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CASA GRANDE — The Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission gave approval to a 42-acre, 205-unit active adult manufactured home community during its July regular meeting last week.

The meeting was switched to Thursday because of the Fourth of July holiday.

The project, which was proposed by WLB Group, is to be located in an area bordered by Viola Street to the north, Casa Grande Avenue to the east and O’Neil Drive to the south.

A city staff report to the commission said the project is an excellent example of an infill housing opportunity for the city.

“The site is surrounded by development on all four sides and could transform a dirt lot into a housing development that would utilize existing infrastructure and city services,” the staff report said.

The commission also voted to approve a zone change to single-family residential to allow the manufactured-home, resort-living community. The zoning change requires City Council approval.

The idea of a community for active adults 55 and over drew some concern from commission member David Snider.

“The staff report mentioned affordable housing and I’m not sure why the applicant feels compelled to have it as age-restricted housing in the neighborhood,” Snider commented. “Having an age restriction kind of sticks out to me.”

City Planner Joe Horn responded that during a meeting with area residents, that was one of the concerns with the site and as a result it brought a lot people to the meeting.

“The fact that it was an age-restricted community, I think that alleviated a lot of stress from them,” Horn told members of the commission. “I think they are very welcoming of that proposal. I think if it wasn’t age restrictive, I don’t think they would’ve felt that way. That was one of the big selling points for the surrounding residential areas.

“I think holding that neighborhood meeting and discussing that project up front is one of the reasons why we did not receive other comments and it was well received.”

According to the staff report, the homes are expected to be sold for anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000. The community would help meet the current demand for this type of housing in the Casa Grande area, the report said.

Representatives of WLB Group told the commission the next step in the process is getting a site construction permit, and they are anticipating to start the project in eight to nine months.

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