Council approves zoning for single-family housing on 326 acres

This view from the northwest shows the site of the 326-acre Murphy and Farrell community being developed by DR Horton Homes. Desert Sunrise High School, which will be across Murphy Road from the project, is on the right [Brian Petersheim, Jr.]

City Council unanimously approved zoning changes Tuesday allowing DR Horton’s 326-acre, single-family housing development known as Murphy and Farrell to move forward.

The action converted a 325.9-acre parcel at the southeastern corner of North Murphy and West Farrell roads, across Murphy from Desert Sunrise High School, to planned area development from general rural. The land currently is used for agriculture.

The initial two phases will include 111 acres and be capped at 642 homes, with a density of 4.5 dwelling units per acre. That equates to nearly 2,200 residents in the community. The full community will have approximately 1,720 homes, which would bring about 5,700 residents to the area.

The initial 111 acres would include 27 acres, or about 26%, of open space. The balance of the community will be slightly more dense, with 5.3 dwelling units per acre and 22% open space. A parks and trails corridor is planned for the east side of the community as part of the open-space plan.

The community would include a 22-acre neighborhood commercial area at the northeastern corner of Murphy and Steen roads with businesses tailored to specific needs of Murphy and Farrell residents, according to Maricopa city planner Derek Scheerer, who presented the case to council.

Scheerer said the 22 acres would include only neighborhood commercial uses, with no other commercial development.

He added that developers plan two roadway connections to Murphy Road, one of which would align with the entrance to the high school. Another road proposed that would continue south to Steen Road also is proposed. Other connecting roads to Murphy and Steen will be added as the additional 215 acres are developed, according to planning documents.

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