The county’s first new subdivision in 10 years won approval of its final plat at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors.

Plans for Elk Rim in Pine have been in the works for a year. It has twice received a recommendation for approval by the board from the county Planning and Zoning Commission. It will feature 18 homes on lots of about 6,000 square feet in a four-acre area. According to information provided to the BOS, the subdivision is in Portal Pine Creek Canyon, Unit IV.

The board approved the final plat providing it strikes a deal with the homeowners association of the Portal IV subdivision to maintain key roads, approval by the public works director and certain financial assurances.

Developer Terry Gorton and a spokesperson for the Portal IV HOA said the road maintenance agreement is nearly ready for signatures.

Rick Vesci, co-developer for the project, said they plan to build homes on each lot and then sell the completed houses.

There was a brief debate regarding who could hold the financial assurances — a bank or a title company. Dale Gonzales with Pioneer Title explained banks no longer hold escrow accounts unless they are the lender on a project or the developer has a line of credit with the bank. The financial assurances remain with the title company until the developer directs their expenditure, which the county must approve.

Another debate came up over the development having two points of access. Gorton and Vesci said they had never had that point raised before the Feb. 6 meeting. Gonzales said since Elk Rim is within Portal IV and it has two points of access the matter was already addressed.

Pine residents Mary Lou Myers and Darwin Huber both spoke in support of the development.

“The Elk Rim development will create local jobs, increased revenue to local businesses, and increased sales and tax revenues for Gila County,” said Huber.

The final plat won unanimous approval from the supervisors.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome and Supervisor Tommie Martin’s clear understanding and leadership of the matter,” Vesci said.

“We encourage the county to please consider a public and private panel to create a template and process that can be followed by both the county and developers and we’d gladly serve on such a panel,” he added.

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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