentation to Town Council by Interim Community Development Director Eric Fitzer, Mayor Kell Palguta asked that education and public safety elements be added to the plan. Other plan elements generally include Land Use, Open Space, Growth, Environmental Planning and Water Resources, Cost of Development, Housing, and Economic Development.

The Town proposes to review and update the plan over the next 10 months, including changes to text, maps, charts, and diagrams. Updated Census data will be included as it becomes available. An extensive Public Participation Plan will include a series of work-study meetings with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

It is anticipated that the new Prescott Valley General Plan 2035 could be scheduled for Town Council consideration and adoption in June 2022, then placed on the General Election Ballot for citizen consideration in November 2022.

For more information and updates as the General Plan 2035 process unfolds, please visit www.pvaz.net or watch the Town of Prescott Valley Facebook and Twitter pages.

Mark Your Calendars for Dewey-Humboldt’s Fall Clean Up Day

By Staff 

Starting on Tuesday, September 7, and continuing through Thursday, September 9, the town of Dewey-Humboldt will be accepting discarded items. Hours of operation will be from 8:00 am-6:00 pm.

www.dhaz.gov

There will be two locations, the town lot at 12938 E. Main St and the Maintenance Yard at S. Dana and E. Third St.

At the E Main St location, dumpsters will be available to handle your discards. Yard clippings, pine needles, and horehounds will only be accepted in trash bags. Items that will not be accepted are: tires, oils, hazardous chemicals, refrigerators/freezers, with freon/coolant canisters attached, household trash, and batteries.

At the Maintenance Yard location, we will be accepting the brush.

Please contact Bruce Smith at (928)632-7362

Scottsdale

Scottsdale

Redevelopment plans put forward for Old Town hotel site

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Site and development plans have been submitted in Scottsdale for redevelopment of a 3.87-acre parcel on Indian School Road in Old Town Scottsdale.

The property at 7110 E. Indian School Road is currently home to the Howard Johnson Old Town hotel, The Venue event venue and the Kimsey Building. The latter was designed by Ralph Haver and was known as the Triangle Building.

The new plans call for a mixed-used development with a 168-room hotel, 190 residential units and restaurant space.

Utah-based PEG Cos. (Robert Schmidt, Ryan Barker and Matt Krambule) submitted designs and site plans with the City of Scottsdale. Plans call for preservation of the Kimsey / Triangle building as part of the redevelopment.

Gensler is part of the architecture and design team for the Scottsdale project.

Lennar Announces Innovative Next Gen Homes Coming to North Scottsdale

Lennar, Arizona’s largest homebuilder, is bringing its popular Next Gen home to Scottsdale.

Next Gen homes are basically a home within a home, giving residents the balance of family privacy and togetherness under one roof. Featuring two homes under one roof, this design allows residents to share their home with loved ones, whether it be aging parents or long-term guests.

With the coronavirus pandemic and more people looking for alternatives for elderly parents or work from home options, this multigenerational concept has taken off. Next Gen units can serve as fully functioning home offices, a state of the art gym, a home for aging relatives, or even a classroom that keeps kids engaged and learning.

These Next Gen homes are now open in Scottsdale’s Paseo at Pinnacle Peak community, in a prime location near the intersection of Pinnacle Peak and Miller Roads.
“As Scottsdale continues to grow and develop world class amenities, it’s a perfect fit for our Next Gen home concept,” says Alan Jones, Division President for Lennar Homes.

Lennar’s Next Gen home is 2,649 square feet and offers amenities such as Wi-Fi connectivity, green building and smart home features, and Energy Star appliances. Home prices start from the upper $800,000’s.

Lennar sold more Next Gen homes last year during the pandemic than in any other year since Lennar pioneered the Next Gen concept in Phoenix in 2012. Nearly 500 Next Gen homes were sold in 2020 alone in the Phoenix market, accounting for more than 25% of all Lennar sales.

