Town Council Tables New Subdivision

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The Payson Town Council tabled a request for a zone change from the developer who is bringing water to the town from Star Valley as part of the consent agenda last night.

G. Michael Horton, a representative for Payson Development Group, LLC, wanted 12.4 acres rezoned for 35 single-family lots and 29 duplex townhome lots. The single-family lots are located on the east side of North McLane Road between Payson Pines and Payson Ranchos Unit 1, and the duplex lots are off Houston Mesa Road directly west of The Home Depot.

While town staff had concerns about the developer being able to provide reasonable privacy, water was also noted as a condition in the staff's report to the planning and zoning commission.

"Buzz Walker, public works director, has indicated that preliminary approval for water is pending; however final plat approval cannot be given until final approval of water occurs," the report said.

According to Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett, the necessary water credits for the project would come from Star Valley wells.

Horton described the project as a subdivision divided into two pieces, according to the report. He said the single-family homes would match the residential character of the Payson Pines and Payson Ranchos neighborhoods, and the multi-family units would serve as a transitional buffer between residential areas and The Home Depot.

In the report, Horton said that "the developer understood the necessity of bringing additional water to the town and considered water as the main condition of this rezoning."

The issue of bringing water to Payson from wells in Star Valley created a major controversy after the council approved a letter of assurance that water obtained from a well site at the northeast end of Star Valley would be accepted for the development of a 37-acre parcel behind Payson Town Hall (the Buckmaster property) and other properties within town limits.

A group of Star Valley residents calling themselves the Diamond Star Water Coalition has asked the council to either annex the area, allow them to incorporate, or agree to leave their water alone.

Town Manager Fred Carpenter denied that the council's action indicated any change in its position on accepting water from Star Valley.

In other action, the council tabled the Westerly Drive Improvement District when the lone bid was 85 percent above the cost estimate. The project includes extending Westerly from just east of the Messinger Payson Funeral Home across the American Gulch to Main Street, including a bridge and a public parking lot with 75 spaces.

"The way an improvement district works -- you have to do the estimate before you have any plans," Garrett said. "It was done a year and a half ago when oil was $25 a barrel, when steel was half what it is today, when cement was half what it is today. So that's what happened."

As expected, the council also "adopted" its own Corporate Strategic Plan and "accepted" the Focused Future II plan.

By so doing, the town's plan becomes the primary plan to which the Focused Future II and several other strategic plans are subordinate.

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