EAGAR — A tabled issue from November’s town council meeting reemerged for a vote at the Dec. 2 meeting regarding the request for rezoning in the Hillcrest subdivision of Eagar. The request was brought to the council by Chris Compton and six of his neighbors after the rezoning petition was denied due to a 2-2 tie vote in a Planning and Zoning meeting. The request, to rezone the subdivision from an R1-10 to an R1-10R, would have had the effect of barring “tiny homes” and manufactured homes from being installed onto lots in the neighborhood. Jeremiah Loyd, the Planning and Zoning administrator for the town of Eagar, made a short presentation on the issue prior to the council’s vote on the request.
“Of note, manufactured homes are either already installed or the lot owner plans on utilizing their lot for this purpose,” Loyd said, listing off five lot numbers from the Hillcrest subdivision where the owners have expressed interest in placing a manufactured home currently or in the future. Within Hillcrest, there is already a manufactured home located at 193 North Hillcrest Drive, and it has been present in the neighborhood since at least 2007 according to public sale records.
“The Hillcrest subdivision is located in an area that’s identified as ‘In-town’ in the General Plan,” Loyd said. “The highest densities in Eagar are found in areas that allow manufactured homes, as identified in the General Plan. Although manufactured home areas ‘constitute less than 4% of all homes, they are more than 30% of the housing stock, indicating that these uses are at substantially higher densities than single-family homes.’”
The Town of Eagar General Plan, which was adopted in 2014, provides an overall plan for the town’s growth and development and, in accordance with state law, therefore guides all “land use and zoning decisions.” One of the objectives within the plan is to “Encourage a range of residential land use densities and commercial intensities within Eagar,” and a main objective to achieving this goal is “encouraging higher density land uses adjacent to the town core.” The Hillcrest subdivision falls well within the area marked on the General Plan map as “in-town” meaning the area closest to the town core that is not planned for commercial activities. This is the area that the General Plan would like to see higher density residential areas develop.
“My recommendation is the Hillcrest subdivision rezoning quest from R1-10 to R1-10R does not fall in line with the General Plan,” Loyd said to the council. “Further, it does not appear that manufactured homes are prohibited by the CC&Rs of the subdivision and the applicant did not receive the recommendation for approval by the planning and zoning commission. Therefore, the zoning request should be categorically denied.”
There was no discussion by the town council after Loyd’s presentation and the issue went straight to a vote. Councilman Reece Hadlock was not present at the meeting, and one member, Debra Seely, recused herself from the vote since she was a member of the planning and zoning commission before joining the Eagar town council in September of this year. The vote of the remaining members was unanimous in striking down the request for rezoning.
Amber Shepard is an local journalist covering municipal governments and other Apache County topics.