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By Lynn Pyne <br />'l'he Phoenix Gazette <br />One year ago in Paradise Valley, <br />the year 1982 promised to be such a <br />yawner town officials yearned for a <br />prescription to cure apathy. <br />They found it. <br />And now, most. likely, they're <br />wishing they hadn't had to swallow <br />some of the bitter pills that have been <br />forced down their throats in the past <br />12 months. <br />It's been a year of standing-room- <br />only council meetings, tempestuous <br />zoning debates, courtroom battles and <br />angry words. <br />Councilmen have learned first-hand <br />what it means to be "between a rock <br />and a hard place." They've had to <br />take their lumps -whether dished <br />out by residents, developers or giant <br />corporations -no matter which way <br />they turned. <br />·For a year that unfolded without a <br />murmur of controversy, a surprising <br />number of divisive issues emerged. <br />Cable television, development on <br />Mummy Mountain and time-sharing ______ .:_ ___ _ <br />at the Hermosa. Inn provoked the <br />hottest debates. But even a proposal <br />for a steeple-topped chapel at Valley <br />Presbyterian Church generated <br />enough controversy to pack council <br />·chambers. <br />0 <br />In January 1982, all was quiet. <br />Eight candidates were vying for <br />election Feb. 9 to the seven Town <br />Council seats, but their campaigns <br />were not rife with the hullabaloo seen <br />in other cities. <br />At the time, Councilman William J. <br />Simon said, "I'm not sure there are <br />going to be any issues." <br />Although the calm atmosphere was <br />greeted with some feelings of relief, <br />councilmen were wary of the public <br />silence and disinterest accompanying <br />the quietude. <br />Mayor J. Duncan Brock worried, <br />"We need for citizens to express their <br />feelings at council meetings and at the <br />polls. Apathy is a disease the town <br />cannot afford." <br />On Feb. 9, Paradise Valley voters <br />:t:e-elected the six incumbents seeking <br />Town Council seatS. The only new <br />face was Robert W. Plenge, replacing <br />P. Robert Moya who did not seek <br />another term. Defeated was Saundra <br />K. Sandblom. <br />The election was hailed as an <br />affirmation of support for town poli- <br />cies, which were described by council- <br />men as a united effort to uphold 'the · <br />town's residential philosophy ~md' <br />resist pressures for commercial devel- <br />opment. <br />0 <br />Meanwhile, the wheels of govern- <br />ment.were rolling smoothly. <br />Pursuing its goal to annex two <br />county islands in the heart of Paradise <br />Valley, the town gobbled up 425 acres <br />in January. This completed the an- <br />nexation of nearly all the residential <br />property on the county islands except <br />Clearwater Hills. <br />Progress also was being made in <br />luring the other county island dwellers <br />-most importantly Marriott's Cam- <br />elback Inn and Mountain Shadows <br />and the Paradise Valley Country Club <br />-into the,town fold. <br />5 . <br />To pave the way for their annexa- <br />tion, three new zoning categories were <br />drafted which were intended to pro· <br />vide ground rules acceptable to both <br />property owners and the town. <br />The new zoning ordinances were <br />scheduled originally for adoption· by <br />the Town Council in March. But the <br />decision was repeatedly postponed to <br />allow time for further negotiations <br />with the resorts and iron out the <br />nitty-gritty details. <br />Town officials said an agreement <br />has been struck, but the year 1982 will <br />end without a formal decision on this <br />issue. It has been rescheduled for l! <br />council hearing on Feb. 24, 1983. <br />0 <br />Town officials were busy in early <br />1982 with other projects besides the <br />annexations. <br />Equipment costing $105,000 had <br />been ordered for Paradise Valley's <br />townwide alarm-monitoring service. <br />Hailed as a weapon against crime, the <br />system will allow subscribers' home <br />alarms to be monitored by dispatchers <br />in the town Marshal's Department. <br />··-. '. . ·.).-':' .. .': .. <br />estu us year. <br />1982 <br />in review <br />Currently, the dispatchers' equip- <br />ment has been set up, but delivery of <br />the subscriber · terminals is behind <br />schedule. Marshal Peter Wafuwright <br />said he expects receipt early this <br />month, then testing will start. The <br />alarm-monitoring service could be <br />offered to residents in late March. <br />The widening and reconstruction of <br />Tatum Road was delayed a few <br />months in early 1982 by sluggish <br />utility companies, but the $1.12 mil- <br />lion project was completed in May. <br />Marshal's deputies vowed to strictly <br />enforce the 40 mph speed limit in an <br />effort to curb accidents. <br />Also in May, Town Manager Oscar <br />Butt unveiled a conservative $3.2 <br />million budget designed to maintain <br />the same level of government services <br />and provide modest salary increases <br />for town staff in fiscal year 1982-83. <br />Butt reported the town had squir· <br />reled away more than $~ million over <br />the years -"enough. money so if all <br />hell broke loose, we could live a year <br />. without any income" ,:.:... despite the <br />fact