A step back in time: Deep Well Ranch
- The Deep Well Ranch project has been in the making for over 50 years.
- The James family and the City of Prescott have partnered in many ways over the decades
- The Deep Well Ranch development provides funds to help support local non-profit endeavors
- For the most part, Council believed that the Deep Well Development was a good thing for the City of Prescott into the future
- Read more...
Lately, questions have risen about the Deep Well Ranch development.
This Prescott project goes back more than 50 years to when the City of Prescott needed to run water mains across the property owned by the James family. That agreement set the stage for the development that is taking place today.
Listen to Sal Lutey, a local attorney, explain how the project came about, and the plan going into the future.
Harold and Mitzie James purchased the land from the Perkins Cattle Company in 1954. It is still a cattle ranch - raising Corriente cattle exclusively.
Corriente cattle are bred from Criollo cattle, descended from animals brought by the Spanish in the 15th century. They require less water and can live on sparse, open range, which is exactly what is available here.
Corriente cattle are considered “sport cattle” and are typically used for rodeo and roping.
Only about 1800 acres, about 10% of the land, will be used for this development; the other 16,200 acres will remain a working ranch. The current zoning allows 12,565 dwelling units over time, but the Master Plan asked for 10,500 units, according to information from an October, 2017 meeting.
The funds from this development helps to support many of their charitable programs - including local charitable endeavors, such as 4-H Camp & Outdoor Learning Center at Mingus Springs, the James Family Heart Center and the YMCA.
Read more at jamesfamilytrust.com
Councilman Steve Sischka explained, “...the James family has contributed to this community for a very long time. Councilman Sischka recalled a time in the 1960's when the hospital could not make payroll and the James family stepped in and helped out. We need to look at reality and look at the people who have always worked with the city. The staff has been magnificent and when the Council leaves, who is left, the staff and they aren't going to get it wrong.”
Councilman Blair noted, "it will take a lot of years for build out. Whenever there is change, emotions get stirred up and we need to get passed the emotions and ask if the Master Plan and Development Agreement is a good thing for the City of Prescott not only for today but for the future and the answer is yes.”
Neither of the current mayoral candidates were on Council at the time.
The Deep Well Ranch Development and Master Plan agreement passed by a 6-1 vote of the Prescott City Council on November 28, 2017. Councilwoman Jean Wilcox was in dissent.