Diamond Point Residents Lodge Protest On Rezoning

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The Gila County Board of Supervisors learned a lesson Tuesday: Don't mess with Diamond Point zoning.

Residents of that area voiced concerns to the supervisors on rezoning lots in their neighborhood.

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Alan Reasner, a resident of the Diamond Point area, tells the Gila County Board of Supervisors he really does not want the conditional use permit he had to apply for in order to avoid problems when friends in the trucking business stop their rigs at his home to visit. The CUP was protested by a large number of Reasner's neighbors.

Meeting at Gila County Community College, the supervisors faced a room full of residents -- most from Diamond Point who oppose changing zoning in the suburban ranch area to accommodate conditional-use permits.

Two different CUP requests for the area were on the agenda: one for occasional auto repairs from Debra and Larry Isaac, and the other to park work trucks and trailers (tractor-trailer rigs) during rest periods from Kathleen and Alan Reasner.

"We very carefully moved to a place where there is no business," said Martha Hemphill, one of the residents protesting the proposal, "We want it to maintain its integrity."

Judy Hood said the auto repair business would decrease the value of her property. Marilyn Lawton did not want to see increased traffic.

"The problem with business coming in is it opens it up for other businesses to come in," Ken Lawton said.

A number of residents protesting the zoning changes brought up the fact that the area's zoning of suburban ranch is one of the few places with that designation.

"We don't want to set a precedent," Dan Basinski said, echoing Ken Lawton's position, "Leave the zoning as it is."

The supervisors had different recommendations from its planning and zoning commission on the two issues.

Terry Smith, director of planning and zoning, reported a recommendation to deny the auto repair proposal, while approval was suggested for the tractor-trailer parking.

Responding to the protests, the supervisors denied the CUP request by the Isaacs.

Supervisor José Sanchez said he felt the parking proposal was too vague.

It said, "... a conditional use permit ... to park work trucks and trailers on the subject property during rest periods, usually weekends."

"We're not asking for a CUP," Reasner said. "All I'm asking is if I have a guest with a truck and trailer, I don't have any problems. I don't have an office. I'm very seldom home. I don't drive up and down the (neighborhood) roads. I wouldn't want a trucking business there. When I come home in my truck, it is shut off. I don't change oil. I only adjust my brakes. I don't need a CUP."

Delores Bilyk's concern about the truck parking had to do with emissions and leaks.

"All trucks give off some sort of pollution," she said.

"I'm concerned about the safety of the children going to the bus stop or into the forest," Jim Schuman said.

"It's not harmonious with the area," Carol Phillips said. "Sixty-five signed petitions in opposition."

"A CUP is in direct conflict with the zoning," John Wisner said. "I have no ill feelings toward the Reasners. They have been victimized. When a CUP is allowed in a neighborhood, it opens the door for more."

"Before we make a motion, I wanted to express my support for property rights," Dist. 3 Supervisor Cruz Salas said. "I am concerned about regulating what people can do on their property, but I'm not comfortable with conditional-use permits. We always have problems with enforcing the conditions. The majority of the folks in the subdivision are opposed to it."

Salas made the motion to deny the CUP and the board voted unanimously in support of that action.

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