Santa Cruz Ranch Site Map 10-25-21 mtg.
If approved, Santa Cruz Ranch will be the largest housing development in Maricopa. The city Planning & Zoning Commission approved a land use change for 995 acres of the site on Oct. 25, 2021. [Iplan Consulting graphic]

Maricopa City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a minor general plan amendment converting a 111-acre parcel at the 1,886-acre Santa Cruz Ranch development from low-density residential to master planned community.

The acreage is at the northwest corner of the West Ruben Drive and North Ensenada Road alignments, about a half-mile west of North Anderson Road. The parcel was inadvertently left off the planned area development map when City Council originally approved the Santa Cruz Ranch land-use change last November.

Santa Cruz Ranch will feature about 6,600 homes at final buildout with a total of more than 21,000 residents.

The proposed community continues to generate opposition from some residents of the area.

Kenneth Cardon told the council it will bring major changes to residents who simply do not want them.

“This is going to disrupt the lifestyle that we have out in the Santa Rosa Ranchos,” Cardon said. “There are going to be a lot of obstacles that are going to cause issues further down the road.”

Asked by Councilmember Rich Vitiello to identify some of the obstacles he foresaw, Cardon cited Anderson Road as a two-lane road that will have to be widened or it will turn into a “mini 347.” He also said police and fire stations would have to be built, railroad crossings reconstructed and telephone poles along the highway relocated. He cited floodplain and water issues as well.

Cardon suggested perhaps the council could consider an equestrian-related development for the area that would “keep the original Maricopa feel.”

Another speaker, Dave Klingensmith, who lives in the Santa Rosa Ranchos where the lot sizes are 3.5 acres, said some residents of the area were not notified of the public hearing because they did not live within the required 600-foot of the 111-acre parcel under consideration. But he does live within 600 feet of the entire 1,886-acre project.

“It wasn’t very fair that we weren’t notified,” he said.

At least one other resident in recent months aired a similar complaint to council about the lack of meeting notifications on projects.

Klingensmith has other concerns about the development as well.

“I will tell you I am not in favor of 8-10 homes per acre,” he said. “We live out there, we’re all on three-and-a-half acres, but I’m looking at it from a water standpoint. Six thousand six hundred homes, you’re using a lot of water. It’s about 3,000-plus acre-feet a year for 6,600 homes, which is going to have to come from other areas of the city.”