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Residents Irate After Supervisors Approve Arizona Development

Photo: The highlighted area shows the proposed development of an RV park, outdoor concert venue and RV storage facility in the Topock/Golden Shores vicinity of Bullhead City and Kingman, Ariz.

By Bill McKinnen

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors gave narrow approval to a rezoning request that will permit an RV park, outdoor concert venue and RV storage facility in the Topock/Golden Shores vicinity of Kingman and Bullhead City, Ariz.

And residents aren’t one bit happy about it.

The supervisors listened to a 40-minute parade of residents expressing why they opposed the proposed development. Before the board was a request to rezone the property from agricultural/residential and residential/recreation to special development/commercial.

Topock residents showed up in full force at Monday’s supervisors meeting in Kingman and gave sometimes-passionate testimony opposing the project. The Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended denying the resolution supporting the development.

Residents met last week with project developer Ryan Rodney, a meeting they said did nothing to salve their distaste for a development one resident said would “demolish our town.”

“This whole deal is really something that we don’t really want or need in Topock/Golden Shores,” resident Rick Bishop told the supervisors. “The infrastructure can’t handle it.”

In addition to concerns about water use, Bishop said he was worried about the type of residents that would populate the RV park on the fringe of the community. He said the notion that it will create jobs in the community was absurd.

“This is a retirement community,” he said. “We’re not looking for jobs.” Instead, he said, residents want to keep their quiet community quiet. “We don’t need people there that are going to come (from) out of town and ruin our town,” he said.

Topock resident Kerry Rafferty Hull, who said she has had property on the edge of town for 30 years, said a proposed sewage treatment plant to support the development would be “right outside” her home. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life listening to offroad vehicles — thousands of offroad vehicles tearing across the desert,” she said. 

“I don’t want to have to smell a sewage treatment plant right outside my back door. I don’t want to have the noise pollution from a concert venue that is across the street from my home. We’re a tiny little town. We don’t want all this.”

One resident said there was a conflict of interest with the project because Arizona Rep. Leo Biasiucci is a major investor. Biasiucci is identified as a member on the Scottsdale-based Telos Venture Partners LLC listing with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

And yet another said the near-unanimous opposition from residents should carry some weight.

“Ninety-nine percent of the community is against this,” said Robert Warmenhoven. “Go do that someplace else. We like our quiet, little town.”

Supervisors, however, voted 3-2 to approve the resolution. Supervisors Ron Gould, Hildy Angius and Jean Bishop voted in favor while Buster Johnson and Travis Lingenfelter voted against. The vote — actually, the mere motion to hold a vote — was greeted by negative response from the gallery.

“Throw them all out,” said one upset resident. “We’re going to vote you all out,” said another.

“Money talks,” another yelled.

Bishop and Angius already have announced they will not be seeking re-election on the board of supervisors. Lingenfelter, the board chairman, asked several times for civility and ultimately called a short recess to allow the upset residents to leave the auditorium before the meeting resumed without further incident.

Bill McMillen is a reporter with the Mohave Valley Daily News in Bullhead City and Kingman, Ariz.

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