Many have come to town promising an affordable version of the American dream of home ownership in Payson.
For one reason or another, that dream remains out of reach for many of the Rim country's lower-income residents.
By taking their project out of town, Steve and Sabrina Iverson of Iverson Homes intend to deliver on that promise.
Iverson met with Gila County officials Aug. 27 to present plans for Houston Creek Landing, a 100-parcel subdivision on Rainbow Drive in Star Valley.
"The town has just driven us out with all of the impact fees," Iverson said Wednesday. The developer said he had a partner with property in Star Valley -- property on which he would be building a sewage treatment plant to service his Pine Ridge development at the Knolls.
"Bill and I had been talking about affordable housing for years," Iverson said. He started envisioning such a project on the Star Valley acreage and realized that, without impact fees and the town's lot size requirements, it could work.
When his partner offered to sell him the Star Valley site, the pieces started to fall into place.
The property is already zoned for trailer or manufactured housing, but Iverson said he didn't want to just do another trailer park. "I wanted to sell spaces. I didn't want people to rent spaces, I wanted them to have pride of ownership," he said.
For years, Iverson Homes has been synonymous with top-of-the-line homes built in some of the Rim country's more exclusive neighborhoods. Iverson's partners, Bill and Terry Broce, live in a luxurious Iverson home on Hillcrest Drive in Alpine Heights.
"With all my upper end stuff --we've got the Cline Ranch, all of the Star Valley II land exchange -- I thought this was an opportunity for Bill and myself, our wives, all of us to give something back," Iverson said. "We've been blessed, really, in our business. This is a chance for us to help some people out."
Gila County District 1 Supervisor Ron Christensen said he was pleased with the proposal.
"I would say we agreed with 99 percent of his plans," Christensen said. "The road improvements he's planning will help fire protection in that area immensely.
"I think this project will work," the supervisor said.
The subdivision is planned to include two parks, sidewalks and lighting, Iverson said. He also plans to straighten out the hairpin curves in Rainbow Drive as it runs through the development, and to run a water line from the Knolls to the property. Fire hydrants are planned along Moonlight Drive.
Lot sizes will run from 40-feet by 90-feet up to 65-feet by 90-feet, and will accommodate single- and double-wide manufactured homes. Iverson hopes to start land-home packages from $50,000 to $60,000, with homes ranging in size from 1,100 to 1,500 square feet.
"We're looking at two or three different manufacturers, but service after the sale will be the key thing," he said. "We want to make sure whoever we choose will be around in two or three years to service these people."
The project is still in its infancy, Iverson said, and while it's still on the drawing board, he'd like to receive input from anyone --neighboring property owners, potential buyers, other developers --to get their thoughts and ideas on the project.
"Over the next four or five months, we'd love to incorporate some of those ideas into the project," he said. He's also planning a public meeting sometime in October to update the public on his development.
If all goes according to plan, he'd like to break ground by January, and have residents living in Houston Creek Landing by spring.
To learn more about Iverson's affordable housing project, or to offer suggestions, call 474-6142.