Two letters have recently been published regarding Carefree Mayoral candidate Peter Sample: The “Case for Sample is Simple” and “Carefree Mayoral Candidate Sets the Record Straight.” The latter was written by Mr. Sample.
In the “Simple” letter, the author states that Mr. Sample has been living in Carefree and primarily watching Council Meetings on Zoom. The author equates the preceding with living in Carefree, becoming involved in community activities, and making a contribution as equivalent to one another. They simply aren’t.
In the “Set the Record Straight” letter, Mr. Sample seems intent on focusing his objections on the Hampton Inn which was endorsed by Carefree residents many years ago. Had Mr. sample been involved in community activities extending further back than the start of the current election season, he may have learned the following pertinent facts:
The Hampton Inn is built on property that has been commercially zoned for over 30 years. The commercial zoning allowed for a structure such as a Hampton Inn or another multi-story, commercial building. Prior to the Hampton Inn, a three-story, identical height, condominium project was slated for this same property, but inadequate financing forced the cancellation of the project.
Once a property is commercially zoned, the private owner cannot be denied development if the usage proposed is in compliance with the zoning restrictions. Such was the case with the property upon which the Hampton Inn is built. A municipality becomes liable for financial damages if it precludes a private owner from utilizing his property in a manner permissible under zoning regulations
The development of a Hampton Inn fits in with the strategic direction resolved by the residents of Carefree in a well-publicized project (how to revitalize the downtown Carefree area). We personally attended the numerous public meetings and Council meetings led by the Baker Group in 2015 -2016.
When the Hampton Inn and its drawings consistent with the end product, were brought forth for final Council approval, there were no dissenting comments. In compliance with the zoning restrictions and resident support, and in keeping with the Town’s recently approved strategic plan, the Council approved the Hampton Inn construction.
So, for Mr. Sample to come forward at this late date, citing his issue of “No Hampton Inn” has broad resident support and making it an election issue, demonstrates how far away from the history and realities of Carefree he really is. What is he proposing? Tearing it down? The property owner has the legal right to develop the commercial property. The Hampton Inn will infuse much-needed revenue to Carefree supporting annual expenses and decreasing the need for discussion of property taxes to Carefree homeowners. Perhaps an immersion in Carefree activities and Town government would be a more appropriate starting point for Mr. Sample than running for Carefree Mayor.
Jim Whitmer, Veteran USN
Nancy Keller, RN