Elevations for the planned Villas at Stonegate townhome development: from top: front patio entry, rear garage and end unit.

The City Planning and Zoning commission granted approval Monday for a minor general plan amendment and the rezoning of 16.1 acres for a multi-family townhome development.

The action was an initial step in the process of developing the 318-unit Villas at Stonegate project at the southeast corner of Stonegate Road and Alan Stephens Parkway, just west of A+ Charter School. The development would be a mix of two- and three-bedroom homes.

The property was rezoned High Density Residential from Light Industry & Warehouse. The vacant land has not been previously developed. The development is being proposed at a density of 19.75 dwelling units per acre and would be home to more than 1,000 residents based on the city’s figure of 3.2 residents per home.

In a submission to city staff, developer David Bohn of BFH Group explained the project’s concept and benefits.

“When considering the proximity of the site with respect to the developed area, a commercial development of this size and in this location has and would continue to struggle significantly,” the documents said. “The location is ideal as it sits adjacent to existing developments, south of existing single family residential and east of a planned multi-family development, and acts as a buffer between those developments and the existing/future commercial. The site provides a unique townhome-style product that is much needed within the city and this area.”

The Maricopa Housing Needs Assessment showed that 99% of the housing in the city consisted of single-family detached homes, according to the documents. BFH Group quotes the Housing Needs Assessment and Housing Plan, which was completed in July 2018, as stating “the need for rental housing was in high demand and short supply. This is comparatively over-represented in comparison to the Phoenix MSA where only 65% of housing stock consists of single-family, detached homes. To accommodate the next 10 years of growth, approximately 22,000 new buyers and renters will not be interested in single-family homes.”

Maricopa is an outlier in terms of its lack of housing diversity and need for more multi-family options, BPH Group added.

“This statistic is unusual since most communities comparable to Maricopa’s size and caliber have more housing diversity,” the application said. “Fewer options for current and future residents will reduce the likelihood of consistent and continual growth since one style housing solution does not appeal to the masses.”