Recently I was asked to sign a petition being circulated by the Citizens Awareness Committee. The petition would ask the Payson Town Council to place a moratorium on any new subdivision or land divisions until the town has an adequate supply of new water. As explained to me by the CAC petitioner, "the town council is approving many new huge subdivisions and we need to stop them."
I find it interesting that the CAC formally opposes the Town of Payson's water exploration in the Tonto National Forest's Mayfield Canyon, and yet wants a moratorium until new water is found. It is clear the CAC members just want to stop all growth.
I did not sign the petition, but did talk with town officials to obtain the facts about future subdivisions and the present residential lot inventory in Payson.
The new subdivisions on the town books that are in some form of development are: E & J Mountain Estates, 20 lots; Highland at the Rim, 128 lots; Chaparral Lakes, 88 lots; Boulder Creek, 20 lots; The Enclave, 20 lots; and McLane Park, 18 lots. Total is 294.
Now the math: Presently there are about 2,100 empty residential lots in Payson which combined with the future lots is a total potential of 2,394 homes. Assuming 2.3 people per home, which is factual per a Town study, there will be an additional 5,506 people in Payson. Further assuming the future growth rates will mirror past trends, we will add about 500 people a year. Therefore in 11 years, or in 2012, there will be about 19,500 in Payson. I certainly would not call this realistic projection "uncontrolled growth."
The reality is that with our current town boundary and zoning, Payson eventually will be a town of 25,000 to 30,000 people by the 2025-2030 time frame.
What I am calling for is the Town leaders to focus their efforts and money on water development on private property outside the Town's boundaries. Dealing with the Forest Service will prove too expensive, time consuming and political.
While our water tanks are full now, we do need to add to the supply so that Payson will continue to grow in a controlled, well-planned and thoughtful manner.
Pat Lundblad, retire