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Police search in Tortosa
A Maricopa police vehicle blocks the entrance to the Tortosa HOA on Tuesday afternoon as authorities searched for a man who fled police. Photo by Kyle Norby

The Tortosa HOA was under lockdown this afternoon as authorities conducted a live search for a man who ran from police.

Police are searching the Tortosa area for a man identified by police as Codey Foy. Residents should not approach him but call 911 immediately. Photo courtesy, Maricopa Police Department

Officers blocked off the entrance at Honeycutt Road and North Costa Del Sol Boulevard as city police and county sheriff’s vehicles could be seen searching the neighborhood shortly after 3 p.m.

Law enforcement officials are looking for a suspect identified as Codey Foy, a white male, 5-foot-9, 140 pounds, last seen wearing blue jeans, a flannel shirt and ball cap, police said.

“We received a ‘be on the lookout’ (BOLO) from the Pinal County Sheriff’s office in reference to this individual being a subject in connection with a stolen truck this morning,” MPD Spokesperson Ricardo Alvarado said. “At about 2 o’clock we received a call about a suspicious vehicle parked in that new park that’s over by Santa Cruz Elementary. When we went to go check what was going on, the individual exited the vehicle and took off on foot.”

Alvarado stated that officers were able to identify the individual as Foy before he fled.

Police do not believe he is armed, but cannot be positive. Foy has multiple warrants out for his arrest. Residents should not approach Foy, but call 911 immediately. They are also asked to stay out of the Tortosa area.

Alvarado confirmed a Department of Public Safety helicopter was dispatched to aid in the search.

Kyle Norby contributed to this report.

East Maricopa may be seeing even more construction.

Walton, a real estate investment and land asset company, sold 282 partially finished residential lots in the Tortosa master-planned community to D.R. Horton.

The property sale represents 282 of the more than 1,100 partially developed lots in Tortosa South. Tortosa has approximately 1,000 existing homes, and development in Tortosa South is likely to re-commence in 2020, with homes potentially under construction in 2021.

A Walton Managed Real Estate Fund originally purchased the Tortosa lots in 2014 from North Buckeye Properties IB LLC of Phoenix, as part of an “opportunistic distressed asset” real estate fund that targeted land and vacant developed lots throughout the United States.

D.R. Horton, the largest homebuilder in the nation by volume, plans to build its Express Homes series as a continuation of its current residential offerings in Tortosa, with nine floor plans ranging from approximately 1,368 to 2,461 square feet.

The Tortosa community features parks, playgrounds, dedicated open space, a multi-use trail system for pedestrian and bicycle routes as well as Desert Wind Middle School and Santa Cruz Elementary School.

The City of Maricopa was the second fastest growing city in Arizona in 2019.

“We are excited about the recent activity we have seen on our Arizona assets. Tortosa is one of five transactions we have closed in the past month. In 2019, single-family permits in the Phoenix MSA and Pinal County showed a strong 9% increase from 2018, and we believe this market is going to continue to see positive momentum in 2020,” said Jen Ruby, SVP Land at Walton in Phoenix.

Firefighters soak a brush fire near Honeycutt and Murphy, across the road from the Volkswagen testing track. Photo by Jim Headley

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department is putting out a brush fire near the corner of Honeycutt and Murphy roads at Tortosa.

The fire was reported around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday with some witnesses saying juveniles may have started the fire in an empty field. Maricopa Police also responded to the scene to investigate and control any traffic issues.

The fire was fueled by dry grasses and brush on the empty lot, sending smoke high over the development, but did not appear to threaten homes or roadways.

Maricopa Police charged two juveniles with reckless burning in connection with the fire.

Photos by Jim Headley

Saturday, at the Eggstravaganza at Tortosa, hundreds of children showed up to Easter Egg Hunt and have some old-fashioned fun. The event was also filled with fun events for children of all ages including three bounce houses, face painting, Easter games, ice cream, food and vendor booths.

The annual Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza is April 13 at Santa Cruz Elementary School.

