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Proposed RV Project Well-Received From Neighbors and Community
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17 February 2017  
Owner Kent Bunger watches as the Board of Adjustment votes on a Conditional Use Permit for an RV Resort project. The measure passed unanimously.

The Prescott Board of Adjustment approved a Conditional Use permit for a proposed RV park on the east side of Highway 89 at Rosser Street. 

Currently, when people come to Prescott in an RV, there is not a good place to park and enjoy the City. That could all change if the owner, Mr. Kent Bunger of Diamond B Properties can clear a few committees at the City of Prescott to get final approval of the project at Rosser and State Route 89. 

View the entire Agenda here.

The Project

The entrance to the park would be via the already-signalized intersection of Rosser Street and N. State Route 89. City Traffic Engineer Ian Mattingly explained that the expected increase in vehicle traffic is low - no more than 18 vehicles at the highest peak hour of any day. As such, the changes to the Rosser Street signalized intersection would be quite minimal. According to Mattingly, there may need to be an adjustment to the signal timing and perhaps adding a crosswalk, which would be paid for by the developer. 

“It’s an ideal site, an ideal use from a traffic standpoint,” Mattingly said. 

The proposed Resort would have 71 units for RV’s to hook up to. The typical cost would range from $35-40 per night for some of the smaller units, $45-50 per night for the larger locations closer to the riparian area. 

Most of the existing buildings will remain, although a couple will be relocated and a couple more will be removed. A new clubhouse will be built, along with shower and restroom facilities. The entire property will be converted from wells and septic systems to City water and waste water, which is considered to be environmentally beneficial and will prevent sewage overflow from entering into the creek.

As for trees and foliage - there are already many trees on the property, mostly wild walnuts, as indicated by the dark circles in the architectural rendering below. But, close to 200 more trees will be planted, which, when full grown, will provide a type of canopy so that the RVs are not even very noticeable. 

Bunger has been working closely with the Prescott Creeks organization, which has an office on the property. Bunger said that at registration, the RV owners will be encouraged to donate $3 per night for the riparian preserve, which will benefit the efforts of Prescott Creeks. He anticipates that this could raise as much as $80,000 per year. 

Bunger also estimates an economic impact to the City of Prescott and downtown merchants could reach as much as $9 million each year. Transportation is planned to help take people downtown for shopping and dining. 

Community Response

The City Chambers were full as the Board of Adjustment took up this issue, with many of the seats being taken by residents in the nearby Cliff Rose development. Three main concerns were expressed: traffic, noise and lighting. 

City Community Planner Frank Hall noted that as a conditional use permit, conditions can be placed on the project in order to receive approval. Many of the required conditions would alleviate most of the concerns. 

Robert Sledge, President of the Cliff Rose Homeowner's Association

Robert Sledge, President of the Cliff Rose Homeowner’s Association, had several questions about the noise, asking if there was a plan for noise mitigation. 

Bunger replied that it is anticipated that clubhouse events would likely be closed down around 9:30-10 PM. 

Sledge asked if wood fires would be allowed. Bunger responded that the fire pits would be gas fire pits, not wood burning. 

Water features, such as a swimming pool, are not included in the plan. While City planners strongly discouraged a swimming pool, due to water resource scarcity in the community, it was also decided that the targeted clients wouldn’t expect it. 

“We contemplated the swimming pool, but determined that wasn’t really what we wanted to be about. Most folks that are going to be visiting here are from the Valley, or from out of state. The Valley has lots of swimming pools. They’re coming up here for the creek system, for the Watson Lake, for the community. We felt like a pool would be a distraction, we want them on the trails, not using a swimming pool,” Bunger answered. 

Sledge brought up the question of the length of stay of the RV Resort users. Bunger said that typically it is a week’s stay at the most. He said that 30 day stays were extremely rare, and would also be expensive. Monthly rates will not be offered. 

Linda Zombeck

Linda Zombeck requested a few more trees placed into the plan. Overall, however, Zombeck said, “I was very encouraged by the comments from the developer and the planner… I just want to say that I’m not opposed to this project. I agree that this could be much, much worse for our neighborhood, and with just a few conditions that we’re concerned with… I think it could be a good partnership between our neighborhood and the developer.”

Zombeck did speak of her concerns for noise, and requested that the Conditional Use Permit address the noise. 

The Board of Adjustment Chairman James DiRienzo noted that the property is zoned as 'Light Industrial.’ 

