Subdivision Gets Council Ok, Wells Being Tested

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Chaparral Lakes will have to meet some water and infrastructure requirements, but the proposed 144-unit subdivision east of North Tyler Parkway has cleared a major hurdle on its way to development.

A 4-2 Payson Town Council decision July 22 gave the go-ahead for 88 residential lots and a cluster of 56 residential units and followed the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation for approval of the zone change request.

Mayor Vern Stiffler and Council member Hoby Herron opposed the request at the regular council meeting. Council member Ken Murphy was absent.

The request received some negative commentary during the public hearing. Current zoning is for approximately 36 four-acre lots.

The council approved the proposed development contingent upon the developer finding water. According to a report from Town Zoning Administrator Rudy Frost, wells have been drilled on the site and are being tested.

Frost said the developer received approval for a conditional use permit in June 1998 for four lakes on the property, which would store effluent water from the sanitary district when it's available for use in watering the golf courses. Also included in the permit was a nursery project which would be used to store boxed trees taken out during construction.

The proposed development includes two accesses off North Tyler Parkway, and an emergency access connecting to North Grapevine Drive, a private roadway in the Chaparral Pines development.

Town staff found that there are concerns with the development meeting water and other infrastructure requirements. They also said that the proposed subdivision offers no housing options to the town's low- and medium-income residents.

But because the request conforms with the Payson Land Use Plan and the town's development standards, staff recommended that the council approve the zone change request. They found that the proposed development is compatible with the topography and surrounding property uses.

Small subdivision rejected
In other business, the Town Council rejected a request by Randall S. Troutman for a zone change to allow five residential lots on 5.28 acres east of North Chaparral Pines Drive. In doing so, they followed a recommendation by the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission to decline the request. The commission had voted 5-1 to deny approval.

Georgia Salwitz cast the lone dissenting vote at the June 28 meeting of the commission. Salwitz said she believed she was being an advocate for people's rights.

"I believe the covenants were broken in that area when the council allowed Pinegate," she said. "In this scenario, I thought the one-acre parcel was the best we could hope for."

During the pubic hearing at the council meeting, a number of residents who opposed the rezoning said they had purchased property on North Chaparral Pines Drive primarily because of the two-acre zoning. They objected to what they called the density that would be created with the proposed subdivision that would allow horses on the one-acre lots.

Don Harmon, one of those who spoke at the public hearing, said he had searched all over the state to find his two-acre property. "All the owners understood it was zoned two acres when they purchased the property," he said.

Troutman said, "We've been here before several times and I've taken all the suggestions I've been given. Last time I was here, they wanted horses. Now, I've added horses."

Gary Spragins, a property owner at Chaparral Pines, said the proposed subdivision on the small, five-acre piece "is a little too dense."

"Generally, the horse set-up would be in the back of the yard," he said. "We want to keep the horse property at about a two-acre minimum."

The vote was 6-0 to deny the request to rezone.

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