What: Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza
When: April 13, 10 a.m.
Where: Santa Cruz Elementary, 19845 N. Costa Del Sol Blvd.
How much: Free/residents; $3/nonresidents
Info: TortosaHOA.net

There will be over 4,000 eggs to be “hunted” by children divided into age groups. Wrist bands for all activities are free for resident children of Tortosa and $3 for nonresidents. The Eggstravaganza is one of the subdivision’s biggest events of the year.

The event starts at 10 a.m. Parking is available at the school and the neighboring park. The big egg hunt starts at 11 a.m.

Once again, there will be lots of activities, including a visit from the Easter Bunny after the egg hunt. Face-painting is back, and there will also be a balloon artist twisting fun creatures. Bouncers will include the obstacle course and 20-foot slide.

Kids can hop a ride on a trackless “train” while parents shop local vendors. There will also be food trucks, a DJ and lots of Easter games.

This story appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

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Tortosa Trails is planned for the northeast corner of the Tortosa subdivision.

The Maricopa Planning and Zoning Commission approved a one-year extension of the preliminary plat of Tortosa Trails, a planned area development on the northeast section of Tortosa.

Tortosa Trails is a 287-acre platted subdivision which will add 1,052 single-family homes to Maricopa’s eastern edge, near the Volkswagen Test Track. It neighbors the Gila River Reservation to the north.

The Commission approved the measure 6-1 as the developer, Communities Southwest of Scottsdale, asked for extra time to complete its plats. Their two-year plat planning phase was about to expire.

“We expect to submit our 1A and 1B plans in the next couple weeks,” said Stefanie Crerie, project manager. “We will then move forward with the project.”

She said it took longer than expected to gather comments on the plan. Construction costs rose about 40 percent as they were going through planning stages.

“With that in mind, it basically blew our budget,” Crerie said. “We had to redo our plans in different areas to cut costs.”

She said other developers and builders are experiencing the same thing, higher costs and a shortage of labor.

“It is what it is, so we are going to move forward. The other part of it is the market,” Crerie said, adding the properties were marketed last year, “and we really didn’t see much interest in it.”

She said that market wasn’t there last year, but the developers are hopeful it is there this year.

In all, 60 of the development’s 287 acres will be reserved as open space with an average of 3.62 dwellings planned per acre.

Four lot sizes are proposed, 60×120, 50×120, 45×120 and 55×120 feet.

Photo by Michelle Chance

Tortosa’s youngest royalty attended a tea party with Disney Princesses Belle and Cinderella Saturday. The event was hosted by Tortosa HOA by CCMC April 21. Children learned how to curtsy, bow and wave; and were also serenaded by Belle and Cinderella before the tea party.

Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza

Mad as a March hare? The truly extravagant Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza is March 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What: Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza
When: March 24, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.
How much: Free to Tortosa residents, $2 for nonresident activity wristband

The Tortosa HOA hosts the event at Santa Cruz Elementary. Tortosa residents can participate for free while nonresidents can buy a $2 activity wristband.

This is the 10th year the HOA, managed by CCMC, has hosted the springtime experience.

“What brings people back? The fun, the opportunity to share with their neighbors and friends, the variety of food, games, family and friends to share the day with,” said Lifestyle Director Christine Garcia.

There will be egg dyeing, crafts, vendors, inflatables, games, train rides and a DJ.

The pièce de résistance is the Great Egg Hunt, dividing kids into age groups and unleashing them into the hunting grounds. This year, the eggs will be stuffed with goodies. Registration starts at 10 a.m. The hunt starts at 11 a.m.

“We include business owners to participate with vendor booths, offer a wide variety of activities such as games, food trucks, bounce houses, train rides, all for the entire family to enjoy,” Garcia said. “And then, the infamous egg hunts, which are attended by approximately 600 egg hunters of all ages.”

Ten minutes before the egg hunt, the Easter Bunny is set to arrive. After the hunt, children may have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny.

Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., there will be a Lil’ Peeps Zone for kids under age 4.

