Intent is to spare windmill at Windmill Village

Bob Voris

CAVE CREEK – Chairman Bob Voris announced during the July 13 planning commission meeting that there would be a general plan public input session at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 20.

He said the next regular meeting will be held on Aug. 3 to review a rezoning and general plan amendment.

Associate Planner Luke Kautzman introduced the first agenda item, a preliminary plat for the Reserve at Black Mountain, a 31-unit residential subdivision by Meritage Homes, north of Carefree Highway between 53rd and 54th streets.

Kautzman stated the project is part of the specific area plan and would have access off 53rd street with an emergency access off 54th street to meet the zoning requirements.

Meritage is proposing private streets, which is allowed by the zoning ordinance.

Vice Chairman Ted Bryda stated there was no play area mentioned in the plat.

Kautzman stated Tract D on the site plan calls for a ramada and grassy area suitable for a recreation area.

Commissioner Dick Frye asked if Meritage had a “will serve” letter for water.

Kautzman said they did.

Attorney Brennan Ray of Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A., representing Meritage, said they were in conformance with the approved stipulations and the preliminary plat was in substantial conformance with the site plan previously approved by council.

Ray also addressed concerns about driveway lengths and stated the homes all meet the 20-foot setback requirements and 20 feet is a common length for driveways.

Although not yet required to provide a traffic study until the final plat, Ray said their traffic engineer gave them an idea of what the impact would be on Carefree Highway and stated it would amount to approximately .011 percent of the existing traffic.

Bryda moved to recommend approval.

Frye seconded the motion and commented what a terrific job Meritage had done.

With commissioners Susan Demmitt and Reg Monachino absent, the commission voted unanimously to recommend approval with Voris commenting, “I think we all echo Commissioner Frye’s sentiments.”

The commission also voted unanimously to recommend approval for the 31-unit residential subdivision’s site plan after Kautzman assured the commission Rural/Metro Fire had determined it met all access and maneuverability requirements.

Before reviewing the next agenda item, the site plan for Windmill Village, Commissioner Peter Omundson recused himself.

Kautzman explained the project is located within the town core at Cave Creek and Galloway roads.

Kautzman noted the project has been paired down to 24 units and said it is in compliance with the ordinances and actually exceeds the landscaping requirements.

Voris asked if, due to the reduced number of units, there would be no staging.

Kautzman said that was his understanding.

During public comment, Allison Anderson said she was curious what the developer planned to do with the windmill, stating it is “kind of a landmark.”

Ken Madden
Ken Madden

Applicant Ken Madden of Landmark West Builders responded, “The windmill is staying. We may have to take it down to repair it but the intent is that it stays.”

Commissioner Paul Eelkema said the windmill and little bungalow seem to be an iconic part of Cave Creek and asked if there was any way the bungalow could be saved and repurposed.

Madden stated, “I’ve been in those buildings and they’re not safe.”

He said the buildings have been there since the 1920s and it’s not likely they can be salvaged.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend approval.