LB - PV Event Center - Harlem Globetrotters

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Subscriber Services | 928 Media Lab | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Obits | Yellow Pages | TV Listings | Contact Us
The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news January 25, 2015


10/1/2012 9:52:00 PM
Reality TV star, future supervisor oppose Yavapai Ranch development
Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - A reality TV star and a future Yavapai County supervisor are among those opposing a plan for 12,500 homes and commercial development at the remote Yavapai Ranch in northwestern Yavapai County.

The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the planned unit development proposal during its monthly meeting Wednesday at the county administration building at 1015 Fair St. It is the third item on the 9:30 a.m. meeting agenda.

Cody Lundin, co-star of the "Dual Survival" show on the Discovery Channel, is a Yavapai Ranch neighbor whose letter notes he lives off the grid in a passive solar earth home.

The Yavapai Ranch development application uses words such as 'green,' 'sustainable' and 'off-grid,' Lundin's letter said.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Lundin said. "There is nothing sustainable about tens of thousands of people using trucked in resources in a remote, fragile, high desert environment."

Supervisor-elect Craig Brown asked the county to delay public hearings on the proposal until the new, larger Board of Supervisors is seated in January. Four of the five supervisors will be new, including Brown. Lundin asked for a delay for the same reason.

Brown's letter said he was speaking for himself as well as for the Williamson Valley Community Organization as its president.

"Although represented as 'minor,' there are more than a significant number of changes being proposed by the developer...and they may greatly impact this large geographical area and that of the entire county," Brown wrote.

He said he has many questions related to housing density, water availability, roads and the plan's relation to the Prescott National Forest. He calls the proposal unacceptable.

Yavapai County Development Services Director Steve Mauk said it wouldn't be appropriate to make Yavapai Ranch owners wait until January for its public hearings, and Senate Bill 1598 that the Legislature approved in 2011 prevents a delay anyway.

The 51,000-acre ranch is located along a dirt portion of Williamson Valley Road about 35 miles north of Prescott and 12 miles south of Interstate 40.

The ranch's one-square-mile sections create a perfect checkerboard pattern with sections of the Prescott National Forest, prompting the idea for the largest land exchange in Arizona history. However, the Ruskin family landowners have canceled the land exchange after receiving presidential approval seven years ago. Fred Ruskin is still floating ideas for a huge wind farm and commercial telescope.

The Yavapai Ranch planned area development proposal would require a minor county general plan amendment since it seeks 95 acres of commercial development. If it included 100 acres it would be a major amendment, Development Services documents say.

The Ruskins have asked for several waivers from county requirements, including a waiver from the requirement to pave the northern 12 miles of the now-primitive Williamson Valley Road.

The county Public Works Department said it has not supported such waivers in the past.

"We hesitate to support a waiver because it could set a precedence for future developments," the Public Works letter stated.

As a way to help cover road improvement costs, the Ruskins propose requiring future residents to pay extra county fees when they seek building permits.

The Ruskins also are seeking waivers from internal road improvements. The Prescott National Forest has asked the county to stick to its usual standards, however, citing potential problems with erosion, emergency response, emergency evacuations and wildfire suppression.

The 12,500 homes would be half of what the Ruskins have a right to build under a 2000 agreement with the county if they apply for a planned unit development. The ranch already is zoned for two-acre lots.

But the Ruskins want to add vested rights to a plane runway as well as 95 acres of commercial development that could include manufactured home parks, industrial uses, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, RV parks and a variety of other businesses.

The 2000 development agreement would be nullified under the Ruskins' new proposal.

Without being voided, the 2000 agreement would call for the Ruskins to pay for Williamson Valley Road to be improved to county standards. And it calls for a traffic study as part of the ranch's application for a planned unit development.

It also would require conservation of groundwater, surface water and effluent. The Ruskins are proposing wells and septic tanks.


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   UPDATE: One Prescott homicide victim identified (29576 views)

•   Two dead, one critical in attack on Prescott family (28775 views)

•   Suspect in custody in Prescott double homicide (13148 views)

•   Powerful Osprey training from Prescott in dark (7973 views)

•   Not guilty-now what? Man finds legal system is not what he expected (5359 views)



Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012
Article comment by: Brian Boru

Obviously, the Ruskins are getting a little behind in their political contributions.

