7/22/2013 8:21:00 AM Open space at center of proposal to extend development agreement
Prescott Valley Town Council, staff and interested citizens take a tour and get a look at some of the 22 acres of land behind Sam’s Club that the council is considering purchasing from Kitchell to create more open space in Prescott Valley.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Town of Prescott Valley Economic Development Manager Greg Fister and Parks & Rec commissioner Michelle Tissot discuss open space on Glassford Hill during a “field trip” by the Town Council, and commissioners from Parks & Rec and Planning & Zoning, on July 18.
Trib Photo/Cheryl Hartz
Ken Hedler Special to the Tribune
About 25 people boarded a school bus after work Thursday to view an estimated 181 acres of open space that the town government plans to acquire by extending a development agreement.
While participants did not set foot on the volcanic rocks on Glassford Hill or wander along Rose Creek below Highway 69, the gathering was rare because three public bodies participated: the Town Council and Planning and Zoning and Parks and Recreation commissions.
Town Manager Larry Tarkowski began the work/study meeting in the library auditorium by stating it is the first time all three bodies have convened. The council might vote next Thursday to extend the development agreement with Kitchell Development Co., developer of the Prescott Valley Crossroads shopping center on both sides of Highway 69 and Sundog Ranch Road.
The land acquisition came up because Kitchell is seeking to extend its development agreement dating from 2005 with the town by an additional 38 months to 2028. Kitchell is seeking the extension to help it recover incentive payments that it did not receive during the Great Recession, according to a staff report to the council from Economic Development Manager Greg Fister.
Under the agreement, the town reimburses Kitchell from a penny on the dollar of the 2.33 cent sales tax. As of March 31, the town has collected nearly $6.3 million in sales taxes from shops and restaurants at Crossroads, according to Fister's report.
The town has reimbursed to Kitchell nearly $2.7 million as general incentives and more than $1 million toward payment for widening Highway 69. The town also contributed $4.3 million toward improving the highway.
In return, the town will gain title to "a significant amount of open space," Tarkowski told the gathering.
Tarkowski said the additional land will be nearly double the size of two parks that cover 100 acres: Mountain Valley and Fain. He said Kitchell's land on Glassford Hill is zoned residential, meaning homes could sprout on its slopes if the town government does not act to protect it.
He said Glassford Hill is not steeper than two hillside subdivisions: Yavapai Hills and the Ranch, both in Prescott.
Land on the hill above the Liberty Kia dealership is "very worthwhile" to set aside, Tarkowski said.
Tarkowski then led the tour, which started on Market Street just east of the car dealership. Fister supplied an aerial map showing about 161 acres on Glassford Hill that Kitchell would turn over to the town.
The town would gain title to the land within two months, Fister said.
Tarkowski said, "We have no plans for this (land). "We are going to be relying on the Parks and Recreation Commission. What we are suggesting is setting it aside now."
Responding to a question from Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michelle Tissot, Tarkowski briefly explained the boundaries of state trust land, which goes to the top of Glassford Hill 1,000 feet above Prescott Valley.
Tissot, Tarkowski and the others boarded the bus, which stopped in a parking lot at the Crossroad south of Hobby Lobby. Tarkowski suggested the second stop to take in a larger view. He added town staff applied to the Arizona State Land Department to build a trail to the top of the hill.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Buzz Gummer suggested panting the letters "PV" on Glassford Hill.
"What a great idea for some Eagle Scout (project), Gummer said on the bus.
The bus made the final stop south of Sam's Club along a fence on the southern side of Crossroads. Participants viewed Victorian Estates to the right and the Kitchell property along Rose Creek and a slope above the creek to the left.
That property would become part of the town's acquisition and connect to the east with Fain Park.
Tissot inquired about the buildup of silt in Rose Creek, which drains into Fain Lake. She suggested taking measures to mitigate the silt buildup.
"I think it is fantastic adding the additional recreation space," she said after the tour.