Transportation and traffic issues were the main points of conversation at Monday’s Planning & Zoning commission meeting regarding Moonlight Ridge, a planned development slated for the former Anglin Dairy Farm. The proposed project is at the northwest corner of W. Smith Enke and N. Green roads, east of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Course.
Moonlight Ridge is proposed as a 489-acre community being developed by Forestar USA Real Estate Group. The company is seeking to rezone the area from Industrial to a Planned Area Development that would include about 1,350 single-family homes and 850 multi-family units. With that mix of 2,200 total dwelling units, the community would be home to about 5,700 residents.
Initial plans show the development also will include mixed-use zoning as well as 180,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial. The commercial portion of the community will be in the southeast corner of the parcel, at the intersection Smith Enke and Green.
One point that raised questions from several committee members was a roundabout proposed by the Arizona Department of Transportation on Smith Enke Road east of the project. Commissioner Dan Frank questioned the roundabout, primarily because of its proximity to the intersection.
“The question I have is the distance between the roundabout and the streetlight,” Frank said. “It seems rather close, and I wonder if that’s going to work well from a traffic flow perspective. It seems awkward to me.”
According to Alex Smith of RVI, that design is intended to provide the best possible access to the commercial section of the project.
“There is an access control and signal at the Green Road and Smith-Enke intersection,” he said. “Then about a quarter mile to the west would be a proposed roundabout configuration that would be added to the existing right of way there. This would allow full turning movements from the project. It also provides access to and from the commercial parcel which is located there at the immediate corner. So, we’re trying to facilitate as much commercial access as possible. Certainly, with the roundabout configuration the spacing should be adequate and will benefit the project.”
Commissioner Bill Robertson questioned how the trucks heading for the landfill on SR 238 west of town will navigate the roundabout but was assured it would be designed so trucks could maneuver through it with minimal difficulty.
An ancillary benefit of the project is that it would accelerated development of Green Road, which is a crucial element of the city’s future transportation plans. The city envisions Green Road as part of a “ring road” around the city that would take much of the truck traffic off John Wayne Parkway. That loop would begin north of Cobblestone Farms and move west, then pick up Green Road for its southern leg. The city currently is working with the Gila River Indian Community to negotiate rights of way for the project.