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Article comment by: Kimber Raulland

I 'd like to hear more about what state developers/neighboring counties think of this. While the whole green thing is possible and not going away anytime soon. I think we also think what it means to widen that road, and make travel more accessible, connecting towns along the way.Those Wind turbines are not as bad as the tree Huggers make them out to be, and bring much needed revenue. I see a few who think they have clout opposed to many who don't think it may be so bad for the economy. I believe we can have both. I would rather see development in our area, with honest business, and trade. Attracting small Green minded business. "Green" is the future, and I dont think others can continue to deny this, However there must also be compromise. I would rather see the development of "green" towns than more wild area tax free meth labs, and party zones. Trade between Northern AZ Towns with easier access roads, and green building is just what we need. Opening up our region to its full potential. Some in this state want to keep it all for themselves for political and profit reason for just a few. Personally I wonder if Lundin is gearing up for his next role, this time in politics, and don't think we all wish to live like he does. I certainly do not want forced into it. "Green" is good, but he is off his rocker. I think its not just good for Yavapai, but at a state/regional level. Anyone thinking they can permanently stop progress is a bit out of their heads. That is the "reality' we should be talking about here. I want to see generating "real" tax dollars for "real " progress.

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Article comment by: Kimber Raulland

I 'd like to hear more about what state developers/neighboring counties think of this. While the whole green thing is possible and not going away anytime soon. I think we also think what it means to widen that road, and make travel more accessible, connecting towns along the way.Those Wind turbines are not as bad as the tree Huggers make them out to be, and bring much needed profit. I see a few who think they have clout opposed to many who don't think it may be so bad for the economy. I believe we can have both. I would rather see development in our area, with honest business, and trade. Attracting small Green minded business. "Green" is the future, and I dont think others can continue to deny this, However there must also be compromise. I would rather see the development of "green" towns than more wild area tax free meth labs, and party zones Trade between Northern Az Towns with easier access roads, and green building is just what we need. Some in this state want to keep it all for themselves for political and profit reason for just a few. Personally I wonder if Lundin is gearing up for his next role, this time in politics, and don't think we all wish to live like he does. "Green" is good, but he is off his rocker.Anyone thinking they can permanently stop progress is a bit out of their heads. That is the "reality' we should be talking about here. I wish to see generating "real" tax dollars for "real " progress.

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Article comment by: to the Rev

Cody could use a pair of shoes.

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Article comment by: Rick Beauchesne

I drive that road almost daily, I'd like to know what all the homeowners would do if they work in Prescott and have to drive home after a big rain or snow? I've seen times that a 4WD was nasty.There's too many houses for sale or foreclosed in Yavapai county let's get rid of those first then think about building a bunch of new ones.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

What do you need Cody? How can I help?

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Ruskinville: The Road to Nowhere

Ruskin likes to call his plan "green, sustainable and off-grid," yet it is clearly full of contradictions and lacking any forethought whatsoever. I agree, there is absolutely nothing sustainable about tens of thousands of people using trucked-in resources in a remote, fragile, high desert environment.

According to Ken Simeral, lands staff officer, the Forest Service gave Ruskin's land exchange proposal "their best effort," ultimately spending more than $1 million in an effort to complete the swap. After more than $1 million had been invested, not to mention hours of time wasted, and the land swap had even been granted presidential approval, Ruskin has now chosen to walk away from the deal in favor of his latest scheme.

His PAD application claims he would try to stick with existing primitive roads as much as possible yet he makes absolutely no guarantee and refuses to give any exact details, leaving us with nothing more than vague statements and unanswered questions. If Ruskin develops homes without consolidating his property through the land exchange, as many as 50,000 acres of the Prescott National Forest could be landlocked by homes and riddled with new housing access roads. The PAD request calls for as many as 6,500 clustered rural home sites along with 6,000 residential units next to three "village centers." For the 95 acres of commercial development, the PAD seeks vested rights for a list of uses, including an airstrip (yes - you heard me), manufactured home parks, industrial uses, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, RV parks and a variety of other businesses. Ruskin has also sought the development of commercial wind towers and an astronomical observatory. How many people want to build their dream home directly beside fields of gigantic, brightly lit wind towers? And how exactly does one appreciate the starry skies typically viewed at an astronomical observatory when surrounded by the glare of light emitted from over 12,500 homes and businesses (not to mention the wind towers)? Most importantly, 12,500 new homes means new schools, new police protection, new fire protection... and lots and lots of water. In a recession economy, in a remote area with already extremely limited water availability, how will that be provided?

Absolutely ridiculous.


Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: county resident

Build it.


-rainwater collection and storage systems, can easily produce, 1/3 the annual water consumption of a family of 4, just during the monsoon season alone.

This type of system installed on new residences, combined with modern conservation techniques, could go a long way towards providing a reasonable means for solving this issue locally.


Yes. Rainwater.




Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: John Schultz

Here is the solution..Cody Lundin vs. Ruskin in an arm wrestling match. Done

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Sheesh Deluxe

Now that the real estate business is booming, vacant houses are no longer available and we have more water than we will ever need, why not?

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Ilikeit already

Craig Brown is President of the WVCO who are a bunch of no growthers. Craig Brown lives in an area that was previously a ranch and was subdivided with alot of opposition from neighbors. He and those like him that came from other places are the reason that WV Road had to be widened.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: @ Alan Whitney

So Alan, where did you move here from again?

