Today: Jul 08 , 2020

Live Update of the Prescott City Council: November 7, 2017

07 November 2017  

Council meets today @ 1PM to study the Deep Well Ranch project. 

***We interrupt this programming to bring an election update: As of 12:15 PM, approximately 14,780 ballots have been received.***

ADeep Well Ranch Rezoning, Master Plan and Airport Specific Area Plan text amendment.


Item Summary

This second Council workshop will focus on:

A comparison of key points of development under the existing zoning versus under the proposed master plan

Paladini notes that the property owner has a vested interest in developing their property. 

With current zoning laws, they could have close to 16,000 homes on the property. With the Master Plan, they are proposing 10,500. 

The negotiation is to ensure that a better, overall use for both parties is reached.

Worley explains that the General Plan is not zoning, but that the proposed Master Plan conforms with the General Plan. 

Sischka quotes the General Plan: Less efficient uses of land, loss of natural viewshed. 

Chuck Queen: Wants to understand how the master plan would operate differently than the current zoning. He asks about section 4.1.c in the Master Plan. 

Paladini points out that the benefits sometimes are balanced with modifications... "For lack of a better term, it's kind of customized zoning for the property."

This does not negate building codes, safety issues, etc.

The developer agreement and Master Plan will govern the developer when he buys the land. 

A lot of the disagreements are tweaks around the edges. 

City Manager Lamar thinks that some of the proposed Master Plan issues are better than the City Code. "It's kind of piece by piece, and it's give and take," Paladini said. 

 There have been a total of 27 comments:

Pre-Planning and Zoning

Water - 12

Traffic - 10

Growth - 7

Density - 5

Airport - 3

Infrastructure - 3

Development Standards - 2

Master Plan - 3

Open Space/Quality of Life - 4

Zoning - 2

 After the P&Z meeting, they received 43 comments. We'll get those for you later. 

The Planning and Zoning Commissions recommended conditions

There were 21 Condistions associated with the P&Z 4-3 vote of approval.

Many of the questions have been resolved to this date.

Density: Reduced to water available.

On October 26, many of the proposals have been discussed and agreed upon.

Lazzell asks if they will still follow standards for water, streets and more.  

The current state of Water Resources tied to the Deep Well Ranch property

Acre-feet: 325,851 gallons.

Deep Well Ranch granted an easement for the City's 18" pipeline in 1967. Granted Deep Well Ranch a right to connect to the pipeline and be served water. No quantity specified.

In 1980 The Groundwater Management Act became state law. No quantitiy of water was "grandfathered".

Negotiations were completed by  2009 with an Procedural Pre-Annexation Water Management Agreement. 

Quantities are 950 acre feet of alternative water are the 1st and 2nd increments, and 900 acre feet the third increment from the Big Chino. Recovered and recharged surface water include Watson and Willow Lakes. 

The State will not allow the City to grow based on groundwater supplies.

This is the most heavily monitored Active Management Area in the state, according to Leslie Graser.

1 AF can support 5 water efficient single family residential units or 8 AF water-efficient multi-family units.

At these unit allocations, the total reservation of 1850 AF for all 3 increments of settlement water could support 9,250 single-family or 15,417 milti-family water efficient units. 

There are a lot of documents, we'll get copies for later.

Nov. 28 council Study Session

Dec. 12 Council Voting Meeting

March 2018 Council Study Session 2017 Annual Water Report

The allocation of the Deep Well Ranch Reservation Account Balance of 950 AF is set in stone - it legally cannot changed, Paladini explains. 

Jean Wilcox notes that they are being asked to approve the Master Plan for homes that 50% may not be able to be built due to water supplies. 

Orr notes that Big Chino is not only about growth, it is also about sustainability. 

The technical engineering matters proposed to be attached to the development agreement by the Deep Well planners

 The protections for the airport

 The Deep Well Ranch fully meets all FAA requirements. 

The Airport Master Plan being considered right now is the current Airport Master Plan, not the one being developed.

 Possibility for near open space is better than the possibility of Industrial Use which could pose a safety risk to pilots, residents and businesses. 

 Daniel Mattson: The Deep Well Ranch was considered when the City General Plan was being developed for a vote. "I expect they the [James Family] will probably do this in a way that benefits the City more than not," he said.

 Patty Schaeffer: Planetary Boundary theory. She thinks they need to keep half the water in the watershed. "Scientific law always trumps human laws."

Joe Gardener: Designs multi-family projects in Prescott for 4 years. He discusses local zoning that limits what can be done. He thinks that the proposed Master Plan extends the zoning limitations. He thinks that the maximum build taking the zoning into account is 4,008 units. 

Wants the City to "listen to the people of Prescott." 

Ted Wickstrom: Represents Prescott Airport Users Association: Sharing research. Says that at the Prescott Airport there have been 86 accidents in the 20 years, including 3 in Zone 3. Recommending that the Open Space is preserved in perpetuity. 

Bill Feldmeir: Notes that the level of detail provided by staff and questions are remarkably detailed. "I came last week to listen and learn," because I've been involved for many years. I recognize what this is about, there is good planning and bad planning. Notes that in the County there was a lot of no planning, which is bad planning and lot splits. 

"Right now subdivisions can happen without any of this taking place... I would suggest to you that if we want cookie cutter subdivisions and parks, that's what we should do.... Master Planning is the way to go," Feldmeir said. 

"The ability to master plan 1800 acres, is, in my opinion, a groundbreaking opportunity. It is not something we ought to fear, it is something we ought to embrace... I support this Master Plan, I encourage this Council to move it forward."

Larry Meades: Wonders if the Master Plan calls for water efficient units and how it would be enforced. If this takes effect, would it be the last development built? 

Leslie Graser answers: No, it wouldn't be a halt to all development, there is land and water set aside. On November 28, there will be a meeting to look at a housing study as it relates to water.

Tom Reilly: The arguments remain the same - the water portfolios have gotten better - the opportunity to plan is unprecedented - not to take advantage of this is insane. "The opportunity to plan that land is absolutely unprecedented. It is an absolutely outstanding plan, something I would have given my eyeteeth for."


The discussions will continue at a later date... 

The framework content of the development agreement... 

Staff Information

Staff is especially seeking direction on the topics of the technical engineering standards.

Where Public Works staff and the Deep Well planners have not reached a compromise, the Deep Well planners have chosen to shift those matters to the development agreement and/or its attachments for a decision by the City Council.

Staff from all of the involved departments will provide a presentation to bring the City Council up to date on the status of the code modification compromises that have been agreed and on the remaining issues needing to be addressed.



Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She will be leaving for new adventures on May 15, 2020.