‘Regional citizen’ weighs in on Cave Creek’s general plan

Dan Baxley and Katya Kincel

CAVE CREEK – The three general plan segments discussed during the Aug. 17 input session included: Land Use, Water Resources and Open Space.

Katya Kincel stated the land use map in the general plan “must match the zoning map.”

Kincel said, “We’ve gotten tremendous feedback from the planning department against changing it.”

She claimed Carefree’s and Wickenberg’s maps match and she has a call into the town of Cottonwood.

Kerry Smith stated, under the town’s goals, there needs to be an information system that matches the goal,

He said, with respect to water, land use, open space and circulation, “Without an information system, the goals are worthless.”

Kincel, who said she forgot something, asked to speak again about goals.

She said they should scratch where it states “continue to enforce codes,” stating, “I think we know our codes aren’t enforced in town. So, that needs to go.

Kincel referred to land use in DR190 zoning and stated, “You don’t have an auto repair shop in DR-190,” as she suggested they strike “continue to” from the sentence.

She then brought up “disturbed area” and said, “We all know about the Lehman property.”

Leslie Hine
Leslie Hine

Leslie Hine, a Carefree resident who called herself a “regional citizen,” said the part about water found in Appendix C was the most descriptive and useful piece in the general plan and should be moved to the section on water instead being in the appendix.

Hine, who is also not a Cave Creek utility customer, suggested the general plan declare no new development be approved without “wet water.”

Hine went on to say the town should consider whether municipally held water and wastewater utilities are something the town wants to do in the future.

Dan Baxley, who was facilitating the input session, said, “I’m not sure if that belongs in the general plan.”

Hine said it has something to do with non-performing assets and whether it’s in the town’s best interest.

She stated it might be different “if it was a money-making concern – like a real asset.”

Tony Geiger, a Carefree resident and Cave Creek water customer who has served on the Water Advisory Committee for the past four years and as chairman for the last two years, stated the town is 100 percent dependant on CAP for its water supply.

He also noted the town has been unable to quantify how much of its CAP allocation is committed and if people’s wells go dry and need to transfer to the municipal water system, how much of the CAP allocation is really left.

Geiger said, “Very opaque language has been used to determine how much water we have.”

He said the general plan must have a detailed accounting of current uses and commitments that everyone can agree upon.

Geiger stated, “The fundamental problem is half of the people on the water system aren’t in the town and can’t vote and those who can vote on water aren’t on the system.”

Charles Spitzer noted there was no place in the general plan that states we have a lack of water until you get to the appendices, where he said it blatantly says that.

Suggesting that information should be up front, Spitzer stated, “Without water the town will die.”

Kerry Smith noted the various tables in the general plan that map out the population and other items.

He suggested the town include a table that maps out current and future water use.

Anna Marsolo said she has neighbors with wells and municipal water. Citing a state statute, Marsolo said the town should pursue becoming a municipal provider designated as having an assured water supply.

Marsolo displayed an open space map that was used to appraise the open space in the annexation areas of state land and added a table showing the percentage of useable acres in each open space area.

She said it shows that 3,000 of the 4,000 acres of open space could never have been developed and would like to see that information included in the general plan.

Marsolo also asked to include a statement about bringing back some of the medians and plants as part of our open space for visual aesthetics and to prevent the heat island effect.

Pointing out the failed Hidden Rock project and the boxed trees that have died, Marsolo said developers should be made to replace any trees that die.

Kincel said she would like to see a legend from the Arizona State Land Department Development Agreement included in the general plan to make the open space element understandable.

She said there are 11 years left on the agreement and the general plan is a 10-year document.

Hine said she was piggybacking on what Kincel said and stated people heard there would be 2,600 homes and questioned where the water would come from.

She said it’s not really clear or referenced in the open space element, adding, “We have to purchase that land.”

Hine also participated in her own town’s general plan input sessions as part of Carefree’s long range financial planning group.

Baxley ended the session by reminding everyone they will be back to complete input on the remaining segments on Sept. 21.