Thursday, September 14, 2006

'Matrix' goes to Supervisors...

I wasn't able to attend yesterday's P&Z meeting. The following is an email that was sent to me that covers what happened..

Today the Mohave County Planning & Zoning Commission met for its regular monthly meeting. Item 44 on the agenda was "Discusion and possible action RE: Consideration of a policy regarding standards of evaluation for proposed minor land division applications, in the unincorporated areas of Mohave County, Arizona."

This was essentially the last item on today's agenda. The meeting opened, though, at 10 am this morning with a call from the Commission Chairman, Earl Hamlyn, to move this item to the top of the agenda. Other Commissioners disagreed with shuffling the agenda, indicating that many people who intend to speak either in favor or opposition to the Matrix were probably not yet in the audience, as they would have known that it was almost last on the agenda. It was agreed that those in the audience wishing to speak on the issue could speak either in the morning or later when item 44 was again before the Commissioners, in the original agenda order.

Item 44 finally came up at around 5:15 pm. Many in the audience had left for good and there were approximately 15 speakers on this item. Those who spoke on the issue were predominently against the Matrix. I believe 10 speakers opposed, 3 had concerns about specific components of the matrix and 2 were in favor of it.

The Matrix has been altered since last week's Matrix "workshop".

The Planning & Zoning Commissioners removed all infrastructure and service requirements from lot splits which create parcels that are 5 acres or greater, with the exception of maintained, 2 wheel-drive passable roads. Two Commissioners indicated that they would want to see proof of maintenance agreements and/or receipts, paid invoices, etc. for roads that are privately maintained, though.

Parcels less than 5 acres must be in a fire district or have an agreement for fire protection service acceptable to the Commission.

Parcels less than 2 acres must also have a connection to water service acceptable to the Commission or be on a shared well arrangement acceptable to the County.

Parcels less than 2 acres must also be within 1/2 mile of a paved road.

Parcels 1 acre or less must be on a paved or surface-treated, dust-controlled roadway.

Parcels 1 acre or less must have direct access to a public sewer or a denitrifying alternate septic system.

I believe a copy of the new Matrix is available at the Mohave County Planning & Zoning Department's web site.

The Planning & Zoning Commissioners voted 6-2 in favor of recommending this matrix as a guideline for adoption by the Board of Supervisors at their October 2, 2006, meeting. (Commissioners Joe Bibich and Bill Abbott voted against recommending the matrix to the Board of Supervisors.)

The Board of Supervisors must now be targeted with constituent opposition to the proposed matrix.

By the way, today the Commissioners used the new Matrix as the criteria for evaluating this month's requests for rezone applications for minor land divisions. The Commissioners claim that consistency is a goal of the Matrix. They have yet to demonstrate any consistency in their recommendations for rezone requests for minor land divisions since first using matrix criteria at their April, 2006, meeting.

I want to thank Kent Luken for the update. Sorry you had to be there the entire day, I had no idea it would take so long.

Time to get serious now, time to go to the County Supervisors and let them know how we feel about this. Hopefully the elected members will listen to the public, something this Commission has simply refused to do -- save for two members.

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