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County Supervisors approve re-zone for 1,100 housing units

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PHOENIX — Without a discussion, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning change request at a recent meeting that will allow 1,100 homes to be built on a county island.

Ashley Zimmerman-Marsh of Phoenix law firm Gammage & Burnham PLC and Broadway 42 LLC want to develop 144 acres along the southeast and southwest corners of Broadway Road and 83rd Avenue. The board approved a planning and zoning consent agenda at its Nov. 17 meeting by a 4-0 vote, with the request to change from residential and commercial to strictly residential being the only item on that agenda.

The county island project, located within the city of Phoenix, was approved by the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the rezone by a 5-0 vote last month.

The preliminary plat application must indicate the realignment of 83rd Avenue to its section line alignment to remove the offset at Broadway Road. The 1,100-unit number is a maximum; The property is currently zoned as a mix of residential and commercial.

The rezoned property will be capped at a density of 10.55 duplex units per acre.

The applicant has been notified that coordination between County Real Estate, the Bureau of Reclamation and Salt River Project will be required related to the irrigation facilities crossing 83rd Avenue as part of any improvements to that road.

The development must include a 10-foot non-vehicular multiuse trail within an open space tract along the north perimeter, abutting Broadway Road.

County staff recommends approval of commission-recommended conditions, with a list of further modifications.

The property is currently zoned as a mix of residential and commercial.

The residential rezoning would be capped at 1,100 units for a density of 10.55 duplex units per acre.

There are three distinct types of homes to be included in the development: traditional single-family homes, neo-traditional homes, or detached and attached multifamily homes. The project includes about 16 acres of open space.

The developers’ plan compares it to Valley developments such as Marbella Ranch in Glendale, Verrado in Buckeye, and Desert Ridge and Tuscano in Phoenix in terms of having more than one type of home within it. Tuscano is directly north of the acreage, on the northeast corner of Broadway and 83rd.

Kristine Morris, superintendent of the Union Elementary School District, wrote perhaps the most detailed of six letters of opposition to the re-zoning request. Her letter, which mentions streets too narrow for school buses as one of her general concerns about recent development in the area, is included in a staff report.

“We all understand the need for increased and diverse housing options,” Morris said. “However, the density of residents to public school services in our community will soon be too high. Adding additional residential without the offsetting land for schools is poor planning. Additionally, planning without consideration of future annexation creates challenges that may not be able to be overcome ... Union ESD looks forward to collaboratively planning for the future growth of our community.”

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