124-Unit Subdivision In Works

Neighbors concerned about density, water

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A proposed 124-unit, 90-acre subdivision off Tyler Parkway came before the public and the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission Monday.

Dave West, the developer of the property, has incorporated different types of housing and densities in the subdivision. West included work force and higher density dwellings in his plan.

"It's a huge project," he said. "We will work with the town to accomplish a reasonable amount of growth."

Larger, one-acre lots comprise the majority of the project. West has also carved out an area of the property to accommodate work force housing, unattached casitas and high-dollar townhomes.

The neighbors who attended the meeting expressed concern about density, wildlife and artifacts.

"There's no way we're going to end up with anything close to affordable," said local resident Mike Foil. "Affordable housing does not belong in every development in this town. There are areas in town for affordable housing and there are others where it doesn't apply."

Mogollon Views sits amid undeveloped wooded land and a group of neighborhoods where parcels exceed $150,000 each and homes, $500,000.

But West said the price of the land isn't a concern. Long-term leases help control short-term land costs.

West added, the natural barriers around that portion of the property create buffers. And a distinction does exist between work force and affordable housing. West's proposal includes homes for working families that can meet the criteria required for financing, and not government-assisted apartments.

Commissioner Russ Goddard said West's project illustrates the challenge developers face when designing subdivisions that address the complex needs of Payson's housing market.

"Everybody's talking about work force housing, but not in my neighborhood," Goddard said. "I just want to point out that this highlights the problems we have with affordable housing."

Resident Larry Brophy lives in a home that abuts West's subdivisions. He said he understands the need for growth, however, he objects to smaller lot sizes for this area. Elk, he added, migrate, breed and give birth in the natural corridor near his home.

Brophy said he's OK with the development if West adopts the local zoning standard -- two-acre instead of one-acre lots. That'll give the neighboring elk more room to roam. Brophy also addressed water.

"Everybody I talked to was concerned about the water issue," he said. "If water goes away, then what happens to the people who already live here?"

West said he's acquired his water credits from those accumulated from the Tower Well.

Mogollon Views is still in the public input and planning stages.

A project of this size, West said, would work best if all the infrastructure was put in at once. Then he could achieve economy-of-scale value and pass the savings along to the consumer. But, if that doesn't happen, he'll subdivide the property in phases.

The subdivision will come up for zoning and platting hearings in the coming months.

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