Sunday, December 21, 2008

More coverage on the ACC decision re: Pravada...

Dave Hawkins has a piece that appeared in the Las Vegas Review Journal today, linked here.

Both Dave and Ric Swats (from earlier post) seem to have been the only media outlets with coverage of this very important decision from this weekend. The Hawkins article has some different quotes that I'll copy and comment on below...

Commissioner Kristin Mayes cast the dissenting vote after failing to pass an amendment that would have stalled construction of the golf course until enough homes were occupied to generate effluent to water the course. She said it would be "immoral" for Rhodes to waste groundwater on a golf course in the parched desert.

"Anybody who drives through Golden Valley knows this is the area where we need aggressive conservation," Mayes said. "Unfortunately, what we did today is we blessed off on the use of 900 million gallons of groundwater in Mohave County for a golf course."

First I feel that Kristin Mayes has had a bug up her rear end about this project from the beginning. Back in the summer of 2006 I was invited to speak at an open meeting at the ACC and gave my thoughts on the benefits to Mohave County that a master planned development could bring to the area. In my opinion watching the meeting that day, Ms. Mayes and another commissioner seemed hardly interested in what any of the public that favored new development in our area had to say.

Makes me wonder if golf courses in say Maricopa County saw this kind of scrutiny... and there are plenty of places to chase the little white ball around down there.

Luckily there were other commissioners that spoke to some facts...

Chairman Mike Gleason and Commissioner Jeff Hatch-Miller said there is nothing wrong with using groundwater for the course. Both said Rhodes and his staff had proved a sufficient water supply and that he is legally entitled to use the resource to build an upscale development unrivaled in the area.

"Mohave County generally hasn't had that luxury, a large master-planned community with a golf course and other amenities that people really want," Hatch-Miller said. "This (Pravada) affords that opportunity."

I'm sure people will disagree, but it IS okay to use groundwater to provide luscious green grass to play golf on. Although I'm not for certain, there seems to be popular belief that the city of Kingman picks up the water bill tab for the local course in Kingman and the water is just regular groundwater (I reserve the right to be wrong on this). However, the use of effluent on golf courses is gaining popularity in this new eco-friendly world that we are being dragged into. At this point I'm indifferent on the issue.

But why are we even talking about effluent and golf courses here?? I thought this ACC ordeal was to decide if an entity was worthy enough to serve as a utility, in this case for water services, for a planned development where people will one day live. The commissioners above had said the property owner is legally entitled.

Be sure to read the rest of the article linked at the beginning, good comments about the developer placing importance on water conservation by limiting the amount of turf on residential properties and use of water conservation products in the homes that will be sold there.

The overall good news here is that the developer is in the best postition now to decide the fate of the development, now it is basically just the developer vs. the market. There may be some approvals needed at the county level, but this ACC decision has been in the works since 2005 believe.

Hopefully there will be more reports on the intentions of the developer in the days ahead.

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