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home : latest news : local May 24, 2016

6/20/2013 6:01:00 AM
Council sticks with referendum, denies denser development
John Salem
John Salem
Erin Cochran
Erin Cochran

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Fripps Ranch developer George Ripps made an often compelling but ultimately rejected argument in support of his most recent request for a subdivision zoning variance at a public hearing before the City Council Tuesday night.

Mayor John Salem said he personally supported Ripps' plan to build 10 homes on 2.8 acres along Southern Avenue rather than the six he was originally given authority to develop, but voters rejected the denser development in a referendum 15 years ago.

Since then, Ripps has made other attempts to change the zoning along Southern Avenue and North Central Street, where the lots are zoned for 20,000 square feet at a minimum.

Ripps wants to put in lots between about 12,200 square feet and 12,800 square feet, with shared driveways.

State law, in order to help protect adjacent property values, requires new developers to meet the standards of the surrounding subdivisions.

The City Council compromised with Ripps several years ago and allowed him to build six homes on half-acre lots, which were 50 percent smaller than the minimum lot size of homes across the street.

In 2009, Ripps was unable to get a variance that would have doubled the number of homes on the three-acre parcel on the north end of the Fripps Ranch subdivision, where about 90 percent of the 125 lots are developed.

City Council members heard substantial public comment on the issue on June 4 and again on Tuesday. While most spoke in opposition to the variance, Ripps was not without his supporters and he provided Salem with a petition that reportedly contained the signatures of about 200 people who support the variance.

The vote taken 15 years ago appeared to influence Council members more than the recent public comment, regardless of the side taken.

"In this particular case, deferring the cost over 10 lots is easier for the developer than six (lots)," said Salem. "This is a really good deal for a businessperson and personally I'm in favor of it, but I have to consider that on this body I'm representing the people. I have to honor the referendum."

While Salem let it be known he would vote to oppose the variance, he needed the unanimous support of every council member. Councilman Richard Anderson and Councilwoman Carole Young were out of town and Councilman Mark Wimpee abstained from taking part in the discussion or the vote, citing an undisclosed conflict of interest.

Vice Mayor Janet Watson attended the meeting telephonically, giving the Council the minimum four votes needed to reject - or approve - the variance.

Early on, there were signs Councilwoman Erin Cochran supported Ripps' efforts based on her line of questioning, but in the end she voted to oppose the variance after Councilman Larry Carver and Watson agreed with Salem that the referendum had to be honored.

Ripps left the meeting right after the vote, thanking those who spoke on his behalf as he walked out.

Attempts to determine if Ripps would settle on developing the six already approved lots or if he will continue his efforts to get the zoning variance were not successful.

ICT - Kingman Honda
Related Stories:
• Rezoning plans fire up Kingman homeowners
• P&Z rejects Fripps, Hualapai rezones

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: We Wish Mr Fripps Well He Has Built Nice Projects

It would seem Mr. Fripps created much of the problem he is now faced with himself. He built the homes behind the subject parcel too close to Southern squeezing the lots facing Southern. This means in order to have the larger lot sizes the Southern lots would be wider than deeper (horizontal along Southern). This would mean oddly wide lots with small back yards for those bigger homes. So he proposed smaller lots. He knew having additional driveways on what is becoming a major collector street would cause P&Z to object so he proposed shared drives. The shared drives is really a fairly cleaver and workable solution. However it still would mean more traffic backing out on Southern from more homes. The city is correct in not allowing all this activity on what will become a busier street. Hopefully Mr Fripps will design attractive smaller homes which can fit within the narrow lots.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: Desert Flower

Higher density development within an established community helps to contain urban sprawl. Property values can still be protected by a thorough development review.

Urban sprawl is not good because it increases the cost of utilities.

Infill development is good. Presently, driving across Kingman takes about 10 minutes. With urban sprawl that one day take 45 minutes.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Desert Flower

Allowing higher development density growth within established development serves to lower the cost of utilities and to mitigate urban sprawl.

Infill development has many benefits to a community: It's better that it only takes 10 minutes to drive across Kingman than 45 minutes.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Highly Amused

Sounds like someone is just really greedy. Could you imagine the arguments over who gets to park in the driveway and who has to park on the street?

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: the first time and not the last time

@ bill ford thank you for your kind worlds ! mrripps is just trying to keep the trades wor king in this town -and also to inprove the pile of durt on southern the days of 300k are over .so wake up -backwards kingman

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: dv s

Bill fold...I totally argree with you...

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: THANK YOU CITY COUNCIL

There is enough open space in kingman that home owners should not have to "share driveways" so this guy can make a few more dollars.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: the first time and not the last time

this is unreal kingman will always go backwards and not forward -we will just pay high water bills and lack of jobs -and a big lost of prob taxes to the city .

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Bill Fold

More proof of why the city needs change. Salem can not leave town soon enough!!!

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