Developers target Cornville for growth boom
One plan involves shops, hotels, more
CORNVILLE — Two large developments have been proposed in the area served by the Cornville Community Association — and a public meeting has been set up to gain feedback.
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m., a community meeting is scheduled to be held at Oak Creek Elementary School, 11490 E. Purple Sage Road.
The meeting, in which Yavapai County personnel will invite owners and developers, will address two large change requests that would transform many aspects of the unincorporated Yavapai County area between Sedona and Cottonwood.
One of the two plans, according to Yavapai County Development Services Planner Leah Brock, is the larger of the two projects in terms of size. Known as “Spring Creek Ranch,” it uses 282 acres for a development that includes residential housing, recreational vehicle spaces and assisted living, and has direct access to State Route 89A via Spring Creek Ranch Road.
The second plan, known as “Villa Bellagio,” would bring even more change to the area in terms of purpose, as it would include the first phase of both residential and a wide variety of commercial development on 132 acres at the end of Waddell Road — a location currently only accessed off of Oak Creek Canyon Road.
Brock said the county does not actively court developers for such large projects, but that is the trend on what types of proposals are being worked up and submitted.
“We’re not hearing from many who want to develop 10 or 20 acres,” Brock said. “We’re only hearing from those who are looking at 50 or 100 acres or more, and parcels that size simply aren’t often available in the municipalities in the Verde Valley.”
Spring Creek Ranch is planned for land owned by Sterling Ryerson, whose family has lived on-site since 1963, according to a letter of intent, and the family will remain there.
The “dark sky” appearance of the area is mentioned, with the development set back out of view of State Road 89A and public land surrounding it, and minimal pedestrian lighting being the only type of lighting to be permitted. Spring Creek Ranch Road already has an intersection built at State Road 89A, which includes a paved median crossing.
The property had a well and water system upgraded years ago — a system that is now owned by the City of Cottonwood, the letter states.
The Spring Valley Ranch proposal includes 1,850 manufactured home lots, 550 RV pads, 400 rental units and a 200-unit assisted living facility. It calls for a minimum of 25 percent open space and 50 percent maximum building coverage of each lot.
Sunset Valley Farms, LLC, of Mesa, is the owner-developer for Villa Bellagio, the Waddell Road-area parcels. Its plan includes single-family and multifamily housing, a lake, more than 100 apartments of various types, a waiver of a two-story height limitation to allow for three stories, plus a 200-room hotel, another 200-unit assisted living facility, a 50-room “boutique” hotel, 24 studio hotel suites, an art gallery, split-level shops (sections of the parcel are rugged, steep land), a condominium concourse of 500 or more units, three wineries, a vineyard, 113 patio homes, a school site, 39 “high-end” lots, 39 custom lots, a camping area for the mentally and physically disabled and custom offices.
Not all buildings in the finished Villa Bellagio plan are articulated yet, as the planning numbers are only for a first phase. Sunset Valley Farms’ proposal says the property has “good well prospects,” as it sits in the “TV,” or Tertiary Verde Formation, of the Verde Valley Aquifer, and is bound on both sides by private land rated with 100-year supplies of water by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
It mentions a well on the north side of State Road 89A that “shows a drop to depth in water that corresponds to drought in the area” and that drilling depths in the area range from 40 to 140 feet.
The plan mentions construction of underground wastewater treatment “package plants” for different sections of the development, though doesn’t provide a specific number of those.
Both changes would rezone land parcels from “RCU-2A” on the Yavapai County zoning map, or “residential rural,” to planned area developments, or PADS.
Bev Jackson, president of the Cornville Community Association, sent out an email to let her members know about the Nov. 12 meeting, as did members and leaders of similar associations in the Cornville area.
Brock said many materials about the plans will be at the Nov. 12 meeting.
Feedback from the meeting will be utilized as the Cornville Community Association makes recommendations to the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission, which, once the change requests are placed on one of its meeting agendas, recommends approval or disapproval to the County Board of Supervisors for a final vote.
Brock can be reached by email with questions about the projects at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the projects.