The approval criteria for amending the General Plan requires the Council to consider that “The development pattern contained in the land use plan does not adequately provide appropriate optional sites for the use proposed in the amendment.” And, “That the amendment constitutes an overall improvement to the Town of Cave Creek General Plan and is not solely for the good or benefit of a particular landowner or owners at a particular point in time.” As part of the Cave Creek General Plan Amendment process, the Town Council must also consider the following seven criteria in its rezoning process: water, traffic, environment, open space, land use, cost of development, and sewer.

P.R.I.Z.E. believes the lack of attention this criteria received from Town Council concerning Walmart was of great disservice to the citizens.

As to the Water Criteria: There is no water infrastructure in place to accommodate a big box retailer such as Walmart. The Town Council did not address who will pay for this infrastructure to the Walmart site if a Walmart is built.

As to the Traffic Criteria: The roads are inadequate to handle the additional one million cars per year that a Cave Creek Walmart will generate. The Town Council did not address how the roads could be improved to adequately handle the one million additional cars and did not address who will pay for this infrastructure if a Walmart is built.

As to the Environmental Criteria: The adverse effect on air quality from one million Walmart vehicles, 24-hour noise and light pollution, and the impact on wildlife will be substantial and irreversible.

As to the Open Space Criteria: Cave Creek’s commitment to open space is not served by rezoning pristine desert to big box commercial when commercially-zoned land is already available on the western edge of Cave Creek.

As to the Land Use Criteria: General Commercial zoning is the most intense land use category in Cave Creek. The land use for the 240-acres on the west side was planned appropriately.
The levels of zoning from most intense to least intense are as follows: General Commercial > Commercial > Commercial Buffer > Multi-Family > Single-Family. Following these zoning guidelines ensures separation between the most intense land use category (general commercial) and the least intense land use category (single family). The Olesen Road neighbors and other residents below Carefree Highway deserve the same consideration.

As to the Cost of Development Criteria: Along with the costs of providing sewer, water and road infrastructure, the impact on Cave Creek’s eclectic and western image will result in a loss of tourism, loss of existing businesses, and reduction in home values. After the land was purchased by Walmart, the adjoining properties experienced significant reductions in their homes’ values, and in one case, the loss of a sale.

As to the Sewer Criteria: The Town’s new sewer plant will need to be operational before the Town can provide sewer services to Walmart. According to the White Paper, the new sewer plant won’t be operational for two years: “...the proposed new sewer plant construction would commence in April, 2009 and would be completed and operational within 2 years.” (White Paper p. 15). The only property that will be served by extending sewer lines to the Walmart property is Walmart. The Town Council did not address who will pay for this infrastructure.