My name is Darrell Doepke and I live in a section of Carefree that would benefit from the proposed water storage tank installation next to Tom Darlington Road. We are eager for this to happen.
I have read much of Mr. Schwarzkopf’s reports, and have read his latest report dated May 6, 2021 twice.
His reports are very detailed, compelling and well thought out, and I respect his opinions on this matter. If I’m interpreting his comments correctly, it seems the overriding concern is that such a project would negatively impact the value of homes within The Boulders community by detracting from the aesthetic beauty of the land. I think any homeowner anywhere would have concerns about changes that would affect the value of their home, myself included.
I would like to offer another perspective.
As a realtor who lives and works up here in the far north valley, I’m well aware that The Boulders is a prestigious name that is held in high regard. I also know that there are many factors that determine the value of a home: its age, design, condition, level of updating, view, lot size etc. I would suggest that these factors are much stronger determinants of value than a small parcel of land on a community’s edge.
Mr. Schwarzkopf states that this plot of land under discussion is some of The Boulders “most valuable and picturesque common land” upon which this water storage tank would “materially change the character of the Boulders in its entirety.” After driving by the property and seeing it for myself, that seems to be an exaggeration.
The parcel is not exactly a sight to behold; it’s rather nondescript. It is not near an entrance to The Boulders. It is tucked off Tom Darlington Road, south and east of the sign for Carefree and the boulder formation behind it that draws the eyes of motorists driving north. There are certain angles right now where a partially underground and partially covered storage tank would indeed be visible. And there are angles right now that would already obstruct the view of it.
It would not be difficult to imagine that with some creative and appropriate landscaping, the aesthetics of this parcel would not only be unobtrusive but would actually improve.
Mr. Schwarzkopf asks the association members to evaluate whether this project is genuinely beneficial and desirable for the town and its residents. I wonder if that same question was asked concerning the Carefree Wastewater Treatment Plant that was removed within The Boulders community. I would guess that far fewer people benefited from the removal of that and the offensive odors that went with it, than the 25% of Carefree residents who would benefit from this water project. And yet it was done.
The sediment that collects there from Cave Creek water causes all sorts of problems with our plumbing, not to mention health concerns about what else is floating around in the water we’re drinking.
My understanding is that there is already a water pipe in the ground on this land, which would suggest that it was meant all along to serve as a utility easement. And such a location would help control the costs of the project.
I hope that concerns about home values due to aesthetic questions could be alleviated if both sides sat down in a spirit of cooperation and concern for all residents of Carefree. I have to believe that our civic leaders have our best interests at heart.