Huge apartment project would alter city’s skyline

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Six apartment buildings with a total of 721 units are planned east of Porter Road at West Applegate Road. Some buildings at Home at Maricopa would rise five stories and up to 70 feet in height. Walmart is at left. [Brian Petersheim]

Maricopa’s skyline might soon be rising.

The Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission has advanced a plan for the city’s largest apartment development – and its tallest buildings.

The commission approved a change in the city’s General Plan future land use map and a zoning change for the proposed Home at Maricopa development just east of Walmart.

The community of six apartment buildings would have a density of 28.5 dwelling units per acre. At that high density, the development would be home to 721 units, dwarfing any of the city’s other approved apartment projects, and be home to as many as 2,300 residents.

Some of the buildings would stretch five stories and up to 70 feet in height.

The commission approved the request by Don Leake of Shelter Asset Management, on behalf of El Dorado Porter 27 LLC, to amend 25.3 acres at the northeast corner of Porter Road and West Applegate Road, north of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, from Public/Institutional and Mixed Use (MU) land uses to Mixed Use. The commission then approved a related change in zoning from Light Industry & Warehouse to Planned Area Development.

The zoning change allows El Dorado Porter to pursue a Development Review Permit (DRP) requiring site plan and architectural reviews to comply with the PAD. A DRP for the residential component of the project will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting on Monday.

The project is being proposed in six phases – the first five of which are apartments. The developer is seeking to build six 4- and 5-story buildings with a centralized amenities package. The sixth phase, a commercial and/or industrial development, will be submitted to the city under a separate DRP application at a future date.

In its application, El Dorado Porter says Home at Maricopa fits perfectly with the surrounding developments.

“The project and applications are part of a larger 60-acre series of developments of varying multi-family and commercial developments (The Rev at Porter and Copa Flats) located along the eastern portion of Porter Rd. between Bowlin Rd. and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway,” the application states. “The proposed mixed-use project will add another multi-family community to the area along with an integrated commercial/office/light industrial development. These projects fit well into this part of the city as there is already significant development in the area that will serve this project as well as benefit from the additional families and commercial activity that results.”

The project exceeds the density limitations specifically for PAD and mixed-use zoning, which allow for 6-18 dwelling units per acre. But it does fall within the general mixed-use zoning limit of 30 dwelling units per acre.

The staff report justified the exception.

“Although the proposal exceeds the maximum permitted density for the PAD zone, staff finds that the proposed density of 28.5 du/ac, which falls in between the RH (residential high-rise) and MU-G (general mixed-use) zones, is appropriate and consistent for the proposed development type of four- to five-story residential structures that are unprecedented in the city.

“Staff is cognizant to the fact that as the city further develops, a variety of uses and building types that are not currently distinguished in the Zoning Code will have to be accommodated and that the PAD zone is the mechanism where such accommodations can be made until the General Plan and Zoning Code are updated to match these evolving development patterns.”

To accommodate the increase in density without sacrificing open space or amenities, El Dorado Porter requested an increase of the permitted maximum building height to 70 feet, 30 feet higher than the mixed-use base zone maximum of 40 feet.

As an offset to the proposed deviations from base zoning standards, El Dorado Porter has proposed an enhanced amenity package for the residential project, including:

  • Lap pool
  • Wading pool
  • Jacuzzi/spa
  • Sundecks with cabanas
  • Ramada shade structures
  • Outdoor kitchen/BBQ area
  • Turf sports lot
  • Shuffleboard and tetherball courts
  • Tot lot with play equipment
  • Pickleball court
  • Bocce ball court
  • Cornhole court
  • Split dog park for large and small breeds with shade structure and wash stations
  • Three large turf play/recreation areas
  • Clubhouse
  • Landscaped common/open space that exceeds requirements

3 COMMENTS

  1. more people with no relief on traffic jams in mornings. rt 347 north from frys light to lakeview light bumper to bumper. maybe plan and zone commission and city manager should drive rt 347 north at about 7:15 am and suffer what we all know

  2. Is there some sorta prize for being the #1 in worst-traffic that the citizens of Maricopa don’t know about? @joetusmc is spot-on. How is this a win for anyone, seriously?

    The logic of “let the builder fund infrastructure” is just stupid. That’s why we see infrastructure failures from the last time we used this logic in 2008. Just ask anyone in The Villages how much fun it’s been to have the water mains repeatedly fail. How about P&Z focus on attracting professional employers rather than high-density residential developers and fast food chains? That way, when we do expand housing opportunities, those folks can work here and we can collect taxes in puerperium to fund infrastructure maintenance down the road. What’s worse, the folks who will move into these apartments will likely commute to the valley for jobs, just like we do; this means we will have another 2,800 cars (give or take) on our drives in and out of town.

    Well, here’s to our boom never going bust. I can’t imagine what kinds of blight issues we may have with failed apartment projects.

  3. You can thank our useless outgoing mayor and his cronies on the amateur volunteer P&Z for this wholesale land giveaway. When are the citizens of Maricopa going to wake up and vote these clowns out? Wait until mortgage rates hit 7% and nobody buys all these empty housing units because the payments will be sky-high…oh yeah…forget about selling for some ridiculous amount of money that you see today on Zillow….ain’t gonna happen.