Council to vote on waiver for eminent domain prop

KINGMAN - In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, the city complex will be closed Monday and City Council will hold its second meeting of the new year Tuesday evening at 6.

Council will be discussing a waiver for Proposition 207 that, if passed, will repeal property owners' rights to seek compensation for diminution of their land if they ask the government to take action on it.

"It's something that an applicant would sign if they were seeking a land-use change to their property," Development Services Director Gary Jeppson said Friday.

Essentially, a property owner, in seeking some action by the government to rezone his or her property, for example, would waive all rights provided by Proposition 207. This proposition, which passed in November, cannot use eminent domain to acquire property and sell it back to another private owner. It also requires the government to compensate property owners for any devaluation of one's property following government action.

"If somebody asks us to take government action on their land, they're not going to turn around and sue us on it after we do it for them," Jeppson said.

"Proposition 207 sets forth the rights of a property owner when the state or a local government exercises the power of eminent domain," according to the proposition. "Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use."

The government can take over property if it is to be used by the general public or public agencies; if it's to be used for utilities; to eliminate a direct threat to public health or safety; and if the property is abandoned, according to the official Arizona State Legislation Web site, Azleg.gov.

This waiver, as proposed, will prevent the owner from seeking compensation for any land-use action taken by the city, even if "that reduces the fair market value of that property," once the waiver is signed. The Council has three options: pass the resolution, deny it or table it for further discussion at a future meeting.

The other significant agenda item is the public hearing regarding a request from David Taylor of the 4000 block of Quarter Circle Avenue to build a free-standing, non-permanent, removable, decorative landscape fence. City staff has recommended Council deny Taylor's request because it would conflict with any future sidewalks and because "any pedestrians who may walk behind the curbs would be detoured to the street, creating an unnecessary liability," the staff's request summary states.

Other items

• The Kingman Clean City Commission has decided to award the Mohave County Probation Department with a certificate of appreciation for its efforts in helping with the Commission's Roving Dumpster and Mobile Recycling cleanup efforts in October. The probation department provided 12 juveniles who helped in off-loading trash and recyclables at a cleanup site at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

• Several commercial and residential property owners will be requesting water service. STGG Holding Company has requested water service for a 320-acre residential plot near the airport that will service almost 800 residential lots and will be accompanied by 12 acres of park space and 15 acres of commercial.

• Stockton Airway Center, LLC, which owns a nearly 12-acre plot of land scheduled for subdivision behind Walgreen's Drug Store and Blockbuster Video, is requesting water service as the initial step for what looks to be the latest retail mall project in Kingman. The city Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved a preliminary design for the subdivision on Jan. 9. Part of this plan, which is on the west side of Stockton Hill Road between Airway and Sycamore avenues, is to expand north Airway Avenue.

• Applicant Joe Ott has also requested water service at 3765 Stockton Hill Road for a proposed Starbucks coffee shop.

• The Clean City Commission has recommended the reappointments of three members of the Commission whose terms ended Dec. 31. Two additional interested persons, M. Jane Havern and Gloria Meekins-Williams, have applied for the commission seats, but the body has requested Council reappoint Chuck Gibson, Gail Tarson and Bob Womack.

• Resolution 4386 will be put to a vote Tuesday following complaints from several property owners protesting what they called improper notification of the 2005 Wallapai/Marlene Improvement District and the costs associated with it. Council will repeal the former resolution for the new one, which will add a notification process that includes mailed letter surveys a minimum of two weeks before the proposed district boundary is agreed upon. The letters will request support or opposition to the district.

• Lastly, City Special Projects Director Rob Owen will give a presentation on parks and open space at the conclusion of the meeting as part of the department report.