Chandler council votes down plan to turn mansion into Chateau de Vie - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Chandler council votes down plan to turn mansion into Chateau de Vie

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Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012 3:32 pm | Updated: 8:23 pm, Mon Feb 27, 2012.

A couple’s two-year effort to transform a Chandler mansion into a lavish events center has failed in the face of neighborhood opposition.

Chandler’s City Council rejected plans for Chateau de Vie, a Tudor-style mansion on a property that dwarfs even the pricey homes around it. Owners Nick and Shelly Goodman had proposed a bed-and-breakfast and a bistro on a 10.4-acre property that features a one-acre lake and more than 200 mature trees.

Supporters and opponents filled the council chambers for hours of debate Thursday, when the council rejected the use permit for the event center by 6-1. Council members said they wrestled with the issue but sided with neighbors who said they moved into the area knowing there was a residential mansion next door, not a commercial venue.

“There’s an expectation of peace and quiet,” Councilman Rick Heumann said.

Only Councilman Jack Sellers voted for it.

This wasn’t the first time the mansion has been in the spotlight.

It got attention several years ago when its owner was identified as a big player in the Internet pornography business. A dentist later owned it but fell into financial distress in 2009. When a bank auctioned the mansion’s belongings, thousands flooded the mansion to get a rare look inside.

The mansion sits on land zoned for agriculture. The Goodmans argued it was unlikely an owner would live in it again because most people who could afford it would prefer to live among similar homes. Also, they said anybody with the means to buy the mansion would find it too dated.

And they argued heavy traffic is another strike against it. The mansion is on Kyrene Road near Chandler’s border with Tempe.

The Goodmans predicted that unless the mansion can become an event center, it will likely be torn down and replaced with homes. Many residents who opposed their plan had told Chandler they would prefer a subdivision.

Chandler’s Planning and Zoning Commission had supported the event center after reviewing traffic and noise studies.

The mansion was built in 1985 and features four hidden passages, stained glass windows, murals and elaborate marble and wood finishes.

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