Main Street Condo Project Adds Pool, Community Center To Plans

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The Payson Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a revised conceptual site plan of the 24-acre, 181-condominium Chilson Ranch residential development, sandwiched between McLane Road and Main Street, Monday evening.

The current plan amends an earlier version of the project, approved for rezoning by the Payson Town Council in 2003.

Developer Hallie Overman, and her firm, Hurlburt Developments, solidified a development agreement with the town in March 2006.

The developer's recent refinements to Chilson Ranch include aesthetic improvements, access upgrades, a community center, an indoor pool, and the addition of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.

Overman also introduced a third phase that covers the adjacent, recently purchased 7-acre Creach Property.

According to the development agreement between the town and Overman, alterations to the original site plan require planning and zoning commission review and town council approval.

"It's up to the commission to decide which plan they like best," said Commissioner Barbara Underwood.

But Commissioner Russell Goddard said he was uncomfortable with just two choices, and wanted to ponder other options.

And until Overman secured the blessings of the Green Valley Redevelopment Area approval, residents, and the town's Development Services Committee, Commissioner James Scheidt said he wouldn't recommend the new plan to the council.

Overman said she already fulfilled those requirements in 2003 during the first incarnation of Chilson Ranch.

"I don't want to give up all the work we've done," Overman added.

The developers have worked with the federal government to secure first-time homebuyer loans, and Overman estimated a price range between $190,000 to $240,000.

Chilson Ranch now falls under the town's 20 ERU rule, but a new ordinance could wipe the 20 ERU off the books, putting an annual 250 cap on building permits.

If that happens, the new code could pit the developers of higher-density projects against custom-home builders, such as Commissioner Kevin Sokol.

To allay the concerns of the commission, Mayor Bob Edwards fielded questions regarding the building-permit limit, which is just one of the council's 17-point water-growth management plan.

Goddard asked if the cap constituted a moratorium.

"Arizona is a very pro-growth and there could be some legal ramifications," he said.

Edwards said he's not worried about legal backlash -- the town's legal department told the council to proceed with its plans.

"I would refer to it as planning (not a moratorium)," he added.

The planning and zoning commission will review the Chilson Ranch conceptual plan at its Sept. 25 meeting.

-- To reach Felicia Megdal call 474-5251 ext. 116 or e-mail fmegdal@payson.com.

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