Zoning Change Could Alter Community

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A zoning change proposed for about 10 acres on the north side of "old" Highway 260 in Christopher Creek could alter the face of the little community substantially.

The change is being requested by Creekside Mountain Home Developers to accommodate a vacation home project.

The Gila County Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing on the zoning change at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 17 in Globe.

"We've been planning this for about three years," said Aaron Warren, one of the partners in the company. "We bought eight parcels of land from five different sellers."

He said by the time the project is completed, 41 existing trailers, cabins and homes will be taken out, along with at least 17 septic systems.

The first phase of the construction will include the infrastructure and four homes, Warren said.

Glenn Ashby, a longtime resident of the community, who operates Christopher Creek Lodge, is concerned about the impact the development will have on the creek, which runs to the east side of the property, under the highway and along the west side of his property.

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Creekside Mountain Homes Development is seeking a zoning change from the county. The hearing is in Globe at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 17.

"They have cut trees in the highway right-of-way and are planning to build a bridge across the creek," Ashby said. He is afraid the changes could alter the course of the creek and create flooding problems for his property.

Warren said the plans include two bridges, one for vehicles and one for pedestrians, but they will not be constructed until the project is further along. He said the Army Corps of Engineers will be included in the process of selecting the sites for the bridges.

"Glenn Ashby's concerns are regulatory issues. They have to do with rules and regulations everyone has to follow," said Terry Smith, director of zoning for the Gila County Community Development office.

He said the Planning and Zoning Commission must consider what is the best use for the land.

Smith said based on the hearing the commission can recommend to the board of supervisors, the zoning change be approved or denied, or it can table the matter and ask for additional information.

The Creekside Mountain Home Developers, LLC is owned by Aaron Warren, Bucky Haver, Gene Bethancourt and Wolfgang Klien.

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