Sun, Jan. 19

Tierra Verde II gets first reading

Cottonwood council members won't actually vote on the zoning change that could allow for 58 new homes on a tract of land near the airport until their next meeting.

That's when the ordinance outlining the change from AR-43 (agricultural/residential) to a planned area development (PAD) was given a first reading.

The residential development is proposed for a 13.5-acre parcel adjacent to the Cottonwood Airport and about 200 feet north of the Monte Tesoro/ Mesquite Drive intersection. Known as Tierra Verde Estates, unit 2, the subdivision is expected to have open space tracts, parks and trails.

The city's planning and zoning commission has already recommended the approval of the development's zoning change and preliminary plat.

Cottonwood planner George Gehlert presented the zoning change application to council members Tuesday. He informed them that a petition opposing the zoning change had been submitted by neighbors to the city. That opposition will require a minimum 3/4 vote by the council for approval.

Gehlert outlined the improvements that would be made by the developer if the project were approved, including the extension of Willard Street and the dedication of 1.17 acres of land to the city.

"We see this as kind of a trade off," Gehlert said.

As the land is currently zoned, only 13 homes could be built. Density is one of the concerns of the surrounding neighbors including Cathy Ransom, who spoke at the council meeting against the zoning change. She told council members that she and her neighbors feel they haven't been heard throughout the process.

Another concern brought up was the proximity of the project to the airport.

Gehlert said the recently completed airport master plan didn't address the areas outside of plane "clear zones." The parcel of land in question is not within the zone, he said.

Council member Bob Rothrock said he likes the plans for the development but feels location is the project's only flaw.

"It's too close to the airport," he said.

Other council members did not agree.

Ing Kiland said the Willard Street extension would benefit the entire community. He mentioned that the site currently is not well taken care of and anything would be an improvement.

"It's really a dump site right now," he said.

The council is scheduled to vote on the zoning change at their next regular meeting on Sept. 6.

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