I am writing on behalf of the homeowners of Quail Run Road north of McDonald regarding the Quail Run project article appearing in the Nov. 22 Independent. The developer, lead engineer and PR expert have been interviewed and their views noted. The neighbors would like to share our perspective.
The article states, “(Town) Staff supports the development standard deviation exceeding the length of 500 feet for a dead-end street…the roadway length is an existing condition and the pavement on Quail Run Road will be brought into compliance.”
The corner of Quail Run and McDonald has barely 30’ of right of way at the entrance to the street versus the standard of 50’. There is not a path to gain more. Whatever “widening to standard” achieved further down the road is negated by the choke point at the corner of Quail Run and McDonald. When we built our home in PV 20 years ago, our builder poured footings 6 inches into the setback the town required. The town did not say, “no big deal – that can work.” They required the builder to re-pour the footings at a cost of several thousand dollars. This is one reason we chose PV, they had a reputation for doing things right.
This is why it is so troubling that 20’ less than standard right of way is now “good enough.” Staff’s argument for extending the length of a dead-end street because “the road is already too long” is faulty and dangerous. The proposed development more than doubles the number of homes on Quail Run, conservatively doubling traffic at an already compromised intersection. The proposed path for the “improved road” begins with a width less than the town standard, angles east, before widening the street to the full town standard in front of just a few homes, then angling the street once again and ignoring the length limit for a dead-end road.
The new road usurps existing utility easements, causing months of disruption moving existing utilities. These plans create a less safe road with a narrow intersection on a blind curve, no safe space for pedestrians, particularly on the west side of the street. The plan creates a tunnel-like street with a reduced “landscape buffer” in front of the Andaz wall on the east side, and a road perilously close to a long brick wall on the west side. It is an unsafe and less than elegant solution.
The developer’s statement, “We actually had two cul-de-sacs on our application, so that we could comply with that 500-foot rule,” is absurd. Whether there is a cul-de-sac or not, the additional roads extend far beyond the 500-foot rule.
The assertion that, “to eliminate the deviations, the developer would have to make Quail Run connect from Lincoln to McDonald… what the residents didn’t want is a thoroughfare. That creates the traffic they’re worried about,” was stated by Carrie Martz, the developer’s PR expert. This statement reads as a threat to accept this plan or put up with worse.
This tactic does not seem to reflect the developer’s intention to “be fully compliant, get along with the neighbors and be a respectful developer.” The most recent General Plan eliminates the possibility of Quail Run going through to Lincoln from McDonald. Those changes were made in part due to the safety issues raised by these same neighbors about proposed plans regarding the neighboring Andaz Resort. If the developer is threatening to make Quail Run go through from McDonald to Lincoln, their argument that they cannot obtain the right of way to access their development from Lincoln is a faulty one.
Since we have lived on Quail Run, this is the fourth time these neighbors have spent hours meeting with staff, council, commissioners, attorneys, developers and engineers to educate ourselves on proposed plans and workable solutions for Quail Run. We are acutely aware of the unique situation this stretch of road presents. We support responsible development and believe when done right it is a win for everyone. This plan does not meet those criteria.
We implore Town Council to honor the unanimous rejection of this proposal by the Planning Commission and deny any access of this development from McDonald Drive.
Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.