Cottonwood gets thorough overview of 89 & Vine project

89 and Vine is a development project planned for 680 acres north of Cornville Road and Verde Santa Fe. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

89 and Vine is a development project planned for 680 acres north of Cornville Road and Verde Santa Fe. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

COTTONWOOD -- A detailed proposal for the 89 and Vine development project was showcased for the Cottonwood City Council, Planning Commission and a small audience Tuesday night.

The development is planned for 680 acres north of Cornville Road and Verde Santa Fe.

Some audience members complained there was little knowledge of the proposed subdivision, but the developers' agent, Lynne Lagarde, a retired land use attorney, showed a 30-year timeline, beginning in 1987 when Verde Santa Fe was initially created.

The original plan called for 5112 home units and two golf courses. That was reduced to 3004 units in 2000.

The land north of Cornville Road was part of Cottonwood's eastward annexation in 2002. In 2007, a pre-annexation agreement called for eliminating the second golf course and moving commercial development nearest to SR 89A, away from Cornville Road.

Jay Stuckey, whose Republic Companies first acquired the land, has now partnered with Phil Peterson of Brookfield Communities, which built most of Verde Santa Fe. Stuckey said a key factor in the new development is to begin at the north end of the property and develop residential home sites in a southerly fashion to avoid creating increasing traffic on Cornville Road and to protect Verde Santa Fe.

Lagarde said vineyards will be planted at the entrance to Vine Road, which will diagonally bisect the property and connect at SR89A with Bill Gray Road on the west. Currently, 2,050 housing units are proposed. She said the new project is a "more refined plan than was originally proposed to Yavapai County" and the circulation will have a smaller impact on the land's many washes.

Included in the 176 acres of open space, there will be six parks, open to the public and many miles of trails, which will lead to forest land, now used as grazing.

The "wine country-focus" of the development will include a variety of housing styles with a village center, tasting rooms, shops and medical facilities.

The project will have water-conservative Xeriscape plantings and use reclaimed water. Water reclaimed from wastewater will allow Verde Santa Fe to stop pumping groundwater for its golf course, added City Manager Doug Bartosh.

In addition, homes will be encouraged to use photovoltaic systems with low- energy appliances.

Homes are expected to price in the range of $220,000. The average household income average is anticipated at $77,000.

Dan Court of Elliot Pollack and Company, a real estate consulting firm, presented an exhaustive economic analysis.

The analysis showed sales revenue total at $494. 6 million for residential development with another $9.4 million in tourist spending after a hotel is added to the site. Jobs generated by the development is equal to more than 4,000 person years.

The residential development is projected to build out in 10 years with commercial development projected after two years. The hotel would not be built for five years.

Planning Commissioner Bob Williams suggested those projections are overly optimistic and that growth will take more time.

Bartosh said the development would have minimal demands on police and fire.

There was little public comment other than an anti-Cottonwood contingent of Roger Daignault and Holly Gregaitus, who regularly complain at Council meetings about those living outside city limits paying more for water.

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