KINGMAN - Much like the residents they represent, members of the city of Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission are split pretty much evenly when it comes to the topic of Kingman Crossing.
At Tuesday's second public hearing regarding a proposed major amendment to the Kingman General Plan 2030 that voters approved in November, three commissioners voted to recommend the City Council approve the amendment and three voted for the Council to abandon the project. One abstained. The City Council will hold its own public hearing when it meets next Tuesday.
The major amendment involves changing the land use designation of about 151 of 168 acres of city-owned land south of Interstate 40 and north of state trust land that is currently zoned for open space and parks.
Should the City Council ultimately approve the amendment, doing so will not change the zoning classification. Rezoning, if it occurs, will be in the future.
The major amendment is the first step of many that must be taken before an ambitious plan moves forward. The ultimate goal is to build a fourth Interstate 40 traffic interchange, with hopes of selling the land to a developer who would pick up the multi-million-dollar tab to build the on- and off-ramps. Because the land's value is in excess of $500,000, voters would have to approve the sale.
The developer or developers would then build retail outlets on the acreage that would enhance the shopping opportunities for area residents, as well as the city's sale tax revenue, which is its only source other than shrinkin shared revenue from the state and federal governments.
Public comments at Tuesday's public hearing mirrored those that were made when the Planning and Zoning Commission held the first public hearing April 14. Residents are split on whether the city should go forward, and speakers from both sides urged commissioners to give the plan a thumbs up or down in making their recommendation to the City Council.
Doug Dickmeyer, like many opponents of Kingman Crossing, is upset the land use change wasn't included in the general plan when the Planning and Zoning Commission created the document, which is used as a planning roadmap that voters must approve every 10 years.
Resident Steve Smith - who voiced support of Kingman Crossing at Tuesday's meeting - said failing to put the objective in the general plan and then seeking a major amendment shortly afterwards was a "major oversight."
Opponents also voiced concerns about their votes being circumvented, the area's ability to support more retail and traffic control.
Proponents said Kingman Crossing would provide revenue for the city, jobs for its residents and more shopping and dining opportunities that would keep people in town to spend their money.
Following public comment, Commissioner Tyler Angle said he supports Kingman Crossing, saying companies want to be located along the interstate. Vice Chairman Mike Blair said he was initially against the idea of Kingman Crossing years ago, but traffic congestion on Stockton Hill Road and the potential for Interstate 11 to bisect Kingman are too important to ignore.
Commissioner Gene Kirkham said Kingman Crossing would enhance the quality of life for the people of Kingman and promote growth.
But Commissioner Mark Wimpee Jr. had a different take, saying he can see the opportunities for growth Kingman Crossing brings to the table, but he doesn't agree with the process the City Council has taken. He also doesn't think residents have had the opportunity to adequately respond to the plan.
Commissioner Vickie Kress voiced concerns over flooding that might occur since the area is currently used, at least in part, for water retention. Chairman Allen Mossberg said he is for Kingman Crossing, but he wants the Council to wait a year before taking action in order to have the land appraised.
Commissioner Dustin Lewis abstained from the vote, citing potential conflicts of interest involving parties on both sides of the issue.