Kingman needs planned growth

In reading the newspaper accounts regarding the Kingman Crossing project, I have become increasingly concerned regarding the divisive rhetoric which has occurred. In my opinion, the city of Kingman is at an extremely critical crossroads regarding its future growth and economic prosperity.

I love Kingman and I think that it has the potential of becoming an even greater community with all the amenities that cities should have. However, cities are living entities made up of citizens and policies, and cities, as any living organism, do not remain static; they either go forward or backwards and cannot remain the same. I have been involved with investment and zoning in the city of Kingman for almost 15 years and I want it to progress in an orderly reasonable manner based on well-planned-out growth and not simply become reactive to proposed developments.

I have been a zoning lawyer for more than 40 years and have done many projects including state land projects, master planned communities, etc., and even spent 10 years on the Scottsdale City Council during its formative years when the master planned communities, McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale Ranch and Gainey Ranch were planned. I do not represent any of the interests involved in the Kingman Crossing proposal. Kingman should consider itself fortunate that a major, high-quality shopping center developer (Vestar) would consider building a major regional center in the city of Kingman. This whole dispute over the Kingman Crossing interchange and the Rattlesnake Wash interchange on Interstate 40 is very dangerous in that the city of Kingman needs both interchanges to solve its traffic circulation problems and to provide the economic wherewithal to do both interchanges.

The city of Kingman has no property tax and most assuredly does not have the $9 or $10 million that it is going to take as its share of the Rattlesnake Wash interchange project. So where will Kingman get the money to pay for its share of the Rattlesnake Wash interchange? The answer is the city of Kingman needs to negotiate with the proposed developer of the Kingman Crossing commercial center area (Vestar) to provide the financing for the Kingman Crossing interchange; and then the city, after it has zoned its 160 acres as a commercial site, can then enter into the market place to raise the revenue that it will need for transportation needs, including its contribution toward Rattlesnake Wash interchange.

The city is frankly economically blessed by having a parcel at Kingman Crossing that can be utilized as a profit center and income generator, and which will help solve the transportation problems of all those neighborhoods south of I-40, which will be strangled in traffic without both interchanges being completed.

Seems to me that what the city of Kingman is proposing is a win-win for everyone in that it will ensure the development of a major commercial core, which will provide long-lasting revenue for the city of Kingman, provide a profit center for the sale of its land to ensure the development of the Rattlesnake Wash interchange and solve its major transportation problems, which will result in gridlock if both of these interchanges are not built. To pretend that the 160 acres of city property should be kept as open space would deal a fatal blow to both interchanges and the economic future of the city of Kingman and have serious impact on future zoning of any development south of the interchange.

The state land parcel, which is Section 16, has as a condition of sale the donation of 26 acres for high school and elementary school purposes, and the city has let it be known that whatever developer ends up with the state land parcel at auction will have to dedicate approximately 30 acres for a city park, which can be utilized for bike trails, ball fields, etc.

Any rezoning of the state land parcel would have to be consistent with the existing general plan and would have to obtain the approval of the adjacent neighbors who wish to have their properties abutted and buffered by comparable zoning. It seems to me that this presents a golden opportunity for the city of Kingman to solve its financial and transportation needs in this area by the development of the Kingman Crossing project. The city, as a living dynamic organism, must either plan for its future or the future will plan itself. I, for one, vote for orderly growth and sound economic planning.

Richard V. Campana

Scottsdale