Print Housing project clears hurdle
Written by Greg Ruland   
Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00

A housing project for low-income seniors made it through first reading before Cottonwood City Council on May 3, despite objections from a next-door neighbor who fears the plan obstructs his property’s access to city streets.

Council will vote on the project after a second reading of the authorizing ordinance Tuesday, June 7.

Part of a developer tax credit program through the Arizona Department of Housing, the three-story, L-shaped structure would house up to 70 seniors, 50 in single-bed units, the rest in 10 two-bedroom units.

The development would sit in a large vacant area at the corner of two collector streets and will be very visible. Taller than normal at more than 40 feet, the building’s size grows eight feet more thanks to its location atop an 8-foot berm that slopes north toward the street.

The shape of the building screens parking and consolidates open areas at the rear, according to Community Development Director George Gehlert.

With a stuccoed exterior, the front of the building features several step-out sections for porches, Gehlert said.

“It incorporates an interesting mix of stucco, metal and rock treatments, together with the use of pop-outs and color variety which help to give it some depth,” Gehlert said.

“Mingus Avenue will be improved with curbs, gutters and sidewalks as part of the Mingus Avenue Reconstruction project,” he said in prepared remarks.

The developer would also provide public street and sidewalk improvements along Candy Lane, as well as a variety of trees and other landscaping, he said.

The project meets the 30 percent open space required by city ordinance, council records state.

Once fully occupied, the development is expected to increase water usage in the area by 270 percent.

If built, access to the parking areas would be from both Mingus Avenue and Candy Lane. The entrance off of Mingus Avenue would be a shared driveway with the parcel to the east following the former Cholla Street alignment.

The Candy Lane access would also be shared with the single-family residence located to the south. A traffic study stated additional traffic improvements to accommodate the developments were not justified.

Gehlert told council the city is legally required to provide the concerned neighbor access to his property and the plan accomplishes this, he said.