New Councilors Consider Residential Growth


Five new members of the Payson Town Council, including councilor Andy Romance who was appointed in May, attended a work study session Thursday, June 1, to become acquainted with seven housing projects they will vote on in coming months.

Before the presentation, Jerry Owen, community development director, led the councilors through the rezoning process required of projects seeking density changes -- most frequently from fewer lots to more lots.

Silverwing subdivision

The planning and zoning commission is still looking at this 51-acre project on the north side of the Payson Municipal Airport runway. The plans call for 20 homes with hangar-garages on approximately two acres of land each.

Doug Pelton, developer of the subdivision, seeks an amendment to the town's general plan, which guides future development according to state laws.

The land for the proposed Silverwing subdivision is currently zoned for commercial and employment use, but Pelton is asking the commission to change the general plan to residential to accommodate the subdivision -- the first such change since the implementation of the general plan in 2002.

The planning and zoning commission will vote on whether to recommend the requested changes at its June 5 meeting -- the plan is scheduled for its first council rezoning reading June 13.

Boulder Ridge

This subdivision passed the first of two council rezoning readings April 27. The 16.7-acre project off North Tyler Parkway, proposed by Kevin Sokol's KDS Construction, includes 23 custom and cottage homes on .5 acres each, along with 28 townhomes.

The previous council admired this project for its preservation of the natural vegetation and its accessibility to the public. Sokol has also donated two of the lots to the town for workforce housing, and is building a basketball facility and putting in an 8-foot pathway along the frontage of the development. Boulder Ridge is scheduled for second reading at the council's June 13 regular meeting.

Mogollon Ridge

The 8.2-acre, 35-unit development proposed at the north end of McLane Road received the OK from council April 27 to move onto the second reading. Mogollon Ridge, adjacent to Payson Ranchos, Payson Pines, and Home Depot, will be rezoned from one house per 4 acres to one house per 6,000 square feet.

The previous town council expressed concerns about speeding and increased traffic on McLane Road and through existing neighborhoods.

Over the past few weeks, the public works department has been looking into speed-calming options per council recommendation.

Town staff will address these findings and other resident concerns. The council is scheduled to conduct a second-reading vote at the June 8 meeting.

Forest Edge Subdivision

The former town council turned down Terra-Payson 56 LLC's rezoning request by a supermajority May 11. The project has been added to the June 8 agenda for reconsideration. Two members of the past council expressed concern over the lack of public accessibility to this 64-acre, 53-home subdivision at the east end of Phoenix Street. Since then, the developers amended the plan to include pedestrian easements to open areas of the neighborhood. The developer will donate to the Town of Payson trail access and the matate-pocket park located within the subdivision.

The council and neighboring residents also asked the developer to alleviate increased traffic.

Bonita Pines

The 26-unit condominium project on South Ponderosa Street passed the first two rezoning request hearings during the past council's tenure. The new council will vote June 8 to approve the project's preliminary plat -- a plan that outlines initial engineering and infrastructure layout.

The current council expressed concern over a lack of play area for children, the implementation of street improvements, and the need to preserve home ownership and avoid turning the units into rentals.

Manzanita Hills Phase 6

The preliminary plat devoted to the proposed 14 lots on 1-acre parcels each subdivision tackled the management of a retention basin that collects water runoff. The town required the homeowner's association to oversee its maintenance.

The council will vote on the preliminary platting of Manzanita Hills Phase 6, June 8.

Mazatzal Mountain Air Park Unit 4

The preliminary plat, up for council vote June 8, schemes 41 units on 29 acres on the northwest side of the airport. These homes are approved for hangar/garages to accommodate private planes.

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