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City of Buckeye tries to deal with rapid growth

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BUCKEYE — Massive, speedy growth is well-documented in Buckeye.

At last week’s Buckeye City Council workshop, the city’s Development Services staff showed some of that documentation.

In addition to taking in almost $45 million in construction fee revenue in Fiscal 2021, according to Development Services Director Brian Craig, the city has seen massive spikes — and a few dips — in many categories over the past few years.

Some of these trends will begin to level off for parts of the city. However, some large developments are on the horizon that will replace and, in some cases, dwarf the large planned communities wrapping up now.

Craig said the city took in almost $45 million in construction fee revenue in fiscal 2021. That’s a spike of almost 50% over the $31 million the city received in the same types of fees during fiscal 2020.

A dip in permits occurred this year, Craig said. After a record and sudden spike to 3,343 single-family home permits in calendar 2020, the number has slowed this year.

Craig said about 2,600 permits had been issued in 2021, as of last week.

“We’ve had conversations about this being mostly a supply-side slowdown, because the demand is clearly still there,” Craig said. “Construction companies have had a really tough time finding workers and materials.”

Craig said he expects those problems will get worked out, though he said he hesitates to say exactly when.

Buckeye officials said since the April 1, 2020, U.S. Census Bureau snapshot date, which put the city at about 91,000 people, the city has grown in terms of completed construction and new move-ins. The estimated population of Buckeye is now much closer to 100,000.

Craig also said he anticipates multifamily housing to grow as well. There are two projects beginning construction soon; there are seven such projects, totaling 1,674 units, under review by Development Services.

Also, there have been preliminary plats approved for the Douglas Ranch master-planned community.

That project, which involves sports and real estate magnate Jerry Colangelo and the Howard Hughes Corp., is a massive, mixed-use project with about 100,000 homes involved.

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