Cottonwood planners review 89 & Vine to packed house

COTTONWOOD-- Potential future neighbors of the 89 & Vine development packed the Cottonwood Council Chambers Monday night. It was a full house for the Planning Commission's Design Review hearing of the 89 & Vine development planned opposite Verde Santa Fe, north of Cornville Road.

Cottonwood Fire Chief Mike Kuykendall kept some people outside so the Council Chambers didn't exceed capacity. Some waited fruitlessly for an open seat but most went home.

Lynne Legarde, a retired land use attorney, was part of the original team when Jay Stuckey's Republic property was first subdivided and Verde Santa Fe was created. Stuckey pulled her out of retirement to represent the new project north of Cornville Road.

Legarde said that while Vine Drive will anchor 89 & Vine during early development, opposite Bill Grey Road, Vine Drive will not be fully connected to Cornville Road until future phases are unveiled for least for five years.

That connection seems to be what many Verde Santa Fe neighbors fear most ... that the road will become overcrowded.

A roundabout is proposed at the 89A intersection.

Legarde says there will be no cookie cutter homes, no two homes will be allowed with the same elevations side by side. The project will be very "walkable" with washes used for trails running throughout. It will be consistent with the general plan and the planning principles added after the Cottonwood annexation in 2001.

Planning Commissioner Thomas Narwid was concern with traffic and believe that Collector 1 and 2 will not be adequate to handle the future volume. He suggested a third collector road be added on the east side of the project.

"I imagine how collector 1 and 2 will look at 8 a.m. in the morning," he said.

Legarde said the plan allows for Vine Drive to be widened in the future to four lanes and that Cornville Road also has the right of way for expansion.

Narwid also suggested that a grading master plan be provided for the entire project in advance

Commissioner Judd Wasden suggested that with the project's concern for landscaping and conservation, the developer should provide some of its reclaimed water for homeowners as well. But, Cottonwood Manager Doug Bartosh, who attended the meeting, re-focused the use.

Bartosh said there are more opportunities than available reclaimed water can provide and that it may be better to water the golf course (in Verde Santa Fe) and to retire the potable water well for that use.

Wasden said developers have made a lot of progress since the first plans in 2007. "I appreciate the effort that has gone into it," said Wasden.

Commissioner Bob Williams said he also appreciated the variety offered by the project, compared to Cottonwood Ranch.

"It looks very nice," added Commissioner Susan Poslaiko.

Before offering a motion to 'take no action at this time,' Bob Williams suggested that "Traffic is a real concern" and also "your timeline is very aggressive."

Future meetings will begin to zero in on the platting of the first phases.

Commissioners speculate that developers are moving quickly, but could not anticipate when those meetings will occur.

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