“With the realities of home schooling, working from home, and having parents and grandparents living in the family residence now, this project was accelerated due to what’s happening in the world today,” adds Jones. “Lennar will continue to identify consumer needs based on the lifestyle our clients are living today and design homes that meet those needs. These innovative floor plans better reflect the way families are expected to live, work, play and learn in the 2020’s. This is definitely our home of the future.”

For more information on Lennar’s new home community at Paseo at Pinnacle Peak, visit lennar.com/New-Homes/Arizona/Phoenix/Scottsdale/Paseo-at-Pinnacle-Peak.

400-Unit Multifamily Dev. Planned for Scottsdale

Credit: ORB Architecture, LLC/City of Scottsdale

By Tasha Anderson for AZBEX

A new multifamily development is being planned on approximately 18 acres of underutilized land within the Cavasson Master Plan site in Scottsdale.

Plans were recently submitted to the city and Owner, Grayhawk Development, is requesting approval of the site plan, landscape plan and building elevations for the three-story rental project called Grayhawk Residences at Cavasson.

Located at 7701 E. Legacy Boulevard, Grayhawk Residences at Cavasson will consist of 400 units, consisting of a mix of 24 studio, 124 one-bedroom, 186 two-bedroom and 66 three-bedroom units.

Grayhawk and developer, Alliance Residential, plan to keep the maximum building height at about 45 feet and maintain a contemporary architectural design with the classical base-middle-top composition.

“The design strategies, high quality materials and pronounced architectural expression will create an iconic project that enhances Cavasson’s economic and cultural presence,” according to the project documents. “The project will also adhere to sustainable building practices, including Scottsdale’s Sensitive Design Program requirements.”

The residential onsite amenities will include a pool and spa area, outdoor kitchen, recreation center, great room, bicycle and pet support services, mail and parcel storage areas, transit lounge area, and a fitness center.

Improvements such as drainage, infrastructure and transportation development, including anticipated access points, are currently underway.

The site is designed with pedestrians in mind. “The main internal pedestrian alley runs parallel to Legacy Road, serving as the primary pedestrian corridor within the project while also creating a great, public space,” the documents state. “This corridor is carefully crafted to allow spacious private and public patios, shaded pedestrian walkway and opportunities for larger events. A grove-like arrangement of trees overlays this corridor, creating a lush oasis that, along with the hardscape layout, defines this crucial public space.”

The project still needs to go before the City of Scottsdale’s Development Review Board for approval. A date has yet to be determined.

Another Cavasson Multifamily Development

Plans for another multifamily development within the Cavasson Master Plan, called Cavasson Apartments, are currently on hold.

The project, owned by Nationwide Realty Investors, is located at the SWC of Hayden Road and Legacy Boulevard and includes 298 units in a five-story complex. BEX researchers obtained that these apartments have been on hold for more than a year, and there is currently no known restart date.

Sedona Verde Valley

Sedona Verde Valley

Sedona Fire District supports city’s change

By Ron Eland 

Now with one successful public-private partnership to build affordable workforce housing under its belt — which is now in the works — the city is hoping to do it again. But a 50-year-old obstacle stands in its way for the time being.

On Tuesday, July 20, the city of Sedona asked the Sedona Fire District’s Governing Board for its support in helping change the covenants, conditions and restrictions for prop­erty in that area. By a unanimous vote, the board did just that.

As for what the city was seeking from SFD and others, prior to the meeting, City Manager Karen Osburn said there are 49 commercial and multi-family parcels that are part of the Southwest Center subdivision established in 1972. As part of the establishment of the subdivision, certain land use restrictions were put in place.

“This means regardless of what might be permitted by property zoning, these restrictions supersede,” she said. “The subdivision does not function as an active association and it appears most property owners are not even aware of its existence. Still, the deed restrictions remain in place and it requires two-thirds of those property owners to change them.”

While nothing is in the works, the city believes the two parcels it owns next to city hall, known as the Sinagua prop­erty, could be appropriate for workforce housing on its 1.54 acres.

