After earlier denial, 228 apartments back on track

Honeycutt Ranch Elevations
Elevations show proposed designs of the affordable housing apartments at Honeycutt Ranch, a 228-unit community located in Seven Ranches. The project received planning & zoning approval Monday. [City of Maricopa}

The Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission Monday granted approval to rezone 15 acres at the southeast corner of Honeycutt and Continental roads from General Business (CB-2) to General Mixed Used (MU-G) for a proposed multi-family development and future commercial development.

The project, known as Honeycutt Ranch, is located in the Seven Ranches area and is proposed as a 228-unit, three-story apartment community. The commission also approved the site plan, landscape, photometric and elevation plans for the project, paving the way for it to move to the city council for approval.

The buildings in the community will be three stories each, with a maximum height of 40 feet.

The commission had denied the application request of Los Angeles-based Lincoln Avenue Capital, LLC for a zoning change from commercial to mixed use at its Nov. 8 meeting. The project was denied for two reasons, according to commissioners – the lack of input afforded other Seven Ranches property owners, and the developer’s single-use plan for an area the Lincoln was asking to be converted to mixed use.

At Monday’s meeting, Lincoln addressed those concerns by adding an additional three acres to the northeast corner of the initial 12-acre proposal that will be designated as mixed use.

Vice Chair Michael Sharpe said he doesn’t love the project, but the developer has met the conditions the commission laid out for it, and he had no further reason to oppose it.

“I want to be cognizant of folks who live in Seven Ranches, and I have concerns about this project,” Sharpe said. “My biggest concern is that we were trying to shoehorn a multi-use, high density project into this particular mixed-use development. Now that they’ve added this additional land, as much as I do not particularly care for this type of development, our hands are tied. They’ve met the criteria and our hands are kind of tied because property rights are property rights.”

The city staff’s report on Lincoln’s request said the project would provide a product that helps the city meet current and future housing needs.

“This housing provides a much-needed amelioration to the accumulated demand as brought on by the lack of housing types as identified in the city’s General Plan and Housing Plan,” the report said. “The overall development of the property will provide a population within the Seven Ranches subdivision. As a result of this, there should be a sufficient demand to serve as a catalyst for commercial development.”