(Disclosure: the writer is a Town Council member. The Council voted unanimously to allow the Zoning for a proposed RV park. In order to deny the zoning, the Council would have been required to cite a legal reason for denial and none was given in the public hearings).

The Forest Service has been trying to dispose of the entire 344 acre CampTatiyee property for over 20 years, but during that time, the neighbors were free to use the acreage almost as a private park. It is a beautiful property full of old trees, wildlife and pathways connecting to the Rim Trail.

Now change has come to the neighborhood. The land has been sold. Some was acquired by the Lions, who will maintain it as a camp. Most of the rest will eventually be developed - some as residential and some as commercial. In particular, there is a 25.5 acre parcel south of Highway 260 and west of Joy Furniture that will now be developed commercially.

Standard commercial development might look a lot like the current properties surrounding the Maverick Gas Station and Joy Furniture. That is to say, large asphalt areas, commercial buildings and the legally required 30% undeveloped open space. A shame to clear cut all those wonderful old trees, but I guess you could say it is progress and economic development.

Fortunately, the developer of this property has a different idea. He plans to build an RV park, something that is greatly needed and beneficial to our tourist oriented economy. The spaces will be laid out to keep as many of the big trees as possible and no asphalt - the roads will be permeable gravel which will allow rain to soak into the ground and keep the big trees alive. This will be a higher-end park - no permanent residents, no porches or sheds, no tacky ad-ons.

Wonder of wonders, this enlightened developer is even working with the neighbors - in addition to designing an attractive property, he intends to keep the trails open and design the open space so the neighbors can continue to enjoy the property.

You would think the neighbors would be thrilled, but change is difficult. Losing that big private park is difficult. Having neighbors instead of forest land is difficult. I have personal experience - that wonderful meadow next to my place now is full of condos!

Currently, some of those neighbors are circulating a petition to have a referendum that they hope will deny the RV Park zoning. They hope that in this way, they can maintain their private park - sadly, that is not true. This land will be developed commercially - the only question is what that development will look like and when it will happen.

Denying the RV park might buy a year or two, but be careful of what you wish for - look around at the other commercial land in town and that is what you will get - asphalt and big buildings, no trees, no trail, no invitation to the neighbors to enjoy the property.

Jim Snitzer,

Lakeside

(8) comments

jim beck

A few years ago the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside asked its residents to fill out a survey. That particular council realized that government officials are elected to represent the people they serve. When the survey results were tallied, the majority of P-L residents liked living in a small town. They liked the charm and natural beauty of the mountains and forested areas and they wanted it to remain as such. the majority of the respondents preferred either "Slow-Growth" or "No Growth". A minority preferred "Aggressive Growth." That should have told our current council something, but it seems it didn't. The only thing that matters to this council is 'is it revenue generating.' If it is not, it is of little or no value. Too bad.

2rusty

Low/No growth can be done, but it requires steel backbones and a really committed citizenry all working together. I'm afraid that ship has sailed. I hate every unnecessary new building and mourn every missing tree on the mountain. We've grown too much to go back now.

jim beck

Not really, 2rusty. Growth can be slowed simply by putting back in place strict zoning codes that would require developers to comply with. Such codes were in the codes until recently when the council had them all removed so developers might find little or no building restrictions here in Pinetop-Lakeside. This council does not care to save our small town nestled under the canopy of tall poderososas. They only care about bringing in more and more revenue.

timr1943

It appears that NIMBY (not in my backyard) is at work with neighbors of this proposed development.The preceding comments indicate that they have their piece of heaven here on the mountain and now it seems want to make it difficult or shut the door to anyone else. I think every one forgets that their property here was once undeveloped forest land. The issue of how this property is used can be solved by this group simply by organizing and creating a way to buy it from the current owner. We could then see how serious they are as stewards of the land when their own money is at risk.

sensible

Sounds like pure and simple greed!! Leave the trees and beautiful land alone!! Must be a tRump wanna be.. quit destroying the area and the planet!

ronzim

The last person to vote for no-slow is usually the last person who moved to town.

Conchodian

And the first person to applaud it are the ones who have personal gains to be made. He is what in store for Show Low in the coming decade. This is based off several other communities we have lived in over the decades. Next time you drive around pay attention at how many parcels are for sale and how many new homes are going up. Fact; Real estate is booming as folks bail out of crowded chaotic dumps where their spineless leaders have allowed havoc to destroy a once nice neighborhood. This is out of town money jacking up prices. Prices our kids cannot afford as the working class income of show low will never meet the soon to be cost of living here. We once lived a community of far less than 10,000 greed got a foot hold. Alfalfa and feed lots abounded. Event the hitoric auction yard was run out of town as new comer didn't like the smell of cattle. One needs ask these fools why the heck did you buy a home adjacent to a auction yard then. Those $120K homes are now multi million dollar homes only out of town people can afford. Greedy corporations bought up the land and built and built,vineyards everywhere that sucked the aquifer down to unsustainable levels and wells ran dry. Young families were forced out and eventually the well to do transplants have nobody to do their dirty work. illegal alien labor moved in,gang, shooting, 15 people in one home,the separation of the have and the have not's became more evident that ever. The exact thing the "social warrior" wankers are crying about, social and financial justice. Sure thing,but when it comes to "I got mine" to bad, all bets are off. Sure everybody deserves a fair shot to be where they want, but then why the would people live,raise a family, or move into a small town then hope to see that small town charm disappear with thousands of new homes, strip malls everywhere, traffic, smog, crime,everything undesirable for healthy living. Ronzin, your screw the town,build,build and bring it on shows your true disregard for Show low and small town America. You should move to Portland, I think you'd fit right in.

scubagal

Jim, Your seemed to forget other options. Options P-L city counsel seemed to have forgotten when Hallmark was allowed to destroy their property. Think outside the box for a minute, Maybe the town can buy the property to allow it to continue as open space. They way the city caved to the developer, and turned a deaf ear to residents was frightening. There are other choices, stop being corralled into bad decisions.

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