Council set to act Tuesday on huge apartment complex

Elevations for the Home at Maricopa apartment development. [El show one of the project's two five-story buildings. The community will have 536 units if approved by the city council Tuesday as presented. Dorado 27 LLC]

Maricopa City Council will vote Tuesday on a request to rezone 25.3 acres off Porter Road for a 536-unit apartment complex, one week after residents of the Glennwilde community voiced their opposition to the project before the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Six four- and five-story buildings are planned for The Home at Maricopa project at the northeast corner of North Porter and West Applegate roads, just north of Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. Developed by El Dorado 27 LLC, the complex would be home to about 1,700 residents using the city average of 3.2 residents per dwelling unit.

The council is slated to act on three requests for the development.

Shelter Asset Management, on behalf of the developer, has requested zoning for the parcel be changed to Planned Area Development from Light Industry & Warehouse.

It also has asked to amend a General Plan Future Land Use Map and Planned Area Development.

Council will also vote on a resolution to approve and adopt a Minor General Plan Land Use Amendment to change land use to Mixed Use only from Public/Institutional and Mixed Use.

On May 9, the Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved site, landscape, elevation and photometric plans for Home at Maricopa after a number of Glennwilde residents expressed concerns about the project.

Their main concern was traffic along Porter Road, a four-lane thoroughfare with proximity to five charter schools, a public school and a community college over a one-mile stretch. Porter bisects the Glennwilde community.

Safety along the roadway is already a problem, residents told the commissioners.

“We’ve had three students hit and one adult hit this year,” said Brittany Pisola, who noted she has nothing against apartments, per se. “Adding more cars isn’t going to help that. It’s going to make it worse.”

Pisola pointed out that in addition to Home at Maricopa several other apartment projects are planned in the immediate area.

“I don’t like that they’re going to be five stories high and don’t like that all the apartments in Maricopa are in that one area because it will create a huge traffic problem,” she said. “We already have a problem with the traffic we have now. This complex is going to have 536 units and there are going to be three more along that stretch of Porter Road, plus one on Alan Stephens Parkway, for a total of 1,381 units, and that doesn’t count the apartments being built on Honeycutt and Porter.”

Sue Van Gossen, a retiree who lives in the Elm Tree section of Glennwilde, said the afternoon traffic is horrible.

“I’m addressing the amount of traffic as a quality of life issue,” she told the commission. “I am retired and have to schedule my leavings and comings around school traffic that’s already there. If you add any more traffic, I won’t be able to leave my home between 2:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon. The bravest person I know is the crossing guard by Saddleback Elementary school – she’s risking her life every day.”

Pisola said she plans to attend the council meeting to re-state her concerns. She said she expects a larger contingent of her Glennwilde neighbors to attend as well.

Planning & Zoning Commission members have expressed their own traffic concerns in recent years in relation to other residential developments in the Porter Road corridor.

City Council will consider the Home at Maricopa requests on Tuesday at 6 p.m., a new meeting time.

In other business, the council will take up the resignation of Mayor Christian Price, who has announced he would step down June 30 to take a leadership role with the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance.