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6:52 PM Sun, Dec. 09th

Voter-approved General Plan 2020 challenged

KINGMAN – Applicants for commercial zoning in the Hualapai Mountain Road corridor challenged the recently adopted Kingman General Plan 2020 during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"We assumed the property conforms with the general plan," said Pete Proffit, owner of Mohave Engineering, which drew the plans for a proposed 15.5-acre development.

The development is on both sides of Mission Boulevard, which is being built parallel to Hualapai Mountain Road to the south.

At issue is the city's boundary for commercial development in the area.

General Plan 2020, which recently was approved by voters, sets the boundary at 250 feet south of Mission Boulevard.

The map of the development submitted with the rezoning application shows it extending 350 feet south of the road, or 100 feet past the city's limit for commercial zoning.

Kingman Planning Director Tom Duranceau told the council that the applicants, Pennell LLC and Praise Chapel International, were told that a minor amendment would be required to extend the rezoning 100 feet beyond the commercial boundary.

"They chose to ignore that requirement and applied without the needed minor amendment," he said.

Howard Pennington, property co-owner and pastor at Praise Chapel, said he was told by Kingman Planning and Zoning Commissioner Bill Bowers that the general plan is subject to interpretation on exact boundaries.

Bowers has abstained from zoning decisions that involved the nearby Granite Bluffs development but discussed this issue with Pennington.

The two developments have been cooperating with street, sewer and water line construction.

During heated discussion about the project, Councilman Jim Baker assailed Duranceau, saying city staff allowed the application to go forward and put the council in a difficult position.

Baker than voted in favor of the rezoning of the property at the 250-foot limit advertised for the council's consideration.

City Attorney Bob Taylor told the council that approving anything beyond what was advertised to the public would not be legal.

Proffit accused Duranceau of changing the application from the 350-foot setback to 250 feet without informing the applicants.

The city staff has a receipt of the mailing of notification signed by the applicant and certified.

"The general plan is not a suggestion," Duranceau told the council members and public at the Tuesday hearing.

"It is a legal city ordinance under requirements from the state Growing Smarter legislation."

Kingman Planner Rich Ruggles was responsible for drawing the maps and developing General Plan 2020.

"In this specific case, the boundaries were set at 250 feet as requested by the same owner at that time," Ruggles said.

"Bill Bowers brought the map to us and Mohave Engineering drew the map for the owners."

Pennington said staff members knew it was not their intent to be specific when the boundaries were set.

"There were never any numbers on the lines.

We did not feel it was specific," Pennington said.

"We were not informed of the change in the application."

He did not seem to think that a signed receipt for the legal announcement was "being informed."

Proffit accused Duranceau of mishandling the process, making changes in the application without notification and not understanding the general plan.

In the end, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve the rezoning to C-2 Commercial without the extra 100 feet because Taylor said it would not be legal to do otherwise.

The council voted to waive fees for the needed minor amendment and rezoning for the extra 100 feet.

The process must be advertised and go through the Planning and Zoning Commission before going back to the City Council.

None of the seven elected officials – the mayor, vice mayor or five council members – voiced any support for the city staff during the entire discussion.