Mon, Jan

New homes face hurdles


Subdivision development in the Camp Verde area is a relatively recent phenomenon, hampered by a lack of infrastructure: Except for the Yavapai-Apache Nation’s Tunlii community, a series of Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects that began in 2008 and continue to this day, it has been a decade and a half since a major housing development has come to fruition in the area.

“Camp Verde has historically been an agricultural community,” Community Development Director Carmen Howard said. “It’s developed organically as a result.”

In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, most of Camp Verde’s ranchers subdivided their lands, increasing the land in which developers could construct on.

Much of the subdivided land lies in the flood plain, however. The vast majority of properties are unable to accommodate infrastructure. The Town of Camp Verde does not own its own water company, making the infrastructure demands of development a tricky proposition. As a result, large-scale developments like the Views of Camp Verde and the Verde Cliffs, which brought hundreds of homes into Camp Verde in the early 2000s, are few and far between.

YAN’s Tunlii is in many ways an exception, coming to term during the recession, maintaining an aggressive construction schedule to become the Verde Valley’s largest low-income housing project. Last year, YAN’s Tribal Housing department completed Tax Credit 5, a $10 million development that included 38 new homes and the foundation of a 14,500-square-foot community center to be completed this year.

YAN is in the process of building Tax Credit 6, another approximately $10 million development that includes 35 new homes and a community park. Despite its lack of subdivisions in construction by private developers, Howard said the town is open to accommodating new developments and actively looking for ways in which it can encourage such growth, creating mixed-use areas so that housing can be developed along with retail and other space, ensuring that true neighborhoods are created in the process.

“Nowadays, we look at trying to make people-friendly communities, with the thought of smaller streets and houses closer to each other,” Howard said, but added that this does not mean locals and prospective residents have to give up the wide-open spaces of yesterday: If you want your ranch, the area can accommodate you. “The cool thing about Camp Verde is you have options.”

While the community awaits news of the next subdivision development, another developer in Rimrock is forging ahead. Begun upon the 2005 completion of Thunder Ridge — a 166-lot development with completed roads but no homes — Beaver Creek Preserve only began constructing single-family homes on its 101 lots at the tail end of 2014.

By 2016, seven homes had been completed and occupied. The gated development features a clubhouse and pool, water provided by two private wells and its own wastewater treatment plant.

Right now, two new homes are in construction near the clubhouse. Within the next three months, Beaver Creek Preserve’s designated broker Deb Riley said that she hopes to see three more begin. Home plans range in size from approximately 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, with price points from approximately $270,000 to $300,000.

“The owners have come to the realization that buyers don’t want to go through the construction process. They want homes,” Riley said, adding that the developer would like to see the development sold out within two years. “The plan is to start a new house every month [and] spec home builders are invited to come in and buy lots. The more, the merrier.”

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