Consulting team provides updates for Tuesday’s final redevelopment forum

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The Redevelopment District Plan’s consulting team from Morrison Maierle, Inc. came before the Maricopa City Council last week to update them on the results of the first two community workshops as well as to preview tomorrow’s third and final public forum.

“We have been very impressed with the interest of citizens and their input,” said Greg Crossman. The consulting team previously met with residents, city staff, stakeholders, property owners and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

During the first redevelopment forum in February, the 200-plus residents of the redevelopment district area identified their desire to stay in their neighborhoods with a wish list of improvements for the area. That input resulted in goals for the following areas: character and identity, infrastructure, neighborhood, circulation, economic, downtown (as a core and destination place) and land use, both residential and non-residential.

The consulting team brought their recommendations to the second redevelopment workshop in March and heard residents’ priorities, including addressing water and sewage problems, the state Route 347 overpass, removing the area from a flood plain designation (see related story) and support for the land use plan.

According to Joy Mee, the team’s principal planner, two sites have been identified in the redevelopment area for a possible government center. The landowners have been contacted and are “very supportive.”

Mee added that in this 25-year plan, two-thirds of the residential land would be developed by 2030 and 30 percent of the non-residential properties. Non-residential uses might include a bowling alley, a cinema, fitness centers or an aquatic center.

Consultants recommended a heritage park, located around the refurbished water tower, the use of Western or territorial architectural designs and a new Amtrak station built to resemble a historical depot. The team also recommended a second overpass at Hogenes Boulevard and Loma Drive.

A four- to six-story government center would identify it as the heart of the city while increased signage and possibly stone markers would designate downtown Maricopa. “Inclusion of a government center in the Redevelopment District area would accelerate development and redevelopment,” said Mee.

“I’m very excited about what you’ve done, your approach to it and your involvement with the citizens,” said Mayor Anthony Smith.

On Tuesday, April 14, the draft plan will be presented to residents of the redevelopment area, including objectives for each of the seven goals, a list of incentive tool recommendations and priorities for five-year plan increments. A recommendation will also be forthcoming for the formation of a Citizens Advisory Committee to monitor progress, report annually and promote projects in the redevelopment area’s homes and neighborhoods.

The draft plan goes to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on April 27, then to public hearing and finally to the City Council for its approval on June 2.

If you go

What: Third Redevelopment District Plan public forum
When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, April 14
Where: Maricopa Elementary School, 18150 N. Alterra Parkway

Staff photo