MARICOPA — A new development in the Heritage District will take over what was once home to some of the oldest buildings in Maricopa.
McDavid Estates, a 66-acre plot northeast of McDavid and Loma roads, is currently in the public review period of the proposal. McDavid Estates by CVL Consultants on behalf of Maricopa 64 Partners is recommending a zoning change from rural and industrial zoning to residential and mixed use, which would allow a potential builder to construct homes on the property.
“It was previously approved for a light industrial business park, (but) we saw that a better use for the property would be single-family and mixed-use based on location,” said Chase Emmerson, manager of Maricopa 64 Partners.
The proposal includes over 200 single-family homes, with about 5% of the southeastern side of the property reserved for mixed-use such as multifamily housing or a live/work concept.
“Our vision for it is to have some 40- or 50-foot-wide lots which enable the builder to focus on the home and less on the lot so they can keep a great design affordable for more buyers,” said Emmerson.
Emmerson estimates each plot to be about 115 feet deep. While most of the land is within Global Water’s service area, about 10 acres to the north of the triangular property are in the Maricopa Consolidated Domestic Water District.
“There’s no date of construction at this time,” said Rodolfo Lopez, deputy director of economic development. “They’re getting the land prepared for a potential development project out there.”
Lopez referred to the land as “raw desert” and historically undeveloped — with the exception of a cluster of abandoned homes and vehicles. These homes and vehicles were the subject of a City Council meeting on July 21 to discuss the previous exemption of the area from code enforcement.
“In 2004, right after the incorporation of the city, there was a resolution adopted by the council, Resolution 04-12,” Deputy City Manager Kazi Haque said at the meeting. “It allowed a certain area to be exempt from all new amendments — nuisance, code enforcement and other common offenses.”
That area had been hard to locate until recently. Through digital imaging, Haque was able to pinpoint the exact parameters of the area where the resolution was in effect.
The properties are mainly along Loma Road and are a mixture of abandoned buildings, vehicles and White’s Towing Company, which has fallen into disrepair.
“It doesn’t sit well with our city’s image,” said Haque. “When some developer comes in they always do a comparison and say, ‘Is this a good place to invest our money?’”
Haque went on to recommend the city delete the special property designation from the city code to allow staff to work with property owners and secure removal of abandoned structures.
Though there was no public comment received about the removal of these items, Councilwoman Julia Gusse brought forth a neighbor’s complaint.
“His concern is that he wants to keep his property,” she said. “Some people’s garbage is someone else’s treasure.”
City Manager Rick Horst also mentioned that a few owners had expressed concerns about their ability to financially support a cleanup of the property, and still others were reluctant to part with their properties for sentimental reasons. In this case, Horst said the city would work with them to secure proper fencing and the boarding up of broken windows or doors.
Properties that are in violation of the code will have a lien placed on them of $1,500 or $3,000 based on the size of the property. Owners can then choose to either clear the code violations themselves or sell the property and pay off the lien that way.
“We can work with them throughout the process. If they have financial problems we will help them out,” Haque said. “But we need to start somewhere and this is a good point where we can carry on helping them by initiating this abatement process.”
Though there is technically no time frame for the removal of abandoned property, there is pressure to make the amendment sooner rather than later to make way for the new development down the road.
“The timeline would be contingent on who we work with — it could be months, it could be a year,” said Horst. “I don’t think there’s any magic date that we’re trying to make something happen, but as Kazi indicated, there’s new development coming out there and as soon as those homes are built, people are going to start complaining.”
The council unanimously voted to approve the deletion of Resolution 04-12 from city code.
The McDavid Estates project will need to complete a 60-day public review period that ends on Sept. 14, followed by two Planning and Zoning Commission hearings to discuss the project before finally heading to the council on Oct. 20 for approval or denial of the residential amendment.
To submit a public comment on McDavid Estates, please click here.