Sun, Sept. 15

In wake of Patel Property decision: Planning & Zoning advises; County Board of Supervisors makes final decision

Marc Fuller

Marc Fuller

Recently the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 10-0 in favor of the Hilton Garden Inn rezoning request for the parcel at the corner of State Highway 179 and Jacks Canyon Road, subject to very substantial restrictive stipulations.

A few weeks before that vote, the Planning and Zoning Committee of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council voted 6-3 in favor of the same rezone request, also with very substantial restrictive stipulations. Yet the Big Park Council voted to reject the advice of the Planning and Zoning Committee and recommend that the county deny the rezone request.

With the opposing votes it seems useful to illuminate the differences of Planning and Zoning panels and the Boards that they advise. The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission is established according to Arizona statutes. Those statues allow the board of supervisors to form a planning and zoning commission to consult with and advise it regarding matters of planning, zoning and subdivision.

The commission acts in an advisory capacity to the board and may make a report or recommendation in connection with any matter relating to development. The Planning and Zoning Committee of the Big Park Council has much the same duties and tasks.

In relation to a rezoning request, the volunteers who serve on these advisory planning and zoning panels have a very difficult task. They must to sort through the technical details and options related to the property and make a recommendation. This is made even more trying in strong owner’s property rights states such as Arizona. I believe the “fact finding” of the Planning and Zoning panels is invaluable as they work to help provide representatives and political boards, such as the Yavapai County Supervisors and the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, a broad understanding of the issues at hand. Land use considerations, particularly in our area, can become very passionate, but the willingness of the volunteers serving on planning and zoning advisory panels needs to be respected.

As noted above, having received the recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Committee, the Big Park Council representatives still voted to recommend to the County that the rezone request be denied. The Yavapai County Supervisors will next take up the applicant rezone request for the parcel at their August meeting.

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