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: I love it

All these people don't want anyone to move here.

Unless we want to get serious about controlling population growth as a SPECIES, everybody shut yer yap.


Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: B W

PUT SOME DAMN SHOES ON CODY!

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: @ Tom Steele

"In fairness"??

No - you follow the rule of law. Sometimes that isn't fair.

You sound like a liberal.


Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Build it and they will come

They want to build another Anthem up there. I think it's interesting that they landless Cody Lyndon as a "reality star" and not as a local auther and educator of wilderness and survival skills, which he has done for much longer. I guess being a reality star isn't as credible.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: @ Hillbilly and Alan

I presume it would be okay if it were Floridians or Hoosiers moving here?

NotCal indeed - how provincial and stupid.

Particularly when the majority of Californians moving here are the same cut of white trash as those who already live here - the majority of Californians moving here certainly aren't gay liberals looking for diversity and culture.



Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: @Cody Lundin

Cody, just like you I went to Prescott College and I was homeless for three years during my time in college. I am also a wilderness survival expert since 1985, and a former SERE instructor for Naval Special Warfare, so our paths are not dissimilar however, not to disparage your opinion, you are opposed to this project because of your desire to keep people out of your backyard. Is it fragile? Yes, but so are the environments of Phoenix and Tucson. I agree, urban sprawl is detrimental to the planet, and people should learn to build up and down, rather than spreading out over the land like a disease, but you, as a teacher, should educate people with alternatives and not just complain when they want to move in next door.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: don't delay

I also say don't delay this hearing until later. Deny it now. A new set of stupid-advisers may not even realize what is wrong with this proposal. I guess I can understand why Mr. Mauk would even let this get in front of the Supes, it's not like they have anything else to do. I certainly got a chuckle from the "developer" proposing that the County charge more for building permits to make up for the lack of improvements. So what does that mean, the County is to charge the money instead of the developer so the County can do all the development for him? None of this thing passes the smell test, and there are surely alternative motives for all this.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: build It

It sounds great, and with the road paved all the way to seligman it would be a great drive and time saver to get to I-40

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Tea Partier

Ruskin already has permission to build his 12,500 houses. If he wants more and goes through the proper channels - more power to him.

Capitalism at work. We don't need the government telling us what we can and can't do with OUR land and property.


Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Something smells rotten

I smell a scent of rotten eyes or something worst here. When you get a staff member saying “Yavapai County Development Services Director Steve Mauk said it wouldn't be appropriate to make Yavapai Ranch owners wait until January for its public hearings, and Senate Bill 1598 that the Legislature approved in 2011 prevents a delay anyway” you need to ask why? Why is this proposed development agreement, largest in Yavapai County history on such a fast track? Why is there a rush to avoid a vote by the new supervisors? As anyone who has ever worked in government knows, a careful review of the application could result in many reasons to request additional information and delay this hearing, if anyone wanted to.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: The Emperor Has No Clothes

Of course Brown is against it. His campaign claim of "my special interest is you" is already proving to be false. Brown's special interest is making sure no one else is allowed to build in Williamson Valley or anywhere that would have traffic traveling through now that him and his Calif Cartel is here. He wants the door shut. Mark these words and watch, Brown will fight every effort to continue with the widening of Williamson Valley Road, he will fight against any business development and any further growth of any kind in his back yard or any where near it. But he won't mind fighting for a road from Wmson Vlly to go right thru the middle of Chino Valley neighborhoods for the convenience of him and his buddies. Funny thing, Brown campaigned in support of planned and economic development. I guess he only meant it as long as he can pick where it will happen. This man only ran for office to "protect" Williamson Valley from any further growth. Otherwise, I doubt he really has any interest in what goes on.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: David Kramer

With all the proposed development, I would think that the developers should Incorporate as a town since this doesn't fit in the County plan. they should not be granted waivers for anything. A waiver is just a give away at the taxpayers expense if they want a road they need to pay for it, kicking the can down the road is just a way for the supervisors to give away millions to their supporters at the expense of those who think they will get a lot a a bargain price only to be shafted by unrealistic fees and charges that should have been paid by the developer. We already charge inflated fees because of such give a-ways thanks to the outgoing supervisors.

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Article comment by: Hillbilly Loco

California here we come.


  - Page 1 -  Page 2



Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - Circulation Costco Memebership offer
Find more about Weather in Prescott, AZ
Click for weather forecast






Quick Links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

 •  Submit your milestone notice

 •  Submit your letter to the editor

 •  Submit a news tip or story idea

 •  Place a classified ad online now

 •  Browse the Yellow Pages

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Links
Classifieds | Subscriber Services | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Find Prescott Jobs | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Contact Us
LB - PV Event Center - Comedy show

© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Daily Courier is the information source for Prescott area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, dcourier.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved