Property values at risk, new Kingman Council hears

Business issue sparks long debate before vote

KINGMAN - It didn't take long for the brand new City Council to split over a contentious issue.

More than two and a half hours into its first meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Richard Anderson and the Council voted 4-2 to renew for another year a conditional use permit to expand a mini-storage business on Hualapai Mountain Road.

Residents living in the Boulder Creek Estates subdivision opposed the renewal, telling Anderson and Council members the business will harm property values and create traffic problems on Rosslynn Drive, the only access road to both Hualapai Mountain Road Mini-Storage and the subdivision.

The City Council wasn't the only entity at odds over the issue. Staff and members of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission don't see eye to eye, either. Last month, planning commissioners sided with property owners and voted 5-2 to recommend the Council deny the renewal - which would allow property owners Robert and Judith Bennett to expand by roughly 210 units. City planning staff, however, recommended the Council approve the renewal.

The Bennetts were first granted a conditional use permit last year and were given 12 months to pull building permits. Delays beyond the Bennett's control caused the business owners to miss the deadline.

Following the public hearing, which lasted well over an hour, Anderson, Councilwoman Jen Miles and newly elected Councilmen John Abram and Stuart Yocum voted in favor of the extension. Vice Mayor Carole Young and Councilman Mark Wimpee voted no.

The business has been a subject of controversy. It was approved prior to the Council establishing zoning along Hualapai Mountain Road. There was an attempt to revoke the approval after the fact, but the Bennetts eventually prevailed.

In other action taken Tuesday, the City Council:

• Heard from new Fire Chief Jake Rhoads, who told them he looked forward to starting his job next month.

Rhoads said fire department personnel warmly received him, and that he looks forward to continuing the legacy built by Fire Chief Chuck Osterman.

• Voted unanimously to amend the city's street parking ordinance as it regards plans for a new courthouse. Specifically, one parking space will be required for every 350 square feet of building space.

• Tabled discussion on electing a vice mayor and appointing Council liaisons to boards and commissions until a full Council is present. Councilman Larry Carver was excused from Tuesday's meeting.

• Accepted a $1,250 check from the Kingman and Mohave Manufacturing Association. The check represents the first installment the group will make in the coming months to pay back the city for a $5,000 grant the Council provided in 2012.

• Authorized Police Chief Robert DeVries to sell 30 firearms that were either forfeited or seized in criminal cases. Bank Street Guns submitted the top bid of $2,610, which will be paid through in-store credit for law enforcement related supplies or equipment.

State law requires such weapons to be sold or traded rather than destroyed.

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