that Paradise· Valley's 12,250 <br />residents pay no property tax. · <br />The new budget was adopted by the <br />Town Council and went into effect <br />July 1. Butt predicted. the town's <br />savings would remain untouched - <br />and might even grow -during 1982· <br />83. ... : <br />Summer br~ught : not only hot <br />weather to Paradise Valley, but also <br />heated issues. :~ · ', , . <br />.A harbinger of legal battles to come <br />was · Arizona Public Service Co.'s <br />request in early summer for a hearing <br />date to pursue its five-year-old lawsuit. <br />against Paradise Valley. <br />The utiiity sought to strike down a <br />town ordinance requiring under· <br />ground burial of new utility lines. The <br />town code, adopted in 1964, was <br />heralded by the town fathers as a . <br />Soe .o PV, NE-4 <br />. ·~:~-At the same time,· councilmen <br />:'delivered ·a second . blow by fining side development and advocated turn- <br />ing the rocky, little mountain into a <br />mountain preserve. <br />Settlement would include approval --------------------------------------- <br />of La Place du Sommet, Brock said. In iJ1. ........... , v (' /., 7.,... JJ.,.. t( t""\t'J 3 .. · . Storer $83,400 for allegedly failing to, <br />complete the cable system by the <br />agreed~'~pon deadline. <br />.. ' Storei'abandoned its plans to sell <br />. tlle cal>le system and plunged full- <br />speed into providing service in Para- <br />dise .Valley, but filed a lawsuit in late <br />July c~allenging the $83;400 penalty, <br />. The cable company and town <br />officials are attempting to negotiate <br />an out-of-cou.rt settlement. <br />The cable company and town <br />officials were attempting to negotiate <br />a settlement out of court, but as 1982 <br />ended, negotiations had broken down <br />and the parties were headed back to <br />the courtroom. .. <br />After cracking down on the-cable <br />1 1 company, councilmen barely had time. <br />to catch their breath before tackling·, <br />{ one of the thorniest issues of the year: . <br />· ·· La Place du Sommet. <br />A sometimes-noisy crowd of nearly <br />100 packed council chambers Aug. 26 <br />when -after lengthy discussion - <br />the council voted· 4-3 to quash the , <br />development. <br />The issue could have ended there, <br />but didn't . <br />. Burns filed a $45 million lawsuit <br />Oct. 1 against Paradise Valley, seeking <br />to overturn the council's vote and <br />alleging Councilman Simon had a <br />conflict of interest when he voted <br />against the project. <br />Later that month, the Town Coun- <br />. cil scheduled a special meeting at <br />which it was expected to approve a <br />revised plan for La Place du Sommet. <br />The meeting never took place. <br />Shortly beforehand, town officials <br />• effect, it would reverse the council's r n..., ~., ,... \::(" "~ c: T\ r-:;) l) <br />earlier decision -:-without taking • <br />another council vote . <br />Why back down on the issue? <br />"It could be they (the council) · <br />made a mistake," Brock said. Former <br />Town Attorney Douglas A. Jorden <br />had advised the council that Burns · <br />had a legal right to build La Place du <br />Sommet, he said. . .. <br />Not only did the final' plan conform <br />to the previously approved ·prelimi- <br />nary plan, but it met the· town's <br />regulations, Brock said .. ·· · . · . <br />It remains to be seen whether <br />present attorneys will echo Jorden's <br />advice. If councilmen find they <br />haven't a leg to stand on in court, they <br />likely will decide to settle the suit. <br />And La Place du Sommet will be <br />. built. <br />0 <br />2. <br />"step toward a desirab.le, uncluttered· <br />· envitonment." <br />APS and the· town squared off in <br />Maricopa County Superior Court in,.. <br />September and the town emerged· <br />victorious. . 1 <br />But by that time, Paradise Valley <br />· officials ··had other legal to <br />consider.· · <br />0 <br />·In July, Storer Cable Communica~ '' <br />tions sought ·to sell its newly com- <br />pleted townwide cable-television net- <br />work to its Paradise Valley. <br />competitor, American Cable Televi- <br />sion. <br />The sale of the $3 million network <br />would have given American sole <br />control of the town's cable operations. <br />In exchange, Storer would have <br />received a similarly sized cable system <br />in Southern California from Times- <br />Mirror Corp., the controlling owner of <br />American Cable. <br />But under Storer's operating li· <br />' cet1se, it needed Town Council ap· <br />proval to consummate the deal. <br />The council -buoyed by residents'. <br />angry complaints about American <br />Cable operations · -set a Valley· <br />precedent by voting unanimously to <br />derah the sale. · <br />.. Council members asserted competi· <br />tion···wauld result in· improved cable. <br />service.-.