Council mulls commercial development in general plan

Proposed commercial use along Hualapai Mountain Road and Western Avenue were part of general plan discussion by the Kingman City Council at a special meeting Thursday.

The Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission brought the council up to date on six months of staff work and public hearings and asked for direction.

Commercial use proposals and an access road along the north side of Interstate 40 drew a large crowd to the previous hearing on the plan.

Residents in the Bella Vista expressed opposition to commercial development during that original hearing.

The planning and zoning commission will schedule public hearings in July and August to get comments on changes made in response to the first round of hearings.

"We expect staff to bring together a compromise of all alternatives to those hearings," Tom Carter, commission chairman, said.

"We will keep the council informed of each hearing and the proposed changes."

The other area of concern about commercial development proposed by the general plan is along Western Avenue north of I-40.

Mayor Les Byram said part of the area along Western Avenue and west would be suitable for residential development.

A redevelopment district proposal was added to the general plan to focus on ways to reclaim the historic downtown area.

The area covers five square miles of the 80 square miles in the general plan.

Fourteen policies for redevelopment were proposed for consideration, including:

o Preservation and enhancement of heritage.

o Maintaining a daytime workforce in government to ensure a business customer base.

o Improvement of educational facilities in the downtown area.

o Support of a single downtown association focusing on downtown.

o Property acquisition for redevelopment.

George Ripps, a Kingman builder, suggested a cultural arts center to spur development.

"It was a key element in the development of a downtown in Phoenix," Ripps said.

"It would work in Kingman."

Commissioner Lou Sorensen commented that he and his wife were impressed with the use of the theatre in Lake Havasu City that attracts people for cultural events."

Byram said getting Kingman residents to support cultural events has been a problem,

The general plan will include water, environmental, traffic, parks and open space and controlled-growth issues.

A final draft is expected to be completed by December after public hearings.

The city council will hold public hearings before adopting a revised plan.

A public vote to approve or reject the Kingman General Plan would be held in early 2003.

Anyone interested in reviewing the plan elements or picking up a map can call the Kingman Planning Department at 753-8130.