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home : opinion : opinion April 28, 2016


6/12/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letters: Set standards for downtown

We have lived here in Kingman now for 18 months. The weather is great, the people are good, but my wife and I are appalled at the lack of code enforcement in this city. It seems the city has no standards when it comes to how this city looks and how people view this town.

It is ugly! You have a gold mine sitting on Beale Street in the way of an historical area but the City allows the business owners to just do whatever they want with paint color.

The City Council needs to take a field trip to Williams and see what their historic section looks like. Downtown Kingman could look that good! You would bring in so much more tourism to downtown if you just set some serious standards.

Come on Kingman City Council ... have some pride and quit worrying about upsetting the business owners ... chances are, they don't vote anyway!

Craig White

Kingman


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Frankie

“Oh? Why don't you open a Route 66 related business downtown?”

No way would I ever open a business in Kingman.

“You could even charge 100 bucks for a photos, like you claim another does here.”

I have no idea what you are alluding to.

“I don't see why your opinion on any local issues should be taken seriously at all.”

I never asked that they be taken seriously – read them – discard them – I don’t care. They don’t want to support the community, the local businesses and whine non-stop about everything connected with the town. Why they stay is a total puzzle – thus my suggestion that the town be disbanded so the whiners will no longer have anything to complain about. Makes perfect sense to me.


Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Leec Speaking

@ansons nephew

"Once again making my idea of just disbanding the city, putting up a fence and charging people to come visit a good one."

Oh? Why don't you open a Route 66 related business downtown? You could make a fortune, like others do (just kidding). You could even charge 100 bucks for a photos, like you claim another does here.

But since i believe you recently said you no longer live here, I don't see why your opinion on any local issues should be taken seriously at all.


Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Simple Answer

If the owner is paying the bills, no one has the right to tell him how to run his business, especially including how that business should look. If the majority of customers don't like the look of the business, they don't have to patronize it. If they don't patronize the business, the business will lose income and eventually close. Problem solved! The next guy to start a business there will know that he has to abide by the new, voluntary rules to succeed, or he can take his business elsewhere. THAT is American enterprise !

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: julies mom julies mom

The comments made about enforcing certain standards is good. I lived in that town of Lancaster/Palmdale and saw their old towns transformed because of setting standards and forcing landlords to adhere to these standards. It is true, if one isn't forced to follow a set of rules chaos can rule supreme...and unfortunately, in the case of downtown Kingman the city has never been able to set these rules. Of course, they also can't get a property tax pushed through either which would make huge changes not only in the downtown area but throughout the city. This is an area of ultra conservatives, they do not like people from colorful CA and beyond trying to bring their ideas here and costing them more money, even if those ideas sometimes are good!

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Frankie

“Prescott has a educated, higher paid population to support a historic downtown and the trendy upscale shops there.”

Once again making my idea of just disbanding the city, putting up a fence and charging people to come visit a good one.


Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: no way

@ julies mom julies mon

I'm sorry where was the "fine" restaurants in the list you gave in your post? Pizza and Ice Cream?


Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Stay Home

I don't understand why so many writers here come to Kingman and want to MAKE the people that were here long before them do things the way the newcomers want. What made the newcomers want to come to Kingman, so different from what they had left? Why didn't they just stay where they were and continue enjoying what they had? Apparently, the people there don't seem to mind being told what to do. Changes for health are one thing, but capricious changes for appearances are another.

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

Downtown Kingman is dead, and it ain't going to rise up. There is no Whiskey Row area, as in Prescott. And the big difference between Kingman and Prescott is that Prescott has a educated, higher paid population to support a historic downtown and the trendy upscale shops there.

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Article comment by: Me Two Divided Divided By Four

@ Your Choice - I came here many, many years ago and accepted Kingman as it was. You come ... and you not only want to change it, but you want to make everybody else change, too. I don't think so.

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Article comment by: no way

@vock canyon

Apparently you have not been to too many California towns where they have gorgeous downtowns. Even Orange is different. Ojai is another I can think of. And, there are literally hundred of others. Did you know Ojai, CA actually has a city ordinance prohibiting chain stores/franchises, etc. Try to find a Starbucks there. Not gonna happen. I like this area as well. Things can and should be done better. I think Your Choices' letter was very enlightening.


Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013
Article comment by: Site Steward

Re: Your Choice:

Wow, that was very well stated and one of THE best comments so far, and thank you very much validating my point just like a referenced Jerome, Arizona compared to Chloride, Arizona. And add Williams to the list plus many more quaint Arizona cities as well.

However, of course legendary famous mining towns of the old West such as Rhyolite and Tonopah, Nevada for example did not become ghost towns for the same reasons by default the City of Kingman as well as the downtown business owners who could care less.

Plus, then there is the current horrible commercial and traffic zoning mess on Stockton Hill Road!

Re Vock Canyon:

Having grown up in California I agree with you as well, (and is also why I moved) but of course there was once small desert towns in the Mohave Desert that of course resembled Kingman, Arizona, particularly back in the early 1960’s.

For example, Palmdale, Lancaster, Rosamond, Barstow and Needles, which was the sentiment I was told by a gentleman who grew up in Lancaster back then.


Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013
Article comment by: Your Choice

Comments like these: "I don't feel it is right to force businesses to adhere to someone else's idea of neatness or looks....should improvements, but don't force them" are exactly how ghost towns are built. When people don't *have* to do things, they don't.
If they don't have to pay for fire inspections, they don't.
If they don't have to keep the food a proper temperature, they don't.
And when they don't have to keep things clean - they don't.
Look around you. Do you know why other old west towns - such as Durango and Prescott - are booming? Because they MAKE people do things that help out the entire community. When people enjoy coming to a place, they bring friends. They all spend money. The money goes into the whole community -- the roads, schools, parks -- and the whole place gets better.

