After the commission's approval, Smyth said, "This has identified the need for long-range planning…instead of doing a piecemeal approach to development."
Citizens need to get involved in a master-planning process, he said, and not additions to the General Plan update. "It will never address anything in detail," he added, referring to the General Plan.
"We need to develop a specific plan and not a general plan," said Smyth, an architect for 30 years. "That gives the city guidance."
Some Verde Heights neighbors, including members of the Cottonwood Citizens for Public Participation, have vowed to take further legal actions, if necessary, depending on the city council's decision.
In other business, the commission tabled until its next meeting on Nov. 19:
• A request by Christian Vernosky, agent for Natalie Chadborn, for a conditional-use permit to allow a day-care center in an existing residence at 503 W. Ash Circle. The area is zoned R-1 (single-family residential).
City staff recommended the postponement because of issues pertaining to required access and sewer improvements.
• A request by Kent R. (Bob) Backus, agent for Beaver Creek Development Co., for a zoning change for approximately 13.54 acres immediately south of Silver Springs Wash. The site is east of the Willard Street/Monte Tesoro extension and the South Airport Clear Zone, north of Elm Street/Mesquite Drive, and west of Tierra Verde subdivision. The zoning change would be from AR-43 (agricultural/residential) to R-1 (single-family residential).
Commissioners want more information, including about flight patterns and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. The site is near the end of a runway at the Cottonwood Airport (also known as the Cottonwood Air Service).
The Property Facts
Owner: Andy Groseta, represented by Kurt D. Reed and Associates.
Developer: W.M. Grace Development Co., Phoenix (Howard T. Grace, vice president)
Site: Approximately 144 acres along Arizona 89A, from south of Verde Heights Drive to approximately one-third mile north of Groseta Ranch Road. (Black Hills Drive intersects 89A directly across from Verde Heights Drive.)
The new Bashas' Center and shopping center is planned on a portion of the acreage at the corner of 89A and Verde Heights Drive.
Commission action: Amends the General Plan for the Groseta Ranch Master Plan, allowing increased density of commercial and multi-family development, along with open space and trails.
The zoning change is from a C-1, R-1 and R-2 (light commercial, single-family and multi-family) to a PUD-C/R (planned unit development, commercial and residential) zone. The commission's approval includes stipulations expanded to 32 items.