Mon, Feb. 24

Letter: Writer unaware of Cornville’s situation


In response to the commentary written by Bob Burke in the Wednesday 11/20 Verde Independent, I would like to make a few comments.

In his first paragraph Mr. Burke implies that people in the Verde Valley think that a tsunami of development is bearing down on our area.

He suggests that we feel that this tsunami will deplete our water supply and bring overcrowding, transportation issues, crime, infrastructure problems, and other troubling matters.

Mr. Burke is exactly right!

I’m not sure what his feelings are toward development near him in Beaver Creek, but he surely does not have the feelings of those of us in Cornville in mind.

Like many of us in Cornville, my wife and I moved here many years ago in order to enjoy the peace and serenity that this area offers. We are blessed to have great neighbors and open spaces that lead to a quiet and peaceful existence. Yes, you will hear many of us say “I moved to Cornville because …” and then fill in the blank with words that describe our tranquil existence.

This is an existence that we wish to maintain.

In 2005, Cornville came together to create the Cornville Community Plan. This plan was created in conjunction with Yavapai County and won the Governor’s award. The purpose of the plan was “to serve as a guide to Yavapai County for orderly growth and development within the unincorporated community of Cornville”.

The plans for development of two parcels, Spring Creek Ranch and Villa Bellaggio, do not meet the criteria for “orderly growth and development.”

Spring Creek Ranch would add 1900 manufactured homes, 550 RV pads, 400 rental units, 200 assisted living units plus commercial development. These will be on miniscule lots that will be rented to homeowners. Villa Bellaggio would add over 1300 living units of various types, approximately 300 hotel rooms, plus commercial and office spaces up to five stories tall.

This is not controlled development. This is the tsunami that Mr. Burke described in his commentary!

I agree with Mr. Burke that growth is inevitable. But unless we nip this growth in the bud, we will turn into Prescott with our Costco and shopping malls. We like the fact that we can drive an hour each way when we must shop at Costco rather than have that in our back yard.

Yes, we can try to work together as communities to control the growth in our areas. Yes, we can work with Yavapai county to make sure that developers have our community plans in hand when they propose zoning changes.

Mr. Burke’s point that developers have the right to develop their property as they see fit is flawed. Yes, developers do have the right to develop their property but only within the constraints of the zoning laws in place.

In both developments in Cornville, the zoning when those properties were acquired was RCU-2A, residential 2 acre minimum. That is the current zoning of these parcels that these developers wish to change to PAD, planned area development. We generally do not have an issue with the developers working within the current zoning to develop their properties.

The people of Cornville have acted as a partner in development by creating and enacting the Cornville Community Plan to be a guide for developers in working with the community in creating sustainable and controlled growth within our rural community. We do not need to add new cities which will destroy the tranquil atmosphere of Cornville.

James Collins, Cornville

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