From left, Auxiliary members Janice Vitali and Gabriela Potter and Tortosa Lifestyle Director Christine Garcia finalize a design for an event flyer promoting Maricopa’s first Veterans Day Parade. Photo by Michelle Chance

Maricopa will see its inaugural Veterans Day Parade this November.

The route begins 9 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Legacy Traditional school, continues north on Porter Road, and ends near the lake at Pacana Park.

Portions of Porter Road will be closed during the event.

After a flag-raising ceremony, veterans and their families will be treated to a lunch and ceremony inside Leading Edge Academy.

The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 133, Tortosa Home Owners Association, Leading Edge Academy and the City of Maricopa have partnered to organize the event.

Auxiliary Unit Members Gabriela Potter and Janice Vitali said planning efforts began one year ago.

“The city and their departments have been very helpful,” Potter said. “We got with them first to see what we needed to do.”

Aiding in the early planning stages was the city’s Special Events and Marketing Manager Niesha Whitman.

“She kind of guided us with what we needed to do because it has never been operated like this. There were no guidelines, yet,” Potter said.

Maricopa Unified School District, Legacy Traditional School and Sequoia Pathway Academy sponsor the event and will encourage students to participate.

“Part of our mission is to promote patriotism with the schools, and we thought it would be great to have a parade that would be the way to show our respect to them in the community,” Potter said. “And Tortosa has always been really great, doing events for veterans.”

Thursday morning, Potter and Vitali met with Tortosa Lifestyle Director Christine Garcia to finalize details.

Garcia said float entries are encouraged to display patriotism. Members of the planning committee request the focus stay on veterans during the parade by leaving out political messages and business advertisements.

Students, veteran and military organizations, local law enforcement and fire departments are all expected to participate in the parade and ceremony.

Maricopa has historically held various events celebrating Veterans Day. Potter and Garcia agreed the combined effort through multiple organizations in the city is unifying.

“We are wives, daughters and granddaughters of veterans, so our role is to promote the patriotism and to help veterans and educate youth,” Potter said in regards to auxiliary members. “For us, this was the way to bring the community together.”

Registration for the parade is currently under review by the city. InMaricopa will update this story with a link to registration once available.

Enjoying the fall fun are Gracie Dominguez, Jose Dominguez Jr., Gabrachale Melton, Celestial Minjares, Xavier Jeremiah, Isabella Allen, King Ward, Joseph Valenzuela, Jaxzen Peterson and Malachi Greg. Photo by Chuck D. Brooks

Tortosa hosted a fall festival Oct. 15 in the main park with games, bounce houses, pumpkin painting and entertainment.

Easter is approaching fast, and Maricopa has two major events to entertain children of all ages on March 26.

First out of the gate is the 12th annual Maricopa Easter Egg Hunt, presented by Community of Hope Church on the lawn at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Egg Hunt takes place on the “Ak Chin Green” north of the theaters. Hunts take place every 15 minutes. There will be carnival games, inflatables and, of course, the Easter Bunny for pictures. All of this is free of charge and is open to the entire community of Maricopa. Concessions and drinks will be for sale.

UltraStar is providing the parking, Ak-Chin Indian Community is providing the green space and Leading Edge Academy is sponsoring the inflatables.

For more information, visit the website at Facebook.com/COHEggHunt. Find Community of Hope at COHMaricopa.com or call 520-252-6381.

Tortosa Homeowners Association’s annual Easter Eggstravaganza runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Tortosa Main Park next to Santa Cruz Elementary School. There will be carnival games, pony rides, face painting, egg dyeing, bounce houses, a petting zoo, food and more.

Parking is at Santa Cruz Elementary. This event is free for Tortosa residents and $2 a wristband for non-residents. Admission to the park is free and wristbands are only required for the activities.

The massive egg hunt starts promptly at 11:30 a.m. Pick up wristbands at the HOA office, starting March 16. The office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. RSVP to have your wristbands waiting for you.

All proceeds from silent auctions, raffle, and donations for Easter bunny photos will be given to Be Awesome Youth Coalition.

For more information visit TortosaEggstravaganza.splashthat.com.

Tortosa Eggstravaganza
Tortosa Eggstravaganza