The parcels are surrounded by commercial, lodging and government uses, all of which have employees.

“Given the difficulty employers are having finding employees, in part due to lack of available and afford­able housing options, this use would not only be compat­ible with the surrounding uses, but we believe would be complementary,” Osburn said. “Unfortunately, these two parcels, amongst approximately 35 of the 49 parcels, have restrictions that prohibit the use of the properties for housing.”

The property is zoned for multi-family. So if there were no deed restrictions through this association, the zoning itself would allow for work­force housing. However, the deed restrictions further restrict the parcels.

“At one time everyone in the association agreed to voluntarily put further restrictions on the parcels,” Osburn said. “It is just like a residential homeowners association that prohibits short-term vacation rentals even though state and city law allows it.”

That’s why it takes the other members of the asso­ciation to change what was previously agreed to a half-century ago.

The city has sent an initial round of letters to the 49 owners but received little response. Because the city works closely with the fire district on many things, staff reached out to request their support for the CC&R change.

“Right now we don’t have staff to dedicate to this project, but we will attempt additional outreach as staff resources become avail­able,” Osburn said. “I can’t say how long it might take to research ownership, make contact, arrange meetings, sufficiently explain the situ­ation, answer questions, etc., to see if we can get support, but this is likely a long-term project.

“We believe the effort is worth the investment over time to at least have the option to develop those parcels with housing for workforce in the future.”

If you own property in this association and wish to learn more, contact Osburn at KOsburn@sedonaaz. gov.

Keep Sedona Beautiful’s Native Plant Workshop Series perfect guide for landscape planning

In 1981, Richard and Monique Sidy’s garden was desert grassland. Today it is a treasure trove of trees, wildflowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The Keep Sedona Beautiful’s Native Plant Workshop Series offered a tour of the garden to 12 lucky guests on a summer morning this July. Shade was everywhere on this tour because Richard and Monique purchased 50 tree seedlings from the Forest Service Nursery for $25 in the 1980s, and now those trees surround the house and property, providing both shade and soil nutrients.

The property is divided into zones from dry/sunny to wet/shady, with in-between zones, such as a rainwater pond zone. Richard explained how a 6” to 8” mulch layer provides a chemical free weed barrier, and how the home’s roof provides up to 1,200 gallons of water with only a 1” rain.

The water collects in depressions on the property. Richard and Monique have no trash collection; all their organic waste is turned back onto the property as compost or mulch.

As guests walked the pathways, they learned tips and tricks from Richard, such as he need for an 8’ fence to keep deer out and hanging old compact disks in fruit trees to keep birds away. However, birds are welcome to live, forage and nest on the property and, with the large lizard population, make up their pest management system. Most of the plants are native or drought tolerant.

At the end of the tour, some guests left with a promise of seedlings this fall from their royal purple smoke tree. Everyone felt good about spending time with Richard and his garden and returned home with practical knowledge about plants and restorative gardening in the Sedona area.

A nonprofit since 1972, Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc. is committed to protecting and sustaining the unique scenic beauty and natural environment of the Greater Sedona Area, now and in the future.

KSB activities range from education and advocacy to hands-on tasks such as litter lifting, as well as preserving the quality of Oak Creek and maintaining Sedona’s dark, star-studded night skies.

For more information about Keep Sedona Beautiful, please visit http://www.keepsedonabeautiful.org/.

WeSERV – East

WeSERV – East

Lofts project progresses in East Valley

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Development plans for a 21-unit attached residential development are progressing in Mesa.

The Mesa Planning & Zoning Board approved a rezoning request as well as preliminary plat plans on July 28 for a new development called the Lofts at Superstition Vistas.

The project is slated for a vacant property near Southern Avenue and Sossaman Road.

Cardon Hiatt Investments LLC & CB Equiti, LLC own the 1.77-acre East Valley property.

