Neighbors want bus proposal to move on down the road
3/15/2013 6:01:00 AM
By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
KINGMAN - Residents and business owners along Pierce Ferry Road raised a stink Wednesday at the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission about a proposed bus park-n-ride that Grand Canyon Resort Corp. wants to put in south of Meadview.
According to Terry Kirtland and Ruby Steel from Grand Canyon Resort Corp., the company wants to use the property as a stopping place for its tour buses traveling to Grand Canyon West for at least two years while Pierce Ferry Road is being paved. Tourists would be able to get off and stretch their legs, and drivers would have a place to rest. The property would not be accessible to the public.
Sam Stallings, who manages a jet boat business next door to the property, raised several concerns about dust, noise, pollution, traffic and the safety of the public. He pointed out that the property also serves as a school bus stop and approximately 80 mailboxes that serve the community are located at the edge of the property. Elderly neighbors own many of those mailboxes, he said.
"Someone could get hurt trying to cross the street to get their mail," Stallings said.
Ron Rogers, who owns Rogers Market, also objected and presented the commission with a petition containing signatures from 128 residents opposing the request.
"I'm the other neighbor. I'm against the buses, period," he said. The community had enough problems with a different park-n-ride company located down the block, he said.
Rogers said the noise, dust and fumes from that facility waft into his store and trigger his wife's asthma and bronchitis.
"They can't control their passengers. They wander all over the place," he said. "Those bus drivers don't pay attention, either. They just pull out in the road because they think that since they have the bigger vehicle everyone will stop for them."
Adding another facility right next door would only make things worse, he said.
"It would probably force me to close my doors. I've been there 10 years," Rogers said.
Commission Chairman Carl Flusche asked what the company could do to mitigate some of the problems.
"There's a lot of things they could do. Put up a block wall, maybe," Rogers said.
Kirkland explained that Grand Canyon Resort's park-n-ride would be different from the one down the street.
"The buses would only be operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There would be no overnight stays," he said. There would only be 15 round trips a day compared to the 60 to 70 round trips per day from the other bus company.
The company also planned to purchase two lots behind the property and put up a sound-blocking wall to help with the noise, Kirkland said. The buses would not sit idling and giving off fumes for long periods of time and riders would not be allowed to wander off the property.
The company was also planning the traffic pattern on the property to minimize having the buses back into parking spots and avoid aggravating neighbors with the beeping sound buses make when backing up, he said. The company was willing to pave the lot in order to keep down the dust.
Commissioner Mehdi Azarmi suggested continuing the request for 60 days to allow Grand Canyon Resort to talk with local residents and bring more details of their plan back to the commission.
"We've had a number of conversations with the residents. We understand their concerns, but we're a different entity. We're not like the previous bus company," Steel said.
"I know, but sometimes a community meeting can help," Flusche said.
The commission voted unanimously to continue the item for 60 days.
The commission also unanimously approved a zoning request for a shooting range 18 miles north of Wikieup.
The property owner, Edward Hope, said the range would not be used on a daily basis and would not be open to the public, except for the Big Sandy Machine Gun Shoot that is held twice a year.