The debate surrounding the construction of the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel and master planned community in Paradise Valley was settled November 4 after voters passed Prop 411. Approving the town council’s decision to issue a special use permit, the ballot measure passed 67 percent to 33 percent, a margin of 2 to 1, according to results.
David Schmid Vice President of Development with Five Star Development, the company developing the project, is excited that the project was approved and that they can move forward after nearly a year in delays. “We’re delighted.” said Schmid. “We knew we had broad support from the town council, planning commission, our neighbors in the area, and the community at large, but we’re still very happy it passed.”
Now that voters have given the green light for a Ritz-Carlton resort hotel in Paradise Valley, groundbreaking is expected in January. And the hotel could open as early as fall 2010.
Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Proposition 411, paving the way for the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley, the second Ritz-Carlton in the Valley.
With all precincts reporting, unofficial results showed passage by a 2-to-1 ratio – 4,371 votes in favor to 2,166 opposed.
Supporters, including Mayor Vernon Parker,celebrated Tuesday night at a sprawling private residence built by Scottsdale-based Five Star Development which will build the Ritz-Carlton.
The Town of Paradise Valley is building two new fire stations to decrease the need for other city’s fire services to respond to calls within PV’s town limits.
Currently Phoenix fire and medical teams respond to calls in Paradise Valley, and are currently operating temporary fire stations in the Town until the new stations are completed. The new stations, in addition to serving the community of Paradise Valley, will also respond to calls in the surrounding areas of North Phoenix.
“The stations are responsible for Paradise Valley’s population of about 14,000, as well as significant portions of surrounding Phoenix,” Wintersteen said. “We are not first [response] for Scottsdale even though we are close.”
The Town of Paradise Valley is unique to the Valley Of The Sun in that this small town has its own legal jurisdiction for all crimes committed within the city limits.
The majority of court cases in the Valley are handled through the Maricopa County Superior Court; however the town’s Municipal Court handles all of Paradise Valley’s cases. Although they are separate, any appeal from the Municipal Court case goes to the Superior Court.
Paradise Valley Municipal Court was established in 1964 and became a Court of Record in 1976. A Court of Record is a court that keeps permanent records of its proceedings, which gives it a better position in the event of an appeal. Also, only Courts of Record have the power to fine or imprison a person.
PV’s Municipal Court was created in the town’s initial incorporation grant out of a desire from the residents of Paradise Valley to not be consumed by Phoenix or Scottsdale, and to keep those cities’ government involvement to a minimum.
Update: Take a look at the Phoenix Red Light and Speed Cameras Map.
Recently, photo enforcement cameras have become popular with law agencies and have been popping up more and more across the Valley in the past few years. Yet PV has a long history with these automated speed traps.
Paradise Valley was the first town in the country to implement radar cameras in 1987 and back then the fine was only $60 for speeding. Today, Paradise Valley has three stationary cameras, two mobile photo enforcement vans, and the fine is $175.
Kari Jensen, a Paradise Valley resident, says that she has never been ticketed via the cameras, but several of her friends have. “I think they help cities that have them as a way to raise revenue. But as a deterrent to speeding, I don’t think so much,” said Jensen. “We moved to PV in 1991 and I don’t think we were aware of the cameras until they put them on Tatum.” Read more…
In the next few years Paradise Valley residents could see an $11 million rejuvenation project for the Berneil Channel. This project would make the channel (also referred to as a canal) more efficient for carrying water, drastically reducing the possibility of flooding the area. The renovation would also create a landscaped, multi-use area for runners, walkers, and the general public to access the channel.
Scott Buchanan, a hydrologist with Stanley Consultants (the firm working on the project) and Town Engineer Bill Mead held a meeting on September 27, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the suggested Berneil Channel drainage improvements and obtain feedback from the community about the proposed project.
Considered by many to be a scar on the beauty of the area, the Berneil Channel starts at the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley border and works its way south eventually flowing into the Indian Bend Wash. The channel (lined with cracking 30-year-old concrete, dirt and a retaining wall) is a matter of concern for the town as its water carrying ability is not effective. The retaining wall was last breached by raging floodwaters in 1993, damaging nearby homes.
A town like no other in the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise Valley is sixteen square miles that is home to over twelve resorts, five golf courses, and three spas. These amenities make Paradise Valley a town whose income is very much focused on tourism and tourist revenue.
With gas prices and airline ticket prices on the rise, Paradise Valley is an area directly affected by tourist and consumer dollars. While many hotels and tourist related businesses are feeling the pinch of the economy, others say business is as good as ever.
Deborah Gallow of Pucci Salon and Day Spa states that she has noticed the economy affecting her business. “Yes, the economy has affected us just like the rest of the world,” said Gallow. “We have discounts of products, discounts of services… anything to get people in.”