Council Listens To Concerns About Mogollon Ridge Proposal

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Neighbors on West Corral Drive and on West Houston Mesa Road have been protesting the Mogollon Ridge Subdivision since Jan. 11, 2005, due to the traffic and increased drainage runoff during rainstorms. During the Feb. 15 town council meeting, Elizabeth James told councilors that her home, pictured, "looks like a houseboat" after a rainstorm.

The Payson Town Council listened to residents, most of whom opposed rezoning an area of land for a proposed subdivision, at a public hearing Thursday night.

The land in question is at 2009 N. McLane Road.

Residents implored the council not to rezone the property.

Glen Groenke opposed the density of the Mogollon Ridge Subdivision.

The hearing was on the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the property.

"I am not against development," he said, adding the proposed subdivision would affect the quality of life for residents living in the area.

He also touched on the affordable housing issue, saying not many residents can afford a $225,000 home.

"How can you members of the council in good conscience have an additional subdivision in that area where you are only going to (increase the problem)?" he asked.

Lori Meyers, speaking for several residents in the area where the subdivision would be built, said a group of homeowners had met with the developer numerous times.

One of the concerns she addressed was the width of McLane Road, mentioning people right now weave through the streets while speeding.

She said she thinks the planning and zoning commission recommended approval for the rezoning due to misinformation.

She also touched on water and drainage issues.

"I am asking the council to vote ‘no' until these issues are resolved," she said.

Elizabeth James said right now her home looks like a lifeboat, and added that new development affects everything.

She mentioned that before a subdivision like this could proceed, the drainage situations and the widening of McLane Road would need to be addressed.

Richard Findley told the council that McLane Road is 18 inches higher than his yard, which would result in storm water entering his yard with a new subdivision like this one in place.

Steve Carter, one of the developers along with Mark Perry, said they think what they are proposing at this location would be appropriate.

He said they had met with the citizens four to five times, and added he has to put his faith in Town Engineer LaRon Garrett and Ralph Bossert, senior project manager from Tetra Tech Inc.

Bossert said they are aware there is a drainage problem in the area, but thinks it will be solved so that the location will be 10 percent better than what it is right now.

He mentioned the idea of a large basin on the south side of the property.

In documents that addressed affordable housing, they mentioned their company and the school district would be given priority when purchasing homes.

Council member Tim Fruth wanted the company to not be given priority because it would be self-serving.

Perry admitted it would be self-serving.

"That is totally unacceptable," Councilor Ed Blair replied.

Council member Andy Romance said he didn't like that Terra Capital would be given priority on affordable housing either.

Romance asked residents to search their hearts to see if there were any conditions they could agree to with the developer to improve the area.

Mayor Bob Edwards suggested that a lot of work be done between the residents and developer before it came back to the council.

The town council took no action on the Mogollon Ridge rezoning.

In its Thursday meeting, the council also voted to approve a preliminary plat for another subdivision.

The council voted 5-2, with Fruth and Blair in dissent, to approve the preliminary plat for the McLane Park Subdivision with 14 stipulations recommended by the planning and zoning commission.

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