‘Due Diligence' Process Missing In Payson

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Editor:

About 12 years ago, when we were living in Scottsdale, a developer was proposing to put some new units into our neighborhood. I wrote the mayor expressing my concerns, and within a few days a young man showed up at our front door. He introduced himself as a representative of the developer, and told us that he was there to do his ‘due diligence,' which meant that he was required by the City of Scottsdale to satisfy all the concerns of neighbors before he was allowed to bring their rezoning forward for approval. After several meetings, including one with many others from the neighborhood, all was resolved and the project moved ahead.

As I have watched proposals for the development in Payson move through various stages from planning and zoning to the council, it has occurred to me that this step of ‘due diligence' is missing from the Payson process. Instead of requiring developers to meet with neighbors and work out problems ahead of time, it seems that the developers and neighbors come to planning and zoning each prepared to argue their own positions with the expectation that the commission will somehow work through the differences. This approach requires that some very complex details be worked out on the spot, and runs the risk of a lose-lose conclusion where neither party is happy.

It seems that it would be worth a try to require that developers bring forth a plan that has been signed off on by the neighbors affected. It would save the commission and the council many hours of deliberation, and has a much greater potential for win-win solutions.

Pete Kettner, Payson

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