Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – Doug Angle has built hundreds of homes in Kingman over the years, but if he wants to develop 30 lots at Pasadena Estates, he’s going to have to put in curbs, sidewalks and gutters.
That’s going to cost him something in the neighborhood of $65,000, enough to make him take his ball and go home.
Angle said he’d walk away from the development if the exception for those improvements wasn’t approved Tuesday by the City Council.
The council backed a motion by Councilwoman Jen Miles to approve Angle’s request for a preliminary plat for Pasadena Estates, planned between Pasadena and Louise avenues, west of Sage Street, but without approving the exceptions.
Mayor Monica Gates questioned why Angle was being given an exemption to curbs, sidewalks and gutters when all she hears are complaints about deteriorating roads after major storms.
At the end of the day, the cost of infrastructure improvement gets passed on to the city, and as a result, more pressing needs such as repairing El Trovador hill gets pushed to the back burner, Gates said.
Angle said he’s been developing acre lots without sewers, and “negotiated” with the city engineering to bring sewer to the development off Hualapai Road at a cost of $225,000, in exchange for the exemption on road improvements.
“It’s probably going to cost $65,000, and we’re selling lots for $65,000,” Angle said. “It doesn’t make economic sense. We’ll withdraw it. Maybe it’ll make sense when the lots are $100,000.”
Gates said she’d really like to see the development, but it must adhere to city guidelines. She’s not willing to approve something just for new development if it doesn’t meet minimum standards.
“Is staff really able to – as I heard – make a deal, negotiate? Because that’s outside of what we require,” Gates said. “Am I correct?”
She’s correct, City Manager John Dougherty affirmed. Developers can negotiate to a point where it has to be taken to council for approval, he said.
Angle said the sewer wasn’t required at the time he acquired the 35 acres, and the preliminary plan for the subdivision was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in April with recommended conditions that the streets be paved, but no curbs, sidewalks or gutters.
“That’s part of the give and take,” Angle said. “They really wanted sewer. If we just had one street to do, no sweat. But all the streets around there, it doesn’t make sense. It’s up to you to tell me what you want to do.”
Councilman Travis Lingenfelter asked Angle if he’d go through with the project if the city required the road improvements for Sage Street only.
“Possibly. We’d have to look at the numbers and see,” the home builder answered.