Sat, March 28

Editorial: Growth challenges abound for Beaver Creek

The Beaver Creek communities of Lake Montezuma, Rimrock and McGuireville have become the epicenter for the Verde Valley’s latest growth and development challenges.

The three development issues currently on the table all seem to dovetail together quite nicely into a package that would make the area a more vibrant community.

First, the Montezuma Rimrock Water Company is seeking a permit to use Well No. 4 to secure an adequate water supply for the company’s current and future customer base.

Second, Rimrock Properties, Inc., is expected in the coming months to ask Yavapai County to rezone 46 acres of land to allow for an affordable housing project in Rimrock. If approved, Primrose Peaks Estates would include 64 studio units, 64 one-bedroom units, 102 two-bedroom units and 72 three-bedroom units.

Finally, on Thursday, the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a rezoning request for an 8.17-acre parcel for a shopping center, grocery store, gasoline island and various shops.

On the surface, this all sounds great. A sufficient water supply. New affordable housing. And, a place to shop.

Collectively, though, it all should serve as a warning sign to the folks in Beaver Creek that their community has been discovered. The availability and affordability of developable land in Beaver Creek spells dollar signs for developers.

All of which begs the question of whether the community has properly planned for such growth.

First, there is the water issue. Credit the Montezuma Rimrock Water Company with trying to stay ahead of the growth curve by securing an adequate water supply.

The problem here is that is hasn’t happened yet, and there is no guarantee that it will. We should expect opposition to the company’s plans to tap into a new groundwater supply if for no other reason that some people view water as the ultimate battleground for curbing growth.

Second, there is the question of what 300 new homes means to a community that has just one road going in and only one road going out. Are we creating a traffic nightmare?

If indeed Beaver Creek is going to become the next big focus of growth in the Verde Valley, both the community and Yavapai County have blown it in terms of finding and developing alternate routes to and from the community. There needs to be a direct connector route between Beaver Creek and Camp Verde. Ditto for a direct route that would link Beaver Creek to State Route 179.

A growing, more vibrant Beaver Creek community is not to be discouraged, by any means.

But the more important question might be if the community has been properly positioned to accommodate such growth.

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