First homes subdivision south of Baseline planned in Apache Junction

Construction like above could begin in 2019 with homes south of Baseline Road in the city of Apache Junction. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

A subdivision of nearly 260 homes planned south of Baseline Avenue in Apache Junction will be surrounded by undeveloped land, the planning commission was told recently.

“We hope that this is the spark which gets finally development south of Baseline going,” Apache Junction Senior Planner Rudy Esquivias said at the commission’s Nov. 13 meeting.

“It’s south of Baseline. We don’t have a whole lot of development south of Baseline, with the exception of the public works yard, the landfill, the sewer district facility, we have a new water company facility and, of course, there’s the industrial county island,” he said.

“But basically everything else around this particular site is state trust land,” Mr. Esquivias said.

The Apache Junction City Council is slated to vote on a rezoning and subdivision plat, or map, for the property at a meeting Dec. 18. It begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

AJ 40 LLC and ITOW LFP, represented by Dan Kauffman of Kauffman Homes, are seeking to rezone 40 acres a quarter-mile south of East Baseline Avenue on the east side of the South Cortez Road alignment from industrial to medium/high density single-family detached conventional homes by planned development.

Kauffman Homes is proposing a preliminary subdivision plat for the gated community of 259 one- and two-story homes, public and private streets and resident amenities.

Open spaces and washes were incorporated into the design of the housing subdivision, Mr. Esquivias said.

“There’s also some external connectivity to hiking opportunities to the west and to the south,” he said.

“Right now there aren’t any neighborhoods to the east, west, north or south, but in the future there will be,” Mr. Esquivias said.

The homes will be on 3,600- to 4,500-square-foot lots, according to city documents.

“Should we really be looking at real-small houses or lots sizes, or would we be sending a message to all of these developers that they can just come in and ‘Oh, all they want is little dinky lots or little-box houses sitting on it’? I understand it’s an opportunity, but is that a best way to use an opportunity?” Commission Chairwoman Theresa Nesser asked.

The current trend seems to be to request smaller lots, Mr. Esquivias said.

“Everything that we’re hearing is people like the idea of smaller yards or less yard to maintain. They still get a nice big home, but less yard to have to deal with,” he said.

Previous proposals for the property included a gravel quarry, he said.

“We didn’t want a quarry, so in that sense we compromised to some extent, but I don’t think we compromised beyond what we’ve done with other projects,” Mr. Esquivias said.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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