Last Friday, the Chair of Save the Dells, Bonnie McMinn, sat down on the Prescott Talks podcast with Glenn Martin and San Martin Rodriguez. They talked about a wide range of topics having to do with Granite Dells, the Save the Dells Political Action Committee, and why Arizona Eco Development (AED) should give up 500 acres of land. They also spoke about a petition and resolution presented to the Prescott City Council asking for their support of the Save the Dells plan.
It’s amazing how much things can change in just a couple of days.
First of all, McMinn stepped down from her Chairmanship over the weekend.
On Monday, AED CEO Jason Gisi submitted a revised set of maps to the City of Prescott, as well as a new narrative responding to many of the Save the Dells statements. The revised map showed a total of 452 acres of land set aside for Open Space. Most of it was designated as Public Open Space, while some was labeled as Private Open Space.
Tuesday, the Prescott City Council listened about 20 people of all ages (including a 3rd grader) who talked about the importance of the Dells to the community and to themselves personally. Mayor Mengarelli tried to keep them on topic regarding the agenda item, which was the Save the Dells resolution and petition, but it was difficult for most to keep their personal connection to the Dells separate.
However, many of those speaking acknowledged, somewhat grudgingly, that the new maps were an improvement. As Gary Beverly, Chair of the Yavapai County Sierra Club admitted, “Arizona Eco’s new concept represents progress, but is not adequate."
In the end, after listening to City Attorney Jon Paladini, the Council determined that they could not support any resolution at this time. It was too soon in the established process for annexations. Paladini pointed out that the annexation application has been, for all practical purposes, suspended for several months while AED continues to consider options. Now that the revised maps are submitted, AED will need to provide further documentation to get the application started into the appropriate annexation process.