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Council voids Simonton Ranch plans
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 00:00

With little discussion, the Camp Verde Town Council voted last week to send the developers and owners of a proposed collection of subdivisions practically back to square one.

Simonton Ranch, a former 360-acre development project off of State Route 260 and Finnie Flat Road was initially approved more than a decade ago, when it was called Homestead.

Development languished, and eventually the owners sold the property to Scott Simonton, a developer from the Phoenix Valley.

The property was planned out as a series of several subdivisions with hundreds of houses and other amenities, called a master-planned community. The land was not yet connected to the local sewer system.

Plans were drawn up by the developers for the different subdivisions and brought to the town for approval.

Then came the economic downturn and development plans continued to stall. The plans have been in various stages of approval with the town for years. Now, time is up.

The plat for Silverado, the largest subdivision, was approved and recorded by the town in July 2006.

With no improvements made and no lots sold, Acting Community Development Director Mike Jenkins said the three-year time limit for the old plat has expired.

The Homestead and River’s View subdivisions had their plats approved but not recorded in October 2006, well more than the year time limit for the developer to deliver the needed paperwork to the town in order for the subdivisions to be recorded. Similar deadlines have passed for the Water’s Edge, Summerset and Elk Creek subdivisions.

Since the original plans were drawn up, the town has begun to adopt stricter codes when it comes to development, including wider streets and other, tighter engineering restrictions, lessons learned from problems that were created when other housing developments were quickly approved and built in the past.

Jenkins said that the town’s staff went over all the details with the town’s attorney extensively to ensure revoking the plats was something the council could do in accordance with state law.

Because the different subdivisions were in different stages of the development approval process, revoking the plats will require different actions by the town government.

On a motion by Councilwoman Norma Garrison and seconded by Councilwoman Carol German, the council voted unanimously to send the Silverado subdivision back to the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission to consider for abandonment and reversion to acreage, to bring the Homestead and River’s View subdivisions back to the council for action and to void the approval altogether of the preliminary plats for the Water’s Edge, Summerset and Elk Creek subdivisions.

The next step will be to notify the owners of the property so the town can determine where they want to go from here.


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