Gvra Board Wants Payson Design Review Board To Stay

Redevelopment agency gallops to the support of design board when it comes to Main Street projects

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When it comes to Main Street — don’t get too carried away with streamlining, the Green Valley Redevelopment Area Committee is warning the town council.

Specifically, the GRVA on Oct. 2 went on record urging Payson to make sure that every project in the Main Street area goes through the town’s fledgling Design Review Committee.

The GRVC’s vote represents the latest twist in a long-running debate about how the town reviews the look of new projects. The town’s Design Review Committee spent more than a year drafting guidelines and proposed reviewing all new commercial and apartment projects.

However, the town council objected to some of those recommendations and is currently pondering whether to have the design review board check out all new projects — or just the ones that don’t want to abide by the standards.

Ironically, several members of the redevelopment committee played a role in that debate by suggesting the design review committee hadn’t cleared its recommendations with the redevelopment committee.

The GRVA has its own set of design review guidelines for projects along Main Street, based on recommendations from a consultant.

But last week, the redevelopment committee came galloping to the support of its sister committee.

At the Oct. 2 Green Valley Redevelopment Area Committee meeting, most of the discussion was focused on the proposed design review board changes.

The board favored the original suggestion by the design review committee that it review all new commercial, apartment and industrial projects to ensure they fit in with the style of a “western mountain town.” That would include muted greens and browns when it came time to paint, the use of wood and stone, native plants for landscaping, western-style facades where possible — and a minimum of red tile roofs and stucco or metal buildings.

However, several council members said they didn’t want to over-regulate developments or slow down projects with an extra layer of review. Therefore, they said they would consider a system that only sent a project to the design review committee if town staff felt the architect had strayed from the adopted guidelines.

Payson Regional Economic Development Executive Director Ken Volz said the redevelopment board preferred the current system, in which those projects would all go to the design review board for discussion.

“Right now, any project or business that applies for a building permit or other permit is reviewed for proper codes and goes through the design review board,” Volz said. “In the proposed change, that project would never be reviewed by council unless it contradicts code.”

Volz said the design review board should review all projects.

“The feeling is that way both the projects in GVRA and in town there is greater insurance projects adhere to design guidelines that we all think they should,” he said. “That is why it was put in place, so for the possibility of removing them from that process does not make sense.”

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