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Buckeye P&Z approves Encanto rezoning

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A one-hour discussion about rezoning 38 acres off of Jackrabbit Trail culminated in a recommendation for approval Tuesday.

However, that recommendation wasn’t unanimous.

By a 6-1 vote, the Buckeye Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending the City Council approve rezoning of 38 acres for an infill phase of the Encanto development, between Jackrabbit Trail and 191st Avenue.

District 1  Commissioner Alan Ladd was the lone board member to vote against the recommendation.

Separately, the phase property’s annexation hearing was held at last week’s City Council meeting.

Presumably, the council will be able to vote on both the rezoning and annexation at its April 19 meeting.

It’s not clear from meeting audio which commissioner voted against the recommendation to rezone. No roll-call vote was taken; Buckeye doesn’t record video of public meetings.

Jason Morris of Withey Morris PLC spoke on behalf of Encanto 2020 LLC about a number of concessions the developer has made after showing an initial plan to area residents.

Not only is the total number of units reduced, lot widths and amount of open space increased, he said, but also, entries and exits to the development will only be at two dedicated points along the southern edge, along Monte Vista Road.

“These access roads will only be connected to Monte Vista, and won’t go straight across into 193rd Avenue or any other existing streets,” Morris said.

Morris did not point out the increased traffic on Monte Vista, though a traffic study would be required.

The Encanto property is zoned RU-43 as a Maricopa County unincorporated pair of parcels; state law requires incoming similar designation that would initially make the land SF-43 in City of Buckeye zoning.

The “43” refers to one dwelling per acre, as one acre equals about 43,000 square feet.

If approved by council, the new zoning for the 38 acres would be community commercial (C-2) and single-family 6 (SF-6) with a planned area development overlay.

In its proposal, the developer plans to only use the middle four-fifths of the property for the 99 homes, with commercial development along Jackrabbit Trail and a rural area along the 191st Avenue edge of the property.

The Paloma Vista Industrial Park is on the other side of 191st Avenue on the east side. A park-and-ride facility on Jackrabbit Trail and more planned housing are to the west. Older neighborhoods, in which many residents own horses, are north and south of the 38 acres.

Arizona properties can be annexed by adjacent municipalities at land owner’s requests following a lengthy approval procedure that involves the city that’s annexing it.

The board got unanimously votes on three items at Tuesday’s lengthy meeting.

The commission approved a comprehensive sign plan for Jackrabbit Ranch Marketplace. That’s a commercial center under construction on the southeast corner of Indian School Road and Jackrabbit Trail.

The 53-lot second phase of the Regent Hills residential subdivision preliminary plat was approved. It’s situated on a north-south strip that runs long the western edge of Hole No. 15 of the Verrado Golf Club course.

The 25-acre phase, located near where the pavement currently ends on Lost Creek Road.

The board recommended the council approve a development code amendment meant to help provide economic opportunities, streamline review and approval procedures and provide aviation-specific development standards within the airport overlay district.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, the board attended a workshop on food truck standards and working updates. The board held a similar workshop last fall.

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