Freshly constructed roads, foundations and home structures cut through scrub brush that covers a corner of land at the edge of Doney Park.
The new rural subdivision, called The Hills at Slayton Ranch, is one of several projects that have been working their way through the pipeline at Coconino County's community development department in recent years as the region's economy has rebounded from the Great Recession.
Together, the housing projects have claimed some of the last large, developable and “subdividable” county land around Flagstaff, said Jay Christelman, director of the community development department.
“We’re running out,” Christelman said. That’s especially true when it comes to land adjacent to infrastructure that could be extended to newly built homes, he said.
Building activity in general has ticked upward as well, with permit activity in 2018 already on track to be 30 percent higher than last year, Christelman said. As for the subdivision projects that are in progress, most are ones that have been revived after coming to a standstill during the recession.
With a variety of lot sizes and housing types, the subdivisions in progress or in the planning stages should offer a range of house prices, he said. That includes high-end homes on 10-acre lots near Forest Highlands, smaller lots and likely more affordable homes planned for Kachina Village and manufactured home spaces planned for Bellemont.
Here is a roundup of projects that have recently received county construction approval or are in the planning stages.
Located in the northeastern part of Doney Park, construction in the 126-lot Slayton Ranch subdivision began in 2004. The first and second phases of the project were completed by 2006, but progress stalled during the Great Recession and the housing market bust, said Tim Shinkle, a realtor who is the local marketing representative for the subdivision and is developing some homes there.
Roads and utilities infrastructure for the final two units, which encompass 42 parcels, was completed last year. Shinkle said he plans to start selling the final 18 parcels next week.
Most buyers of the 2.5-acre lots are custom building their homes, Shinkle said. He is building two spec homes in the subdivision that he said will sell for between $600,000 and $620,000 for about 2,500 square feet.
The 61-lot subdivision is being built on one of the last large undeveloped tracts of land in Doney Park. Construction on the first 20-home phase of the project finished more than a year ago and 80 percent of those homes have been sold, said Chris Garrison, developer at Johnson Ranch.
The second, 41-home phase of the project should be completed in September, Garrison said. The homes are starting in the high $300,000 range, she said.
When Johnson Ranch went before county supervisors in 2015, it was the first new subdivision to be proposed in Coconino County in at least seven years, according to the county's community development department.
Because county supervisors gave approval for the developers to change the property’s zoning to a planned residential development, the lots are as small as one acre and are built in a clustered design, which differs from most of Doney Park.
Kachina Village North
The 40-acre development, which will occupy the last large undeveloped parcel in Kachina Village, has had a bumpy history.
The developers have sought and received county building approvals at least four times over more than a decade, Christelman said. Three of those times, the Scottsdale-based developer let its approvals lapse, which meant starting the process over each time.
In May, county supervisors again gave initial approval to the Kachina Village North construction plan, which calls for 130 lots on the northeast end of Kachina Village.
Pine Valley’s Chandler-based developers want to build a 10-acre RV park and a 20-acre manufactured home park on land located to the northwest of the Bellemont interchange.
The project needs to renew its conditional use permit for the RV park, which would include 146 vehicle spaces and amenities such as a clubhouse, Christelman said. The remaining 20 acres would have 140 spaces for manufactured homes.
The final phase of construction is underway at Flagstaff Meadows in Bellemont. This last stage of the project calls for a total of 243 lots.
The homes are advertised as energy efficient and several models will begin below $300,000, according to Flagstaff-based developer Capstone Homes.
This is another development that was put on hold during the Great Recession, with work just restarting in 2017, Christelman said.
Design plans haven’t yet been submitted for a 106-acre development off Harkey Ranch Road, north of the Coca Cola bottling facility on west Route 66. The owners of the property are members of the Harkey Family, which has a long history in Flagstaff, Christelman said. Those family members are still meeting with surrounding property owners to determine the appropriate size and number of lots.
A Scottsdale-based developer has proposed 16 lots of 10 acres each in an area southwest of the Forest Highlands subdivision. The access is through Forest Highlands, Christelman said.
County supervisors approved preliminary construction plans for that subdivision last month.