The property is currently zoned for Limited Commercial. The request calls for a Multiple Residence designation.

Design plans call for attached residences that could be priced in the $350,000 range, according to documents provided to the city.

“The average unit size is 1,732 sq. ft. divided between 6 buildings. Each unit is two stories with three bedrooms, two baths, a two-car garage, and a 120 sq. ft. patio,” according to city documents.

Approvals for the project now go to the Mesa City Council.

Gilbert to hold hearing on proposed BTR development

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

The Town of Gilbert is looking at annexing 14 acres of land near the southeast corner of Recker Road and Warner Road for a planned for-rent, residential development.

The Gilbert Town Council will hold a public hearing on annexing the county land into the town’s boundaries and rezoning the parcel for residential and multifamily use.

Keystone Homes / Holy Land Corp. wants to build as many as 157 bungalow style and two-story attached residential, for-rent homes on the East Valley site, according to city documents.

The property is currently undeveloped and has an industrial / airport zoning designation from the county.

The for-rent subdivisions continue to be popular with renters, investors and developers throughout suburban Phoenix submarkets.

The hearing will be held Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Tucson

Tucson

Pima County ramps up program to help tenants facing eviction

Steve Jess

Pima County is ramping up a program to help tenants facing eviction.

Emergency Eviction Legal Services can provide a lawyer for tenants who can’t afford one.

Andrew Flagg, with the County’s Community & Workforce Development Department, says hundreds or thousands of Pima County residents could face eviction after a federal moratorium expired on Sunday.

“In a normal year we would see 12 to 15,000 eviction filings,” Flagg said. “Somewhere around 20% of those tenants would actually show up for the court hearing, and my understanding is we’ve seen an increase in the number of tenants to appear at court because they now have the option to do that virtually.”

The legal assistance is being funded out of COVID relief funds allocated by congress.

The program is only intended for tenants who need an attorney.

But both tenants and landlords can benefit from another county program, which provides guides, called navigators, who help parties negotiate their way through the court system, or need other assistance, such help with finding a job or making a rent payment.

Casitas could be coming to your neighborhood

By: Luzdelia Caballero

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Whether you call them casitas, mother-in-law apartments, or granny pads — accessory dwelling units (ADU) could be coming to your neighborhood.

ADUs are independent housing units that need to have a kitchen, bathroom, living area, and sleeping space.

In our area, they’re better known as casitas.

They can be detached, attached or interior to the primary residence.

Koren Manning is the Planning Administrator with the City of Tucson Planning & Development Services. She says casitas can help boost the amount of housing in an area, without taking up any more space.

“It’s a way of providing affordable housing. Number two, accessory dwelling units are a model that have worked well for a lot of people who want to age in place. Maybe move into a smaller unit. And it’s a way of developing and growing as a community that can be more environmentally sustainable and climate friendly,” said Manning.

Right now, the zoning code doesn’t allow casitas to be built in the city, but a new proposal could change that (with some rules).

Under the proposal:

  • One casita can be built on any residential lot in the city (meaning a lot with one or two homes)
  • The maximum size of a casita would be 1,000 square feet.
  • One parking space would be required per unit
  • Each newly constructed unit would be required to have a cool roof

“I think it’s just too fast…” said Tucsonan Hannah Glasston during the virtual public hearing.
Glasston is asking for more time, saying she’s worried her neighbors will move if casitas start going up.

Diana Lett shares that worry.

“Pre-1948 ADUs are vastly smaller than 1000 square feet. So we;re talking about a proposal that would cause a huge irreversible damage to the character of our neighborhood,” said Lett.

Though there are others that are in favor of building casitas.

“I look forward to it being affordable, because I think our barrio people will appreciate it,” a woman said during the virtual public hearing.

Tucson Planning and Development says they’re also working on an amnesty program for folks who want to build casitas on their property.

“That will help either provide some technical assistance, potentially some financial assistance as well, to allow for people bring their building up to code and get those permits,” added Daniel Bursuck, the Principal Planner for the City of Tucson Planning & Development Services.

