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Sun, May 31

Council talks new subdivisions
Grand Canyon Villas, Cataract Creek Estates get green light

A number of developers were on hand for the regular meeting of Williams City Council July 12. Both Grand Canyon Villas and Cataract Creek Estates, Phase I, were on tap for final plat approval. Council was also asked to approve a change in water rights for developers with TMD Group, who have been attempting to spearhead the Forest Canyon Estate subdivision. Council gave the green light for both Grand Canyon Villas and Cataract Creek Estates.

Williams City Planner Harry Holmes told council that the Grand Canyon Villas would not change much on the outside, though considerable improvements would be made to the inside of the structure.

"We've previously had preliminary plat approval. There are no outstanding conditions from the DRT and the city engineer. All the work to be done will be interior remodeling (with) no additional impacts of streets, drainage and staff would recommend approval," Holmes said.

Grand Canyon Villas will be located in what is currently called the Grand Canyon Country Inn. The condominiums will consist of approximately 30 two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units. The Williams Planning and Zoning Commission gave their blessing to the project during their regular meeting June 21.

Cataract Creek Estates gained council's approval as well July 12. The project, located along Airport Road, consists of 15 town homes, with two units per building, including one three-plex.

"This is another final plat application for Phase I, of four phases ultimately, of Cataract Creek Estates. They had preliminary plat approval and they've been through P & Z and DRT on their final plat. There were some conditions that I should point out. One has been satisfied and that is the testing of the hydrant south of the Perkins property along Airport Road. That test came in with outstanding pressures. That condition is no longer applicable."

Developers also asked that council approve the standard 52-foot right-of-way for the subdivision, dedicating it to public use. A variance was also sought to grant a zero side lot setback on the property in question, though Holmes told council that the code change has not yet gone through the Williams Planning and Zoning Commission as well as other agencies.

"That code change has not been passed through P & Z.

They're now considering it," Holmes said. "They had a work session. They'll have another one July 19 and possibly one or two more to get through all the codes before it comes before you."

Representatives with Forest Canyon Estates asked that council grant the development an extension to their water rights, though they did allow for a decrease in their water allocation - from 120 to 70 units. The subdivision was originally composed of 26 multi-acre lots and 93 single-family lots. Forest Canyon Estates, located on the southwest corner of the city of Williams, still faces an uncertain future when it comes to access to the subdivision, according to developer Mason Cave.

"There's no reason to ask for the continuation of the complete water rights, so we wanted to go ahead and reduce those water rights from the 120 to the 70," Cave said.

He said the group has spoken with adjoining property owners, the Pouquette family, about access in and out of the proposed subdivision.

"We've talked with the Pouqettes many, many times and, while I can't say we've gotten very far, we are continuing to work with them and we've looked at some other situations. We don't have a total solution yet, but we're working on it," Cave said.

Other council matters

Yvette Hudson, with the newly formed Williams Historic Society, gave council a brief presentation on her recent trip to the State Historical Preservation Conference held in Prescott June 13-16. Hudson represented Williams at the conference.

"The goal of the conference was to bring together preservation (groups) from around the state to exchange ideas and success stories, to share perspectives and solutions to preservation issues and to foster a sense of cooperation between the diverse Arizona preservation communities," Hudson said.

Hudson went on to inform council that many historical landmarks, not just in Arizona, but nationwide, are being lost to what she called, "urban sprawl." She said many cities and towns do not respect what was there before. Hudson said tax relief was one of the ongoing themes of the conference. Many of the groups, she said, were advocating tax credits for as much as 20 percent - coupled with accelerated depreciation for income producing historical properties.

"I was amazed to find out about all of the organizations available for assistance," Hudson said. "They include the National Trust for Historic Preservation, one I am familiar with as I had been a member of this organization for many years, but also the many state and local ones such as the Main Street Program, Arizona Preservation Foundation and also the Arizona State Historical Preservation office. They were very glad to see a representative from Williams."

Hudson said the Williams Historical Society is currently celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.

One of the key goals of the society, she added, is to create a museum in Williams to preserve the town's history.

"We need a place to preserve the history of Williams, its founders, its heritage for those who live here," Hudson said.

The short and the sweet

Council approved the fiscal year 2007 budget during their regular meeting, as well as a levy on assessed valuation of property within Williams, and a levy on assessed property value within the Williams Community Facilities District. Council also approved Resolution No. 1211, adopting the city's budget at an expenditure limitation of $30,484,842 for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Ordinance No. 870 and No. 871 were approved for the city's levies on assessed property values.

Council also approved a change order for Combs Construction, Inc. in regards to work at the Williams H.A. Clark Memorial Airfield during their regular meeting July 12. Also approved was a Parker-Davis Project Electrical Service contract between the City of Williams and Western Area Power Administration. Council was also asked to examine a number of issues pertaining to boards, commissions and other groups connected to Williams city government, though a decision on the matter was tabled until members of council could take a closer look at the details surrounding the issues. Council will make a decision on the matter at a later meeting.

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