Update 12/8/16 – Yavapai County supervisors appear to be favorable toward a zoning change that would allow a self-storage development in Granite Dells, but yesterday decided to continue the matter until they know for sure Prescott officials are agreeable to a left-turn lane off Old Highway 89A. Though Watson told supervisors he had “considerable documents” from Prescott traffic engineer Ian Mattingly that indicate an agreement to create the left-turn lane at the property owner’s expense, supervisor Craig Brown told the board he spoke with two city council members who were unaware of plans for the turn lane, the source reported.
The entrance to the self-storage facility would be from Old Highway 89A, not State Route 89. Opponents to the project have voiced concerns about traffic flow along the state highway, according to the source.
Though Watson is the zoning-change applicant, he isn’t the property owner as previously reported. D. Everson of Mandalay Homes owns the property, according to the source. Dave Everson is listed as business owner on the home builder’s website.
During proceedings on Wednesday, Watson indicated Everson has agreed to limit the building height to 20 feet, which is 10 feet shorter than what is allowable under zoning regulations, the source reported.
11/16/16 – The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission this week voted unanimously to recommend a zoning change that would allow a self-storage development in Granite Dells, Ariz. The commissioners added a landscaping stipulation before sending their recommendation to the county board of supervisors.
The 2.5-acre site off State Route 89A is owned by William Watson, who’s seeking to build a 252-unit storage facility. Watson had originally proposed adding a 60-foot landscaping buffer from the edge of the highway to his property line. Concerned about a possible highway expansion to four lanes that would reduce the buffer to 30 feet, the commission requested an additional 10-foot buffer inside the property’s fencing. The main concern was about the landscape vegetation in the area, which isn’t controlled by Yavapai County, according to the source.
The 60-foot landscaping requirement is a mandate from the City of Prescott, which owns a portion of the right-of-way at the intersection of State Route 89A and State Route 89. The city has also required the construction of a left-turn pocket lane on State Route 89 and the removal of the guardrail, Nicole Russell, a planner for Yavapai County, told the commissioners on Nov. 3.
“Yavapai County cannot take into consideration the city’s requirement,” Russell said. If the vegetation isn’t maintained by Watson or the city, “everything turns brown,” she added.
To place landscaping inside the fence, Watson will need to remove 10 to 15 units from the storage project, which will impact a “sizable return” on his investment, he told the commission. “We are willing to put in a tremendous amount of landscaping on property we don’t even own,” he said, referring to the 60-foot requirement. He eventually conceded to the requirement, noting he didn’t want to lose the project over 10 feet.
During the meeting, several residents spoke against the project. When asked by commissioner Matt Zurcher what she’d like to see on the parcel, Trish Spence suggested a real estate office, entertainment district or information center. She also called the storage development “offensive and an intrusion” to residents.
Another resident suggested a storage facility would have less impact on highway traffic than a retail store or restaurant. The proposed entrance to the facility would be off State Route 89, the source reported.
Residents also expressed their concerns about the facility’s building heights and if its lighting would conform with the county’s Dark Sky Ordinance. The zoning allows for a 30-foot building height. The proposal includes staggered building heights of 11 to 17 feet, the source reported.
Dana Womack, who owns a business and home north of the proposed site, was initially opposed to the project. “I’m in favor of preserving the beauty and integrity of the Dells, but Highway 89 is not what it was. I do not see this project has a negative impact. The left-turn lane will improve safety. I’m no longer opposed to this,” she said.
Commissioner Dale Famas originally opposed the project, noting he didn’t think a storage business belonged on the highway corridor. He added that he didn’t think the landscaping would remain attractive. Commissioner George Lee said he wouldn’t support the project due to lack of cooperation between the applicant and the residents.
Commissioner Jim Peterson supported the project, noting the impact on nearby properties, including traffic, would be minimal. A majority of the opposition letters were from residents beyond 1,000 feet of the property, the source reported. “I’m not sure any use would be supported by them,” Peterson said.
- The Daily Courier: Dells Mini-Storage Passes County P&Z Commission Review
- The Daily Courier: Another Delay for Mini Storage Plans in Granite Dells