DEVELOPMENT

Buckeye P&Z green lights industrial, apartment projects

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BUCKEYE — A full agenda only took the Buckeye Planning and Zoning Commission about an hour to go through Tuesday evening.

Two of the items the board approved Tuesday were about the same project. Westpark is the name of a comprehensive master plan that includes several hundred acres, spanning onto both sides of State Route 85, with a five-phase buildout.

After Garrett Development got a minor general plan amendment and zone-change recommendations to the Buckeye City Councils, along with a rezoning request for an industrial park west of State Route 85, it was on to a far more simple action: approving a site plan for an apartment complex.

That simple action turned out to be the most time-consuming item of the night.

Continental Properties’ site plan for the board is for a 204-unit, garden-style apartment complex known as Springs at Sundance. While the amount of adults and vehicles that will bring to a rapidly growing commercial, retail and resdiential part of town was debated, there seemed agreement the complex will bring more traffic to Sundance Parkway.

“There’s already a problem with people trying to get from Sundance west, onto Watson Road,” Commissioner Charles Hester said.

The complex is set to be built on 10.7 acres at the northeast corner of North Sundance Parkway and 234th Lane, located between Watson Road businesses, Interstate 10 and an under-construction Hancock Properties housing development.

The density of the apartment complex would be about 19 units per acre. However, it’s the amount of vehicles for 204 apartments that was Hester’s concern.

Buckeye’s senior traffic engineer, John Willett, tried to quell Hester’s concern. He said yes, traffic will increase along Sundance Parkway, which has only one travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane, and already weaves between built-out neighborhoods of homes, a golf club and busy Watson Road retail centers.

“Watson Road has the biggest retail concentration in the city right now, and every developer’s trying to get in, next to it,” Willett said. “As Verrado Way and some other areas gain retail, we won’t see quite so much traffic and construction in this part of the city, all the time.”

That didn’t do much to appease Hester. He was the lone “no” vote as the board voted to approve the site plan.

The board went through some confusion at the end of the meeting when both the city attorney and a development planner thought there hadn’t been a public hearing and a separate vote on both Westpark recommendations. A staff member calling roll and making notes said there had been a vote and a public hearing on both items.

Buckeye, development, affordable housing, planning and zoning, Watson Road, Sundance Parkway, apartments, bungalow, Verrado Way