But when you have too many people who can't think that far ahead - who care only for themselves and who "don't like to be told what to do" like a spoiled rotten child - you end up with a town of crap.

Your choice


Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013
Article comment by: vock canyon

One of the great things about downtown Kingman is that it is not a generic looking town. It doesn't look like the identical california clone downtown area's. All painted the same color, the same window frames, the same doors, the same size lettering on the signs and the same cutesy young employees littering the business counters.

One of the reasons that I moved here was that it looks different, smells different and feels comfortable. If I wanted big box coffee shops and macstores I'd move to vegas or california. Another thing that I like is the mixed property usage areas, where they have both houses and mobils in the same areas. I hate the generic stucco Macmansion subdivision look.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: julies mom julies mom

Yes, there are some bad spots in old Kingman, but there are also some bright spots...the downtown area is becoming an area of entertainment, be it the fine restaurants like Sirens' Cafe & Custom Catering which offers Pizza every Thursday evening & First Fridays Dinners and now their always favorite "The Lobster Boil" on July 29th...Rednecks BBQ with an incream bar or Dora's Beale Street restaurant. Make an evening at the "Wine Cellar" where there is live music almost every night...Beale Street Brews for fine coffee & Art Gallery and hosts First Fridays featuring different artists. Chili on Beale Street with lots of old cars, is held in the summer months... and soon the new Black Bridge Brewery...Tim Schritter is the man who has learned the art of brewing fine beer and is transforming a building downtown into a nano brewery...he will offer an awesome place to sit and relax, watch the D/Backs and perhaps even have his own live music one day. When it comes to nostalgia, Kingman lags behind no one...there are many fine antique shops and buildings on the historical record...the next time your guests come into town make it a point to visit all these fine shops along with the new Railroad Depot, Bonelli House and downtown musems and dine at one of the fine restaurants. And as a community, the more people who support and visit the downtown happenings and businesses will continue to help in transforming this area.into the "place to be almost any night of the week"

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@ Ned Warren

Nah, those people would never invest in Kingman. They’re all Willard the Money Hider types who stash their money off-shore to avoid taxes.

BTW – love the pseudonym – a proud historical reference for our state!


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Absentee Property Owners Do Not Have the Same Degree of Commitment to Kingman

AA, again no one is taking your rights from you. However, perhaps they would be a bit more concerned about how their building looks if they actually lived in town.

Gee, is that house next to your available - I need a good place to park my 5 junk cars.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: W C

Resident Joe, try reading WC again. More slowly this time. First the city government gets it's funds largely from sales tax. Now in deciding what projects it will fund it has diverted funds away from, say, adding landscaping on Stockton Hill or building sidewalks near schools to pump money into those planters downtown or the landscaping on Rte 66, or funding the events put on by the Downtown Merchants Assoc.. So no one is saying PROPERTY TAXES are being used for such projects. The only mention of property taxes was to point out that the owners of these buildings downtown have no reason to do anything to their empty buildings since their property taxes are so low.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Trained Observer

I can think of a couple of businesses downtown that have it together and have visually attractive exteriors. (The antique store with the rust truck on the mural is one). But no matter who is downtown or what it looks like, the community is not doing anything to attract tourists. A small amount of visual interest from the city (benches? A few hanging flower pots here and there? some historic banners?) and a community that would host events now and then would help. There is no reason why Kingman could not be more prosperous.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Ned Warren

Get Rand Paul, Sonny Borrelli, Ron Gould and the Drs. Wards to invest I downtown Kingman.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Seven year

Been here going on 8 yrs....Downtown is what it is. Old, lower income, worn out (industrialized).

What really needs is a full blow teardown and a huge mall/mega plaza type complex starting at the freeways. Something that includes the trainpark in open air surrounded by stores, eateries, all types of attractions leading to overnight stays.

Truth is.....its not going to change very much if any now or in the future. There just not enough local support or investors willing to look 20 years into the future.


Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: Me Two Divided By Four

Yeah, I'd like to see standards set for the old downtown area. It is so depressing as it stands now. To do so, would undoubtedly make me happier, and possibly bring more tourism dollars to our community, but it would likely drive up those businesses' costs, and end up that shoppers (tourist and local) would have to pay more for items and the resulting increased taxes. On the other hand, I don't feel it is right to force businesses to adhere to someone else's idea of neatness or looks. I wouldn't want somebody telling me what color I can paint my house! Give the businesses some positive incentives to form some type of improvement coalition, but don't force them. If they don't participate, then they shouldn't share in any benefits derived from it.

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Absentee land owners pay taxes, have just as much a 1st Amendment right under the US Constitution as a non-Absentee land owner, I seem to have missed the paragraph giving anyone more rights than the other due being a Absentee or non-Absentee land owner! But one thing for sure us Absentee land owners know how to use our feet when something bothers us instead of whining, crying 24/7!

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: Resident Joe

Word count,

Good points! The only thing is that Kingman has NO primary property tax. NOT ONE PENNY OF YOUR PROPERTY TAX GOES TO THE CITY! So I guess it is too low : )


Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: julies mom julies mom

A farm, best idea so far for Golden Valley, and yes it will attract other businesses, hope it is successful, good luck!

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Article comment by: Site Steward

Mr. White, another sad example that is even worse is Chloride. The residents and all concerned should take a trip to Jerome, Arizona as well to see what a proper historic section looks like.


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