--· · ,,_, · · <br />Burns· investment Opportunities <br />Inc. planned to build'32luxury homes <br />-La Place du Sommet -on the <br />northeast slope of Mummy Mountain. <br />Previously, the counciLhad approved <br />the preliminary plan and Burns spent <br />nearly three years on planning and <br />learned town engineer Bob Atherton <br />may have moonlighted for Burns <br />Investment, possibly constituting con- <br />flict of interest. <br />.Town officials requested a probe by <br />Department of Public Safety· special <br />investigators to "ensure the integrity" <br />of actions <regarding La Place du <br />Sommet. They 'also · hired an inde- <br />pendent engin~ering firm to re-evalu- <br />ate the projet~t. <br />Councilmen emerged from their <br />'decision on La Place du Sommet only <br />to run headlong . into another issue . · <br />that would pack council chambers <br />with standing-room-only crowds: <br />time-sharing at t)le Hermosa Inn. <br />The inn was valued at $6.45 million, <br />but the time-share plan was expected <br />to reap $22 million for the four <br />partners in the venture. <br />0 <br />These legal entanglements were <br />further complicated by a musical- <br />chairs situation in the office of town <br />attorney ·until December, when A. Instead, the chapel can be built'at <br />Paul Blunt was hired as a permanent one· place and the ~teeple at anbther <br />replacement. · ~ on the ground --within 50 feet of <br />1 ·. engineerjng. <br />. In July, Burns sought final ap• <br />· proval. <br />The smooth-sailing project sud- <br />denly encountered opposition as resi- <br />dents came out en masse to vehe- <br />. mently argue the development had too <br />. , n1any houses and· would unduly scar <br />·the mountainside. <br />. Many hours of debate were heard at <br />·the (irst council hearing, but a 3-3 tie <br />.;vote left the issue unresolved. (One <br />:.·:councilman was absent.) <br />: •. : By· the second hearing in August, . <br />,: U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater had en- <br />: tered the fray. In a letter to the <br />:mayor, Goldwater deplored mountain-•. ,., . r· <br />As the year 1982 drew to a close, the <br />town was waiting for the DPS investi- <br />. gative report, which ha~ · been com- <br />pleted and sent to the state Attorney <br />General's office. <br />The engineering firm's report con- <br />.. firmed Mayor Brock's belief that <br />1 "~ob had don~ his job well to be~in <br />· w~th," BrQck sa1d. · <br />Proceedings' on the lawsuit were <br />1 halted tempontrily during the investi- <br />gation,' but Paradise Valley council-: ' <br />men·. will meet Jan. 13 to decide <br />wh.ether to instruct their attorneys to <br />s~tue·l~e syit. '· <br />· Jlermosa Tim'e-Share Limited Part- <br />nership planned to sell the resort's 35 <br />luxury villjls in one-week increments <br />to investors. Before doing so, it was <br />required by the town to amend its <br />special-use permit. ' .J <br />Residents argued the sale would <br />harm the one-house-per-acre residen- <br />tial concept upon which the town was <br />·founded. · <br />The issue was heard and postponed <br />twice -over a period of months - <br />before the Town Council reluctantly <br />approved the plan 5-2 in late October. <br />The sessions were rife with angry <br />outbursts and clenched teeth. <br />Councilmen said they had received <br />legal advice that they d~d not h~ve the <br />authority to stop the t1me-sharmg, so <br />instead app~oved an . agreemen~ that <br />gave the town some control over 1t. <br />Residents were infuriated by the <br />vote and are contemplating a lawsuit <br />· agai~st the town to reverse the <br />decision. <br />attorney. ' <br />Douglas A. Jorden, Paradise Valley <br />town attorney for four years, left in <br />July to join a Phoenix law firm. <br />He was replaced by Harry Craig, <br />who was fired without explanation in <br />September by the Town Council. <br />Craig accused the council of violat- <br />ing the open-meeting law when itfired <br />him, and took his complaint to the <br />state attorney general. The allegations <br />are still under investigation, Craig <br />said. He has gone into private law <br />practice in Phoenix. <br />Craig was replaced temporarily by <br />Bill Piatt, an attorney who had <br />worked on a contract basis for <br />Paradise Valley in the past. <br />Piatt assumed the title of town <br />• each' other. ""'' <br />November brought n'o respite for · ·· Church leaders expressed distriliy, <br />Paradise Valley councilmen. · saying the steeple couldn't be pluc,k~d <br />The Valley· Presbyt~rian ChUrch . from the rooftop and planted in·•lhe <br />tan afoul of town ordinances -"-" which ground~ They were forced to go back <br />restrict the height bf church steeples tO the drawing board. . ,;.,,,,, ,, <br />to 30 feet from ground level·-when it . That's where the issue stood::· as <br />sought to .build a 30-foot-high chapel 1982 drew to 8 close. " : ·~ <br />topped with a ao~foot spire. . . . ' 0 ""' .. <br />· Nearby residents objected -to the There appears to have been -~~e <br />60-foot height, saying the size was bright _spotin late 1982: the unve1hng <br />unnecessary and would not enhance of a lohg-awaited plan to develop th_e <br />the town's predominantly residential McCune Mansion property as a .r~si· <br />character. dential subdivision, with the mans1on <br />After a long, emotional debate i? ·. , becomingone of the homes. "; <br />crowded cham hers, the Town Counc1l So far, the ·plan seems to'·, be <br />first defeated the proposal, then vo~ed palatable tO residents and councilmen <br />to reconsider and then voted to g1ve. alike. . .'·'""'' <br />the church its chapel and steeple. The owner, North American f>t6P· <br />But ... the steeple cannot be built erties Ltd., plans to develop 28 lU)'\!!Y <br />on the chapel.· · · · homes.. · ., ,.,