City approves Deep Well Ranch development

The Prescott City Council has approved development proposals for the Deep Well Ranch project north and west of the Prescott Municipal Airport. The 6-1 vote in November followed months of public meetings and public hearings, planning and zoning sessions, and intense reviews by community members. The proposal resulted in diverse opinions among community members.

Approval means that project developers can move forward with short and long-term plans to create a 1,800-acre master-planned residential and commercial community.

Carved from the much larger 18,000-acre James Family Ranch, the land had been annexed into Prescott city limits more than 10 years ago. At that time, it was determined that Deep Well Ranch had an existing water allocation of approximately 950 acre feet.

An attorney who represents the James family told the council the James family wants to keep the remaining acreage as a working ranch.

The development request filed in summer 2017 essentially defined specific categories to be included in the project.

They include residential, retail, commercial and employment potential with broad residential options. Specifically, descriptions were for multifamily high, single-family, industrial light, mixed use, business regional and specially planned community. It further specifies dedicated land intended for use for schools and public safety facilities. A 10,500-home cap is included in the master plan.

In July 2017, Trevor Barger, Chief Executive Officer of Espiritu Loci – the Spirit of the Place – explained to a public gathering that he represented Chamberlain Development, which had teamed with the James family. They had collaborated to create a long-term vision for development of about 10 percent of the ranch owned for years by the James family.

Barger, whose firm is in Scottsdale, stressed that project growth and development would not happen in the immediate future. He emphasized that the project was long-term – 35 to 50 years.

“We need to be visionary in planning for the future,” he said.

Barger and others representing the development emphasized that the development would not be one big asphalt and concrete-covered expanse of land. The plan required more than 400 acres of open space, including a 50-acre wildlife corridor and several miles of hiking trails to complement already existing hiking trails in Prescott.

The council also approved related rezoning plans for an adjacent area and plans for the airport area. The city owns a municipal airport.

More information is available by contacting the Deep Well Ranch office at 8400 N. State Route 89, Prescott or visiting espirituloci.com/deep-well-ranch.html.