Manning says building a unit from scratch can cost between $50,000 and $150,000.

WeSERV – West

WeSERV – West

Homebuilders quickly grab more lots at West Valley development, phase 1 nearly sold out

By Angela Gonzales  –  Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal

Brookfield Residential’s 1,130-acre master-planned community in Avondale is selling houses so quickly, it is nearly sold out of its first phase of 461 homes.

Called Alamar, the community has been instrumental in the city of Avondale topping the list of cities with the biggest annual growth in single-family homebuilding permits in 2020.

So far, homebuilders have sold 363 homes within Alamar, said John Bradley, president of Brookfield Residential Arizona.

Homes are being sold so quickly that homebuilders are deliberately slowing their pace, he said.

“We would be well sold out [entirely] but builders are trying to meter it out,” Bradley said.

After breaking ground on the development in April 2019, home prices started out at a little over $300,000, but are now being sold in the high $300,000s, he said.

Brookfield has invested $200 million to develop Alamar, which is entitled for 3,695 homes.

While 20 to 30% of the people buying homes at Alamar are from out of state — mainly California — 42% of the homes that are sold are coming from Avondale residents.

Bradley said he attributes that high number as a move-up opportunity for Avondale residents.

Homebuilders already are purchasing lots for the second phase, which will include 346 lots, Bradley said.

“We will deliver them in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said.

Arlington, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc., Scottsdale-based Taylor Morrison Home Corp. (NYSE: TMHC), Gilbert-based Capital West Homes and Addison, Texas-based Gehan Homes will build all 346 of those homes in phase two, he said.

Alamar is among 149 active master-planned communities in the metro Phoenix market, said Jim Daniel, president of RL Brown Housing Report.

During the first half of 2020, 9,567 single-family homebuilding permits have been issued and 7,314 home closings have been tracked by RL Brown Housing Report.

As Brookfield sees success at Alamar, the developer is revving up plans to build more homes on the east side of town, where it teamed up with D.R. Horton to win a bid to pay $245.5 million for 2,783 acres. Read more about that here.

House flippers love Peoria

By Your Valley

Peoria has been rated among the top cities to flip a home, according to personal-finance website WalletHub.

The city was ranked no. 3 behind Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Missoula, Montana.

Gilbert came in at no. 9 to round out the top 10. Other Arizona cities included Glendale at 23, Tempe at 34, Phoenix at 35, Scottsdale at 43 and Mesa at 54.

“Flipping” is a real estate term for buying a property with the purpose of reselling it for a profit, which is generated through appreciation of the home’s value or repairs and renovations.

READ ON:

White Mountain

White Mountain

Time to change voting district boundaries

SHOW LOW — Local residents voiced their views regarding voting districts last Saturday morning in the Show Low City Council Chambers at the invitation of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission public hearing.

Many passionate locals took to the podium to paint an auditory picture of the predicaments they had recently faced where they felt their elected officials were too far away and seemed unable to respond to their needs as constituents. Former state senator Sylvia Allen provided a map to the commission following her comments.

Molly Ottman, who also spoke at the hearing said, “When our area was flooded in Linden, we were on our own. We deserve representation.”

Information was presented by the commission both in person and virtually about the redrawing of Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts. Public comment received during this and other meetings on the tour will be used by the IRC to help inform the drawing of new district boundaries. Commission Chair Erika Neuberg urged that all Arizonans either attend one of these important hearings or submit comments electronically to ensure that their voices are heard.

Over the next few months the Commission will be making decisions about Arizonans’ future voting districts. Voting districts determine what district a resident will vote in for representation in the US Congress and the Arizona State Legislature. Redistricting is necessary as it takes into account any population changes from the last ten years and aims to create districts of equal population.

