Nearly 4,000-home development proposed for Prescott

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(Source: Prescott Courthouse Square) (Source: Prescott Courthouse Square)

Homes could spring up soon all over Prescott as part of a proposed Arizona Eco Development project.

The project began its public review process this week, as Arizona Eco Development CEO Jason Gisi appeared before the Prescott City Council on Tuesday to introduce plans for a 3,850-home development.

The project would include annexation of two parcels of land, as well as a parcel that is already within city limits, The Daily Courier reported.

"The goal of today's meeting is to introduce this project to the council and the public," Gisi said Tuesday, adding that the meeting was "the first of many public hearings I'll be required to host."

Gisi next will ask the city to take in two parcels of land - a north section near the Prescott Airport, and the Homestead annexation near the Point of Rocks, the formations that border the old Peavine railroad route, which is now a trail.

Gisi said most of the Point of Rocks would be preserved under the plans.

"On the major formations, there are zero plans to touch them," he said, noting that the project would designate the area as open space, which would be preserved in perpetuity.

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Still, Councilwoman Jean Wilcox had several questions about the plans for development along the trail.

"When people use those trails, they're going to be going through a suburb," Wilcox said, questioning the recreational value of "seeing a lot of walls and houses," as they walk or ride along the trail.

"I think it will damage the economy," she said, referring to the local tourist draw of the scenic trail.

Wilcox suggested developers position their homes as far as possible from the Point of Rocks.

"It would be much more desirable to have less dense (development) at the intersection of the Peavine and the Iron King," she said.

But Mayor Pro Tem Jim Lamerson stressed the private-property rights of the landowners.

"How presumptuous of you to have ideas on how to use your land," he told Gisi.

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Wilcox urged Gisi to consider providing connections between planned open space tracts and trails, and allowing access to the general public.

Gisi responded: "It's been demonstrated that open space is an asset, and our goal will be to create connectivity."

Gisi estimated a City Council vote on the annexation could be nine to 12 months away. He added that "if everything goes seamless," development could be underway by 2019.

Gisi said he expects to submit the formal annexation application, including the legal descriptions, soon.

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