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Smart Voters Recognized by Developer in Newspaper Ad

I heard through the grapevine that Hermosa Ranch developer Jerry Diddy published a list of all 336 people who signed the petition circulated by Committee to Stop Irresponsible Development volunteers in December, along with a list of the volunteers. These are people who were smart enough to realize that a housing development at the end of Wickenburg Municipal Airport’s recently lengthened runway is just plain stupid.

I have no idea why Mr. Diddy spent his money to place such an ad. If his goal was intimidation, I think he failed miserably. The people who signed the petition were glad — no, eager — to do it. It’s unfortunate that his list didn’t include the dozens of out-of-town residents who wanted to sign but couldn’t. That certainly would have made the list even more impressive.

Hermosa RanchFor those of you who read the paper and don’t understand what the hoopla is about, here’s the photo the newspaper won’t print. It clearly shows the proposed development’s proximity to the runway (approximately 3500 feet) and its centerline (which goes through the property’s northwest corner).

Would anyone in their right mind want to live in one of the houses in Hermosa Ranch? Hell, no! But who says potential home buyers will be told how close their homes are to the airport runway and its centerline? Or about the noise they can expect or the risks associated with being near an airport landing/takeoff path?

Are the mayor and council willing to risk losing FAA Airport Funding or restricting Airport operations to allow this developer to build houses so close to the airport? Willing to give up the possibility of ever having an instrument approach for safe landings in bad weather? Or commuter airline service in Wickenburg? Apparently, yes.

Are the mayor and council willing to make the Town of Wickenburg (and its taxpayers) liable for personal and property damages in the event of an airplane crash in the development they approved? Apparently, yes.

And what ever happened to the General Plan, which clearly designates this land as “Open Space/Trails Connectors”? Planning put in place by the previous Town Planner/Airport Manager, who knew what he was doing? Planning voted upon and accepted by a Mayor and Council who understood the importance of the airport and open space, as well as the safety of all citizens? A Mayor and Council more interested in the Wickenburg lifestyle than increasing roof count and profiting on real estate transactions?

Is anyone unable to see what’s really going on in the Town of Wickenburg these days? Can you say Good Old Boys?

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