One of the goals of the IRC public hearings is to solicit public input about communities of interest. There are forms available at the public hearings, as well as on the IRC website which can be used to define an area that you feel should be considered a “community of interest.” A community of interest is defined as a geographic area comprised of people who have common social or economic interests, shared characteristics or experiences, similar issues or impacts of government policies, or otherwise identify as a geographic area with a shared benefit from being kept undivided in a single district. Citizens also need to keep in mind minimum population requirements as defined by both the US and the Arizona Constitutions as they make their recommendations.

History of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

From 1912 to 2000, Arizona’s Legislature controlled redistricting. Arizona voters passed Proposition 106 in the 2000 General Election, amending the Arizona Constitution to create a five-member commission to redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries based upon 2020 census data. The IRC is made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent Chair elected by the other commissioners. The chair must not be a member of either party already represented on the Commission. Of the original four members, no more than two may live in the same county.

Proposition 106 replaced the old process in which the State Legislature established the districts.

Independent Commission current members

• Erika Neuberg, Chair, Independent, Maricopa

• Derrick Watchman, Vice Chair, Democrat, Apache

• Shereen Lerner, Democrat, Maricopa

• David Mehl, Republican, Pima

• Douglas York, Republican, Maricopa

Diné subdivision still lacks running water, electricity

By Arlyssa Becenti | Jul 30, 2021 | News |     

Utah Lt. Gov. Diedre Henderson took her first visit to Westwater Subdivision and listened to the Navajos living there argue “they’ll believe it when they see it.”

That sentiment to politicians, whether they be state, local, county or tribal, is a valid and much said one when it comes to the promise of getting water and electricity to those who live in the subdivision.

This chronic issue of Westward Subdivision, which is yards away from Blanding, Utah, is well known. It gets much attention, but no actual solution.

On July 22, President Jonathan Nez met with Henderson, Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks, Utah State Sen. David Hinkins, Utah State Rep. Phil Lyman, and San Juan County Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy, to tour the subdivision.

The 120 acres was purchased by the Navajo Nation in 1986 and still lacks basic infrastructure for the homes of 27 Navajo families.

“It was my first time there,” Henderson said. “It’s astonishing that in 2021 we have a community in this state that is in so much need. We are committed to solving the problem and get basic infrastructure and resources the community needs.

“I know that’s been promised for along time now but we are committed to bringing the parties together who are working on this and making progress to getting it done,” she said.

Other Utah politicians are familiar with the plight of Westwater. Oaks, who is also the chair of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, said his predecessor, the former Utah State Treasurer David Damschen was very much involved.

“My predecessor really spearheaded this and was instrumental in getting donations from the state,” Oaks said. “It’s heart wrenching. I’m glad to see the momentum that has been built up over the last couple years, and I think COVID slowed things down a little bit. We are determined to keep things moving in the right directions.”

The Utah Legislature approved $500,000 in the state’s fiscal 2022 budget to help bring electricity to the Westwater Subdivision, which was then signed into law by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is currently working with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems and the city of Blanding on several options, including the possibility of extending power line infrastructure from Blanding’s electric system to the Westwater Subdivision.

Kenneth Marboy, chairman of the San Juan County Commission, told Henderson, Oaks and others in attendance that the people of Westwater Subdivision are forgotten and at this point are skeptical because of many broken promises that water and electricity will actually be brought to them.

“People should enjoy their lives like everybody else with running water,” Maryboy said. “The bottom line is no one wants to do nothing for them. We’ve been trying and asking what we can do to help these people and nothing has happened.

“You go over there if you ask them they’ll say, ‘If I get water then I get water, but other than that the hell with it,’” he said. “‘We’ve been sitting here for so long we are getting tired of it.’”

Albert Cly Jr. has lived in Westwater since 1948 and remembers when it had an abundance of cedar trees, shades houses and hogans as opposed to how the area looks today.

Even with the changes over the decades, one thing remains the same – Westwater still lacks running water and electricity.

Cly lived in Salt Lake City for work but when he retired 20 years ago, it was Westwater he retired to.

