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City of Prescott to Consider $2M Open Space Purchase
Featured

26 November 2017  
Property being considered is in the Granite Dells/Watson Lake area.

One of the last acts this current Council will consider is the purchase of 160+ acres of land from the Storm Ranch North area.

The Prescott City Council dedicated $3.8 million from the Streets Special Revenue Fund to acquisition of open space on June 7, 2016. Since that time, City staff has been working to acquire the properties identified in the 2009 Council Approved Open Space plan.

Storm Ranch North consists of 490+/- acres mostly in the Granite Dells area. The City has been negotiating with the owners to purchase approximately 160 acres of the property that is contiguous to other property owned by the City in the Dells/Watson Lake Area and along Boulder Creek. 

Map obtained from Council packet. Yellow and blue shading added by Prescott eNews.

A draft purchase agreement is in the City Council Packet agenda for the Voting Meeting on November 28, 2017. This initial draft agreement includes the following key points:

  • Proposed purchase price of $2,000,000, or $12,500 per acre
  • The City will dedicate a 50’ wide easement across the Peavine trail to accommodate an existing driveway to the ranch headquarters
  • The City will work with the sellers to create a plaque memorializing the Storm Family ranching history which will be installed on the property
  • The City will purchase the property in an “as-is condition”
  • The City will provide appropriate boundary signage

There is currently $3.7 million in the Fiscal Year budget for Open Space acquisition. This money is in a dedicated fund for Open Space, and cannot be used for other General Fund types of purchases.

At the end of October, a preliminary survey was done. History of the ownership of this property goes back to 1871, when certain corner stones were set. Unfortunately, many of those original stones were not found in subsequent surveys. 

Open Space Purchase Criteria

The City’s Open Space Policy sets forth six criteria for selecting properties for purchase:

1. Aesthetics: Unique or dramatic visual impact; protects scenic view corridor, natural features that enhance the quality of life
2. Protection and preservation
3. Use Potential
4. Location
5. Need for immediate action
6. Acquisition consideration

This item is on the 3 PM Council Voting Meeting agenda.  

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.