The Arizona Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) has named the City of Maricopa’s “Housing Needs Assessment & Housing Plan” as the recipient of the “Master Plan” Award.

The City of Maricopa’s “Housing Needs Assessment & Housing Plan” is a comprehensive study to assess the City’s current and future housing needs, as well as to develop a plan for the future.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in this manner,” City of Maricopa Zoning Administrator Kazi Haque said. “We embarked on this study to better assess the housing needs of our community, as well as create a viable plan to meet them, and our Development Services Department staff worked tirelessly to make that happen.”

In January 2017, the City contracted with Atria Planning LLC to conduct the research and analysis needed for the study. Atria came up with a recommended plan based on hard data gathered from public and private sources, interviews with housing experts and stakeholders, surveys, focus group meetings, and local and regional housing reports. This process was completed in June 2017.

Using this data, the City’s Housing Task Force developed a Vision Statement, Goals and Strategies to diversify housing in the City to ensure young adults, seniors, persons living alone and local workers have access to adequate housing.

“By diversifying the housing options within the City, we can better manage growth and incentivize development,” Haque added. “The goal of this plan is to further develop a ‘live-work-play’ environment that supports the goals of the City’s General Plan.”

The planning process culminated in a design charrette with the community in March 2018, where residents collaborated with WRT (a planning and architecture firm) to develop a conceptual plan for a “town center” at the current City Center site. This plan laid out how Maricopa can foster the development of a centralized location for local shops, restaurants, pedestrian walkways, civic space and diverse hosing option such as apartments, condos and townhomes.

“This concept plan represents the first step in adding new housing types to the Maricopa market while also addressing the Housing Element and ‘Village Center’ concept of the City’s General Plan,” Haque said.

The City of Maricopa received the “Master Plan” Award during the 2018 APA Arizona Conference on Nov. 8 in Flagstaff.