Describing the people who once lived in the area and who have passed on, Cly became emotional thinking of them and how they wanted running water and electricity.

“There’s no hope with the water,” Cly said. “To me I’ve been living here since 1948 and I watched the people suffer. We got a lot of flat land out here. If we had the water I know a lot of Navajo people would’ve liked to plant stuff there. I think they were wishing for that, but they’re all gone now.”

Cly continues to travel to Blanding to haul water but his niece, Cindy Gonzalez, helps him and other elderly with water hauling. She has done so for the past four years, since she moved back from Salt Lake City.

“It takes about an hour to do one load,” Gonzalez explained. “Get the tank, go to town, get it filled, come back, unload it, go back and keep doing the same thing.”

Nez said this is either the third or fourth meeting with Henderson and she’s been receptive to Utah Navajo resident issues. He said there are options to help with supplying Westwater with water, which include Blanding annexing Westwater.

Another option is paying $3 million to drill a well to get a water system there, but this would cost more if its not through Indian Health Service.

The issue with going through IHS is it already has a priority list in place, so this could take years.

If they go with a private contractor, it will likely cost more than $3 million.

The Navajo Department of Water Resources and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority are currently evaluating several options to determine the most feasible way of constructing the infrastructure needed to deliver water to the homes.

“We are here to let the lieutenant governor know that she is an intricate part of getting this project completely with her help,” Nez added. “There is a lot of tension still here. I think this could be a project that can heal a lot of that tension.

“(It) was an opportunity to show her the conditions that many Navajo families live in everyday and we know that this is the case for many people across the Navajo Nation,” he said. “By having everyone at the table together, we have a unique opportunity to deliver clean water to families and communities.”

Yuma

Yuma

Realtor Branden Freeman joins P&Z Commission

By MARA KNAUB SUN STAFF WRITER

Realtor Branden Freeman is the latest member to be appointed to the Yuma Planning and Zoning Commission. He volunteered for the position in order to serve the community.

“I am always searching for additional ways to give back to the community and had been researching the city’s various boards and commissions over the past year,” Freeman explained.

He then decided to participate in the city’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy prior to applying for a commission. The in-depth course gives citizens an overview of the city’s various functions, departments, services and facilities, which can serve as a springboard for local activism and public service on a city board, commission and council.

“During my research and throughout my time in the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, I felt I could make the biggest impact with my knowledge and expertise on the Planning and Zoning Commission,” Freeman said. “Being a Realtor, I often hear from both the development community and the general public. This provides a unique viewpoint to understand and help balance needs of both groups.”

His biggest concern for the city is the lack of housing, not just affordable housing but in general. “I hope, as a commissioner, I can ensure the current and future housing needs of the community are addressed,” he said.

As a realtor, Freeman works mostly with residential and property management. He is actively involved with the Yuma Association of Realtors and is on the Community Outreach Committee and Realtors of Arizona Political Action Committee.

Freeman and his husband are also small business owners. “We own a home-based bakery and charcuterie business, with hopes of opening a storefront later this year,” he said.

His free time is spent with family barbecuing or enjoying local restaurants with his husband.

City introduces nine ordinances

  • By MARA KNAUB SUN STAFF WRITER

The Yuma City Council recently introduced nine proposed ordinances, some of which relate to electric scooters and similar devices and an easement for a future multi-use path and student pickup and drop-off lane.

To alleviate a hazard to both school children and motorists, the city and Yuma Elementary School District No. 1 have agreed on the construction of a dedicated pickup and drop-off lane along Avenue 10E, near Sunrise Elementary School.

An ordinance up for adoption on July 21 would grant an easement along the west side of Avenue 10E, south of 28th Street, for a pickup and drop-off lane and a multiuse pathway as part of a city roadway improvement project.

During the design of the city project on Avenue 10E from the North Frontage Road to 28th Street, the project team coordinated with the school district due to the proximity to Sunrise Elementary and Ron Watson Middle schools.

