Commission gives solar plant a nod

KINGMAN - The Kingman area will have a new master planned community, and Mohave County will soon have its first solar plant.

On Wednesday, the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a request from VTN/Kingman, 200, LLC and several other landowners to rezone 214 acres of property north of Route 66 and west of the Kingman airport from a suburban development area to an urban development area.

The change will pave the way for approval of La Paseo, a new multiple-use, master planned community near the city of Kingman's Hilltop wastewater treatment facility.

The new community will have 46 acres of low, 43 acres of medium and 25 acres of high-density residential housing. It will also have 22 acres of light industrial, 19 acres of general commercial and six acres of public facilities.

The commission also approved a request from Mardian Ranch to change the designation of 616 acres in its development from urban development area to rural development area, rural industrial.

The property is located on both sides of Greg's Hideout Road one mile northwest of Pierce Ferry Road.

The development company wants to use the property to build a solar generating power plant.

Robin Hood spoke out against the project. She raised concerns about development that seemed to be slowly marching its way toward her home and stated that the new plant would destroy her view.

"It's not going to create jobs," she said. "It doesn't offer anything for the kids.

"I'm not against solar," she said.

But she preferred that the plant be located on the original site Mardian Ranch had picked out, which was several miles away and on the other side of the hill.

Another resident argued that the plant and the solar panels would be an eyesore to tourists traveling to the Grand Canyon.

After much research, the company had determined that this was an ideal spot for the plant, said Kathy Tackett-Hicks, of KTH Consulting and representing Mardian Ranch.

The solar cells would be low to the ground and wouldn't cause much of a disruption in the view.

Also, the site had been slated for a wastewater treatment plant, residential housing and commercial buildings, she said. A number of residents would probably be happier to learn that the property was going to be used for solar power than those items.

She also pointed out that power could be supplied to the Las Vegas, Southern California and Phoenix markets through major transmission lines.

The commission approved the land switch and the rezone.