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The Kingman City Council has sided with residents who oppose an affordable housing project for veterans in the area of Jackson Street and Mission Boulevard, just off Hualapai Mountain Road.

Council members voted to reject rezoning required for the 24-unit duplex development on five acres following input from 16 speakers during their Feb. 5 meeting.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the request to rezone the property from R-1-10 to C-2. A number of people who work to provide service to veterans endorsed the development.

“Kingman really needs to be able to support its veterans better than it does now,” said Philip Shaw, a Catholic Church Vicar. “There are those of us who are working in the trenches. We see the people. We see the difficulties. We know the faces and we know the needs.”

Paul Pitts, a Vietnam War combat veteran and Vice President of the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, also addressed the Council.

“Our veterans are in need. The diminishing amount of housing available to veterans continues in Mohave County and in the Kingman area,” Pitts said.

Residents who own homes on larger lots in two nearby subdivisions said they don’t oppose housing for veterans, but they object to the proposed location. They expressed fear that the higher density development would degrade the value of their property.

We are not against the veterans. In fact I’m a Vietnam era veteran myself,” said Wayne McDonald. “Where you’re wanting to put it is not the right place and putting it there will devalue our land.”

Citing overwhelming opposition from residential property owners, Council voted against the rezoning. Project officials said they may shift the development to a nearby parcel that is already zoned C-2, though unit density may be increased to generate revenue to offset the additional cost of that property.

- Dave Hawkins

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