During this process, unusual congestion and pedestrian activity was identified at the intersection of Avenue 10E and 28th Street during drop-off and pickup times at Sunrise Elementary School. According to a staff report, parents dropping off and picking up students were parking along both sides of Avenue 10E and across 28th Street, causing visibility and operating problems on the road and creating “uncontrolled” crossing points as children ran back and forth across the road.

The district is unable to participate in the construction cost of the dedicated lane but is willing to provide the needed land under a no-cost easement dedicated to the city, facilitating construction of this “much-needed” safety enhancement, staff said.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late August and be completed by the end of January.

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS

One of the ordinances introduced to the public is a text amendment to the city code that would remove inconsistencies and outdated processes relating to the use and operation of bicycles, electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric miniature scooters, electric skateboards, motorized skateboards, motorized play vehicles and similar devices.

The city has been updating the code as it relates to these devices after Bird, a company headquartered in Santa Monica, California, announced its intention to rent out electric scooters in Yuma. The devices arrived in late February and can be seen parked at corners around the city. They are equipped with GPS devices, and Bird fleet managers retrieve, recharge and redistribute them to the appropriate sites.

On Feb. 17, the council adopted an ordinance regulating the use and operation of these devices. Staff has since become aware of an inconsistent provision relating to rear-facing lamps as well as a description of a registration process that is no longer being used. As a result, an amendment to the ordinance is necessary to remove the inconsistent provision and to remove the registration process.

In response to a question from Councilwoman Ema Lea Shoop, City Attorney Richard Files explained that in the past the police department required the registration of bicycles and these devices but it eliminated the procedure years ago.

Noting that some members of the public might not be aware why scooters are parked around the city, Councilman Mike Shelton requested that information be put out to the public. City Administrator Phil Rodriguez agreed to have the city release more information on the scooters, especially from a safety point.

The following ordinances were proposed after routine reviews of the code turned up typographical and editorial errors as well as a need to update the regulations:

• A text amendment to update erosion and sediment control code language to be in compliance with current requirements and processes. The proposed changes update to current information, eliminate requirements that no longer exist and make other minor corrections.

• A text amendment to the code regulating stormwater runoff in new developments to be in compliance with current requirements and processes. The proposed changes update references to current information, allow greater flexibility in stormwater system design, decrease the length of time standing water may remain in retention basins in compliance with health department recommendations to reduce the possibility of mosquito breeding and water stagnation, and make other minor corrections.

• A text amendment to update the code regulating illicit discharge detection and elimination to be in compliance with current requirements and processes. The changes proposed update references to current information, correct the responsible city department and make other minor editorial corrections.

• A text amendment to update traffic control standards to current references and other minor editorial updates. The changes proposed update references to current information, correct the responsible traffic control approval entity and make other minor editorial corrections.

OTHER PROPOSED ORDINANCES

The council also introduced the following ordinances:

• An acquisition of an easement for public sewer facilities for the Yuma RV & Boat Storage property by dedication by the company. During the design and review of Yuma RV & Boat Storage plans, the city requested a new sewer main connection to Harley Drive. Staff explained that this new sewer line will have the potential to serve uphill customers along Harley Drive.

The city had previously approved a sewer line design and layout, however, staff later found that Southwest Gas had relocated its gas line serving the hotels to the north side of Interstate 8 within the proposed sewer alignment. This error required the proposed sewer to be moved to avoid the natural gas line.

• Rezoning of 8,346-square-feet from the Low Density Residential/Infill Overlay District to the General Commercial/Infill Overlay District for the property located at 1639 S. 6th Ave.

• Rezoning of 3.13 acres from the Light Industrial District to the Medium Density Residential District, while maintaining the existing Infill Overlay District, for the property located at the northwest corner of Avenue A and 11th Street.

The introduced ordinances are up for adoption at the Aug. 2 meeting.