After hearing concerns raised by the Artesia Concerned Citizens, the Graham County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to approve the preliminary plat for the first phase of the Sierra Del Sol subdivision.
The first phase of the subdivision will consist of approximately 530 acres of residential and commercial development south of Safford. The first phase is approximately one-third of the 1,700-acre Sierra Del Sol subdivision. The development is about eight miles south of Safford near the intersection of Highway 191 and Artesia Road.
Local developer Ted Prina of Silver Prina LLC said the 530 acres will include 770 lots for single-family homes, a nine-hole golf course, 158 acres of commercial land bordering Highway 191 and 56 acres for multifamily housing.
He said the subdivision is aimed toward retirees and adults, so there would likely be little impact on local school districts.
Paulette LeBlanc, spokeswoman for Artesia Concerned Citizens, said area residents are concerned about wastewater disposal and the possibility of a community septic system.
She also said there are concerns about the commercial development within the subdivision and utilities in the area.
Prina addressed the concerns about wastewater disposal when he pointed out he has “will serve letters” from the city of Safford indicating the city is able to provide water and wastewater services to Sierra Del Sol.
LeBlanc asked that the Board of Supervisors require a signed formal agreement addressing the water and wastewater services and signed by the Safford City Council before approving the preliminary plat.
Graham County Plan-ning and Zoning Director Will Wright said agreements for those services are usually not taken to the council because they are handled administratively.
Wright said Prina cannot proceed with the project until the final plat is approved and recorded.
District 3 Supervisor Mark Herrington said the Arizona Department of Water Re-sources will require Prina to take measures to protect the underground aquifer from any wastewater that could leach into the water supply.
District 1 Supervisor Drew John said he was satisfied with the will serve letters from Safford.
“At this point, a letter of intent is pretty good,” John said.
In an unrelated matter, the supervisors also approved an exception to the zoning requirements that will allow a spire on the proposed LDS temple and a steeple on a proposed LDS church in Central. The spire and steeple heights on the proposed buildings received favorable recommendations from the Graham County Planning and Zoning Commission in September.
Also Monday, the supervisors took the following actions:
• Approved a zoning change from general use to commercial that will allow Jimmy Meredith to open a restaurant on Swift Trail.
• Denied the development plan for the proposed Mountain View RV Park & Resort near Morris and Greenwell roads.
• Approved the final plat for Pinaleno Trails subdivision in Central.