Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting Nov. 20

Leaders to consider developments, land use plans


County leaders face a full docket of action items for consideration tomorrow morning – from zoning changes and site plan approvals, to service awards for longstanding employees.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will host its public meeting 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Supervisors’ Auditorium, 205 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix.

The formal meeting will also be streamed live online and archived for later viewing; visit for more information.

Daisy Mountain Area Plan

The planning commission at its Oct. 24 meeting unanimously approved an update to the New River Area Plan, which has since been renamed the Daisy Mountain Area Plan. Encompassing the New River, Desert Hills and Anthem areas, the land use plan has not been updated since 1999.

In the intervening decades, new construction and annexations prompted county leaders to update their guidelines for the area’s development, according to the staff report from the October P&Z meeting.

“Much has changed in the planning area since then, including a reduced planning area due to annexations, the buildout of Anthem, new commercial development along I-17 and Carefree Highway, and additional population growth throughout the region. These changes over the past 20 years necessitate an update to what is now an antiquated plan,” the report states.

The area plan addresses a range of concerns, including land use, transportation, environment, economic growth, growth areas, open spaces, water resources, energy and cost of development.

Key changes to the current plan include:

  • A 27% reduction in the planning area due to annexation of large areas north of Carefree Highway west of Interstate 17 by the city of Phoenix.
  • Redesignation of the area from “Town Center” to a rural density classification.
  • Adding New River Road at 7th Street as a scenic corridor, with related development guidelines consistent with the existing scenic corridors along I-17 and Carefree Highway.

Based on pubic input following an extensive outreach effort, the updated plan embraces several key development principals for the area, including:

  • Preserve and respect the rural lifestyle
  • Foster low-density, large-lot residential development in keeping with current land use
  • Balance responsible land use decisions with private property rights
  • Preserve and protect natural features and open space
  • Protect scenic corridors

The plan also lays out of vision for an interconnected system of public hiking trails to encompass the Cave Creek and Lake Pleasant regional parks, Spur Cross Ranch, the Tonto National Forest, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, and Bureau of Land Management property in the area.

“Combined, these areas provide residents many thousands of acres of protected, natural open space to enjoy. This plan encourages protection of these areas for current and future generations, and for a safe trail system that helps connect them,” the report states.

Consent agenda

The supervisors will consider four projects among their planning and zoning-related action items on the consent agenda at the meeting.

For a project on county island land northeast of the intersection Cave Creek and Lone Mountain roads in North Phoenix, owners of the Toy Barn North seek approval to rezone approximately 3.4 acres to allow for an RV and trailer storage facility.

The planning commission at their Oct. 24 meeting voted 5-0-1 to advance the measure to the supervisors.

In a rural area near Wittman on the northwest corner of 211th Avenue and Patton Road, Arizona Desert Testing, LLC seeks a 15-year extension of its special use permit, which was first approved in December 2014.

The company uses the facility as a designated General Motors laboratory for weather testing automotive interior materials.

In another case, an applicant seeks to rezone and remove a previously approved special use permit on about 637 acres of a larger 1,191-acre parcel previously designated as the General Motors Proving Ground.

The owner has no current plans to develop the empty land located the northeast corner of Ellsworth and Pecos road in a county island area; but rather, according to the applicant’s narrative, the parcel could be subject to a future request for annexation into the city of Mesa for development of a mixed use residential community.

A planned extension of State Road 24 freeway lies north of the subject area and county officials will require a future traffic impact study should development plans move forward.

In the far southwest of the county, another applicant seeks zoning approval to advance plans for a solar power generating facility.

Located on a seven-parcel conglomeration totaling approximately 164 acres at the southwest corner of Old U.S. Highway 80 and 355th Avenue in the Arlington area near the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the project is owned by Max Bakker of Sun Streams, LLC.

Employee service awards

The board will acknowledge 14 employees who have served the county for 30 years with the presentation of award plaques.

Among those to be honored are: Michele Albo, Jamie L. Collins, Cynthia Huth, Diane Knuepfer, Eva M. Lessing, Gregory Miller, Gustavo Rodriguez, Cheryl Burnside, Luis Antonio Higuera, Valerie Martinez, Jayme Barbosa, Bruce Baus, Paul Hamstra and Michael Rosiewicz.

Five employees will be recognized for 35 years of service to the county, including Derrick J.W. Knott, Olivia C. Ramirez, Sheilamae Smalls, Laura Summers and Yolanda Escajeda.