Museum’s land use plan deemed inappropriate

By Linda Bentley | October 22, 2008

‘I support the museum but not this plan’
CAVE CREEK – Four major general plan amendments drew a standing-room-only crowd to last Thursday’s planning commission meeting, although the majority left before the meeting ran into Friday.
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Francia calls Fulcher letter on G.P. Amendments ‘odd’

By Curtis Riggs | October 22, 2008

Carefree urges “no” on Pearson request
CAVE CREEK – Mayor Vincent Francia finds a letter from Carefree Mayor Wayne Fulcher “odd.” Fulcher asks Francia to not honor an up-zoning request for 25 acres at the southwest corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway.

The reason Francia sees the Oct. 14 letter as being “odd” is because Carefree up-zoned residential land on the northwest corner of the busy intersection to allow for a CVS pharmacy and a Lowe’s Home Improvement Center without any input from Cave Creek.
“When they put the big box (Lowe’s) in, they didn’t ask the other community and that strikes me as odd,” Francia said when commenting on the hypocrisy of Fulcher’s letter.

“They didn’t ask for our opinion on Lowe’s. They didn’t ask for anything period,” Francia said. “Cave Creek is always willing to work with Carefree, but it’s a two-way street. It strikes me as odd that when they put that big box in they didn’t talk to Cave Creek when the neighborhood being affected was in Cave Creek’s jurisdiction.”

The Cave Creek Planning and Zoning Commission last week recommended approval of the up-zoning by a 5-2 vote. Fulcher, and others, are opposing the vote. The Cave Creek Town Council will have the final say on the up-zoning request for property owner Ben Pearson and others on Nov. 17. This General Plan Amendment and three others will be heard that night.
Francia points out the reason that Cave Creek landowners want to up-zone their property to commercial is to maximize its value just like they do in Carefree and everywhere else.
Fulcher suggests it would then be easier for property owners adjacent to the 25 acres to then ask for their own lands to be up-zoned.

“It is conceivable and justifiable that, if this change is granted, in the future other surrounding property owners at this intersection as well as to the west along Carefree Highway will request similar consideration. Where will they stop?” Fulcher wrote. “Will Carefree Highway’s fate ultimately consist of commercial land uses along both sides similar to many of the streets of the urbanized communities to our south?”

Fulcher’s letter came after a special Carefree Town Council meeting where input on the General Plan Amendments effecting Carefree residents was discussed.

“If the integrity of each community’s general plan is to deflect further assaults from other development interests who wish to convert residential properties to commercial land uses, Cave Creek and Carefree need to draw the line and say “no thanks” to new commercial development/zoning proposals,” Fulcher wrote. “Certainly, failure to do so will send a clear message to surrounding property owners as well as adjacent jurisdictions that these communities will have to entertain similar requests under similar pretenses.”