Recognition of an historic anniversary for women’s rights, a proposed tourist destination at a Valley gold-rush ghost town and a new residential development near Sun City West top the docket at today’s Maricopa County Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
With an agenda comprised of nearly four dozen action items, as well as numerous addenda, the panel’s formal meeting will be hosted 9:30 a.m. today in the Supervisors’ Auditorium, 205 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix.
Board chairman Clint Hickman, who represents District 4, will preside over the board’s first formal meeting of February. In a guest commentary published in the Daily Independent last month, he touted the value of responsive, transparent government.
“Government’s role should be to build communities where individuals have the opportunity to create a high-quality life knowing that their government is spending their money in responsible ways that enhance health and safety and give residents a voice in the process,” Mr. Hickman stated.
The board’s proceedings will be streamed live at their YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/maricopacountyaz.
Videos are typically archived at the site up to five days following each meeting.
The board will kick off the meeting with a proclamation celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters, while establishing Feb. 14 as League of Women Voters Day.
“… the league has sponsored legislation and fought to protect and strengthen voting rights and access, as well as free and fair elections, and … the league has consistently been noted for nonpartisan election information, sponsorship of candidate forums and their commitment to register, educate and mobilize voters,” the proclamation reads, in part.
Founded in 1920 with the merger of the National Council of Women Voters and the National American Suffrage Association, the nonpartisan group was created to empower women to exercise the right to vote.
That right was permanently established six months later with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote for the first time, at least nationally.
Arizona women were enfranchised in November 1912 — nine months after the state’s Feb. 14 founding — when the state overwhelmingly voted to extend the vote to women, becoming just the 10th state to do so.
Arizona ratified the 19th Amendment Feb. 12, 1920.
The board will consider a special use permit for Vulture Peak Tours, LLC, approval of which would allow walking tours and overnight accommodations at a 15.7-acre site north of Vulture Mine Road, about 8.5 miles southeast of Wickenburg.
The permit will allow development of a tourism and recreation facility associated with Historic Gold Mine Town Tours at Vulture City, where in addition to walking tours, special events may be hosted, such as weddings, concerts, festivals, team building events, parties and other activities.
Accessed by the currently unpaved 355th Avenue, the ghost town has a variety of existing sites ready to redevelop, according to the developer’s application narrative.
“The property has a total of 14 historic structures built in the late 1800s, including a former brothel, assay office, bunkhouse, workshop, cookhouse, Wells Fargo post, and Henry Wickenburg’s cabin,” the report states.
Mr. Wickenburg — a Prussian prospector who discovered Vulture Mine in 1863 — later founded the Town of Wickenburg, which in 1866 failed to become Arizona’s territorial capital by only two votes.
The mine he found operated until 1942 and produced more gold than any other in the state’s history and Vulture City grew to an estimated population of 5,000 before it was abandoned.
The existing structures will be restored, either to be preserved for viewing or used as facilities if deemed safe.
During peak season from October through May, tours will operate 9 a.m.-3 p.m. seven days a week; depending on weather, Summer tour hours will be 8 a.m.-noon.
The developer predicts the site will draw up to 50 visitors daily and as many as 100 on weekends, eventually. Pedal bikes and off-road vehicles may also be available to rent in the future.
Up to six casitas will be constructed at the site, along with a small bathroom and kitchen and other shared amenities to accommodate overnight stays.
“Each casita shall have its own parking stall located nearby and designated. The casitas would be grouped together with central shower facilities and gathering area with a fire pit and activity area (e.g. horseshoes) … Visitors of the casitas would be able to access the site through an intercom or keycard system any time of day through the gate while staying on the property,” the report states.
The property will also have 10 RV stalls for overnight guests.
The board will also consider a zoning change request from a developer, who hopes to construct a single-family residential subdivision near Sun City West.
The project, called Camino Crossing, would encompass 123 home lots on about 26 acres northeast of the intersection of El Mirage Road and Williams Drive, just west of Peoria and south of the Loop 303 junction.
Lots will have a 5,000 square feet minimum and average 6,700 square feet with a maximum 30-foot building height for two-story homes. Three-and-a half acres will be devoted to shared amenities, according to the application from the developer, Meritage Homes.
“Approximately 3.5 acres of dedicated open space throughout the subdivision. These spaces will provide open space and landscaping. Tract ‘A’ and ‘J’ will handle storm water retention for the neighborhood. Tract ‘J’, the open space amenity may include a tot lot, ramada, barbecues, and/or recreational court, and turf areas,” the report states.
The developer plans to build the community in a single phase, though no timeline was presented in the application.
See the whole meeting agenda at maricopa.gov.