Kelly Ranches
The Kelly farm entrance off Porter Road, near Farrell Road. Photo by Brian Petersheim Jr.

A local family is taking steps to turn its 100-acre farm off Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway into a planned residential development.

The Kellys have hired Cowley Companies of Phoenix to develop their agricultural property at the southeast corner of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Porter Road.

Cowley is seeking a major general plan amendment for the site, which is the family’s homestead, stables and agricultural farm. The property is bordered on the north by the Union Pacific Railroad and on the south by the Santa Rosa Wash. The Eagle Wing residential development is planned for adjoining acreage to the east.

The land currently has multiple use designations: commercial on about 90 gross acres, open space on about 9 acres and employment on about 1 acre. The developer is asking to amend the general plan to designate the full property as medium density residential. A future rezoning will be requested, Cowley said.

As conceived, the residential community called Kelly Ranches would be developed in several parcels with multiple lot sizes with the potential for single family detached, single family attached and single family for rent homes. Overall, the maximum density would be about six homes per acre, or about 475 dwelling units in total.

The family would retain its home on a 3- to 5-acre parcel.

In addition to the existing homestead, the property comprises previously farmed agricultural land and stables and includes fencing, concrete irrigation ditches, dirt roads and a number of canopy structures and storage sheds.

Current access to the property is from Porter Road, on its western border. Because of an existing 200-foot railroad right of way corridor, there is no access from Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

The developer said a two-lane stretch of Porter, south of Iron Point Road, will require improvements at the time of development. It also noted the limited efficiency of Porter Road due to the railroad crossing to the north and the wet crossing to the south. The developer noted the City of Maricopa is planning construction of a bridge on Porter Road over the Santa Rosa Wash.

In addition, the City is designing and planning an east-west corridor that will extend and widen Farrell Road to a parkway from John Wayne Parkway to Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. That project might accommodate an access point to the Kelly Ranches community.

The majority of the site is in a flood zone. The City is expected to submit a CLOMR, or conditional letter of map revision, to FEMA for review this summer, with a possible approval and construction start in about two years and another year of construction. (A CLOMR is a letter from FEMA commenting on whether a project, if built as proposed, or hydrology changes would meet minimum National Flood Insurance Program standards.)

Kelly Ranches Conceptual Plan
The conceptual plan for development of the Kelly farm to a planned residential development. Courtesy: Cowley Companies

The developer said it will process its own CLOMR for the property if it wants to proceed before approval of the City’s CLOMR request.

The development would have a buffer 150 feet wide along its border with the Union Pacific Railroad corridor to reduce visual and sound impacts. Moreover, the number of homes that back directly or are located in close proximity to the railroad will be reduced through design considerations.

In an introduction for the request, the developer said the family sought to ensure “the design and development of a cohesively planned community that will exemplify respect for community heritage, while providing a family-oriented, connected, and safe neighborhood.”

According to the developer, the following public meetings are scheduled on the plan:

Neighborhood meeting – Aug. 11, 6 p.m. Central Arizona College Building A, Community Room A101, 17945 N. Regent Dr.

Planning & Zoning Commission hearing No. 1 – Sept. 27, 6 p.m. Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Planning & Zoning Commission hearing No. 2 – Oct. 25, 6 p.m. City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

City Council hearing – Nov. 15, 7 p.m. City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

Kelly Ranches Site
A site analysis of the Kelly farm, south of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Courtesy: Cowley Companies