Council Gives A Break To Rim Ridge Estates

Developer will build trail, pay for streetlight and install landscaping when project completed

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The Payson Town Council cut the builders of Rim Ridge Estates some slack last week, hoping to spray a little fiscal Miracle Grow on one of the few, surviving housing projects in Rim Country.

The council last week agreed to relax some of the conditions imposed in 2007 on a cluster of homes on Mud Springs Road across from Gila Community College.

The developers have nearly completed three model homes they hope will lure enough buyers to complete the project. However, the original conditions required the builders to build a trail, contribute money to a signal at the highway and develop landscaping for the entire project before they could complete the first house.

But the developer wanted to pay for those extras at the end of the project instead of the beginning.

“Approving this request will lessen the financial burden on the developer during the current economic condition while allowing them to move forward with the Rim Ridge project,” said Payson Public Works Director LaRon Garrett in supporting the request.

The council approved the request on a 6-0 vote, with Councilor Michael Hughes sitting out of the discussion and the vote due to his financial ties to the development.

Deferring the three conditions will save the developer a substantial amount of up-front money. The deferred conditions include.

• A delay in building an 8-foot-wide trail on the east side of Mud Springs Road that would become part of the Payson Area Trails System (PATS), a 50-mile-long network to connect trails through town with Forest Service trails that’s about half completed.

• A delay in contributing about $28,000 to the cost of a streetlight or perhaps a roundabout at the corner of Mud Springs Road and Highway 260. The developer plans to build both the subdivision and commercial property fronting the highway. However, Garrett noted that a stop sign will suffice at the highway until the commercial property is developed.

• A nine-month delay in the installation of landscaping for the whole parcel. The developer offered to enter into an agreement now to guarantee installation of the landscaping at the end of that extension.

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