Star Valley's Community Planning Team -- the group that will guide the creation of the General Plan for the young town's growth and development -- was presented with an inventory by facilitators from the Central Arizona Association of Governments at the kickoff meeting for the process on May 3. The committee includes Councilors Mary Ann Kotelnicki and Bill Heath and residents Sarah Luckie, Diane McDaniel, Glen McCombs, Ray Lyons, Nathalie Stroup and Del Newland.
The facilitators, Peter Armenta and Heather Patel, pulled together a wide variety of materials to give the committee a baseline from which to start building its growth and development guidelines.
Armenta said they used a number of resources from 2000 census data, material from the Department of Economic Security and assorted water studies.
These were presented to the committee for review and correction as needed.
Among the corrections made was the ranking of Star Valley residents in the medium- to higher-income bracket. Committee members felt this was incorrect and suggested a more appropriate ranking would be the low- to medium-income bracket. This was substantiated by economic data presented, placing the median household income at $27,375.
The inventory included: Population and demographics, land use, economic data, transportation, housing, public facilities and services, water resources and other natural resources.
The committee addressed some issues it had with the housing information gathered by Armenta and Patel. Since the information came from the 2000 census, the number of housing units has increased from 948 to about 2,000.
The median property value of owner-occupied housing was given as $153,100 and the median rent as $418. Committee members said the home value was too low, and the rent was also too low.
Research by Armenta and Patel showed increases in the number of manufactured homes, custom homes and property values. The committee members felt the manufactured home numbers are remaining steady, not increasing.
As for the number of affordable housing units available, the inventory indicated these were minimal -- the committee agreed and added, the number is growing smaller.
As a closing exercise, the committee members were asked to respond to the following:
- What words would you use to generally describe Star Valley? • What values are most important to you? • What would you like to see change? • What would you not like to see change? • How do you see Star Valley in 25 years?
Members of the committee expressed a desire to keep Star Valley small and rural. They would like to see the drug problem eliminated, roads improved and the community become a friendly place to raise a family among multiple generations.
The Community Planning Team will have its first meeting with the public at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Lamplighter RV Park Clubhouse.