“Because of the issues. Because it is so close to a residential zone, but it is ‘light industrial’. When you have light industrial, there will be noise, there will be some lights, and that is just the way it is. But, we’re going to make every effort, if this passes, to make sure it addresses every one of your concerns to the best of our authority.”

Michael Byrd, Executive Director of  Prescott Creeks Preservation Association

Michael Byrd is the Executive Director of Prescott Creeks Preservation Association, a non-profit organization that works closely with the City of Prescott, and is dedicated to the preservation of the waterways in the Prescott area. The Prescott Creeks office is located on the property being considered for development. 

"As we think about specific issues that come about with the change of use of this property,” Byrd said, “This has to do with ingress/egress, not so much from the highway into the property, but from property users into Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, into ultimately the Peavine Trail, into Watson Lake, and adjacent amenities. We also have interest in compatible uses, currently all the trails in Watson Woods are not motorized, we would like to see that not change, because we’re managing for wildlife and habitat protection, those sorts of things. A third issue would be how storm water leaves that site, and the water quality of that storm water and any other water coming off the site.” 

“What I can say, being a tenant on that property, we’ve had the opportunity to have a tremendous amount of dialog with Kent,” Byrd continued. "As he said, almost daily, and that’s not an exaggeration at all. We feel like that dialog has been very productive, all of the challenges and concerns that we’ve expressed, we’ve had a lot of great brainstorming sessions about, how those issues can be managed and mitigated, and I don’t look for that to change as, potentially, he moves forward in this planning process. I think we’ll be able to get down to brass tacks and really find solutions that are mutually beneficial. So, we don’t either support or not support the project, I think from our mission standpoint; we just want to make sure that we can protect the investments that have been made within the preserve. It’s my impression that the proposed development and the developer are like-minded in terms of how do we protect that investment."

Bill Rapp

“Love the downlights,” Bill Rapp said. “But they’re going to downlight on top of metal roofs of RVs. What’s the reflective lighting? That’s honestly my biggest concern.” According to Rapp, he can see the entire property from his deck. 

“I originally was pretty opposed to this project, because I can see the entire project. So, selfishly, I don’t really want to see it. But I also don’t want to see another pre-cast concrete plant. We already have one of those… I appreciate the developer, I think he’s got a great idea.”

“I’m totally happy. You guys have an email from me about three concerns,” Rapp said. “I’m happy with what they’re doing, I’m happy with all of that.”

Chuck Buttinger

Chuck Buttinger asked that the Cliff Rose homeowners association be included, along with Prescott Creeks, to the civil design process. He was told that they are welcome to come review and discuss. 

“Just so long as the homeowner’s association stays in the loop,” Buttinger replied.

Conditions

What does the Board of Adjustment do?

According to Assistant City Attorney Matt Podracky, the Board of Adjustment is the body established to

  • Hear appeals of decisions rendered by zoning administrators,
  • Interpret unclear provisions in the zoning ordinance,
  • Decide on applications by landowners to permit buildings or land uses which vary from the zoning regulations, requiring a Conditional Use Permit.
 

 

The following conditions for the development were approved:

Effect on Environment

  • Connection to the City of Prescott sewer and water utilities, elimination of septic system and wells
  • Limited and directed access to the Watson Woods Riparian Habitat to prevent damage from undesignated social trails

Compatible with Surrounding Areas

  • Onsite management present 24/7 and/or contact information displayed on site

External Impacts Minimized

  • Full compliance with the ‘Dark Sky’ Land Development Code (Article 6, Section 6.11)
  • Events are for RV Resort users only, no outdoor events that generate noise to negatively impact nearby communities

Infrastructure Impacts Minimized

  • Complete Civil Plan improvements as required by the Department of Public Works

Consistent with General Plan & Code

  • The Conditional Use Permit is limited to a 30 day stay for RV users (already a legal requirement for the light industrial zoning. This would not apply to a caretaker’s residence.)

Parcel Size

  • The two parcels encompassing the project must be joined administratively with a Re-Plat application.

The Vote

The motion, which required an affirmative vote from at least four members of the Board, passed unanimously, 6-0. 

In the end, it appeared as if the questions were answered and the concerns were addressed. Community Development Director Tom Guice, who has been part of many similar presentations, agreed that this was a great example of stakeholders cooperating in agreement. “It doesn’t often happen like this,” he said. 

As Chuck Buttinger stated to the Board, “I was coming here to oppose this project. And I want to say, I really like it.” 

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.