Lennar Homes, industrial General Plan amendments approved by Apache Junction City Council

Designating 38 acres for conventional single-family homes and 50 acres at a different site for industrial businesses have been approved by Apache Junction City Council.

Both were amendments to the city’s General Plan, which is used for guiding future development. General Plan amendments are allowed once a year and must be approved by City Council, officials said.

Lennar Homes

The Apache Junction Planning and Zoning Commission on Sept. 11 voted unanimously to recommend that the council approve the General Plan change.

The council voted 7-0 on Sept. 18 to redesignate the 38-acre property at the southwest corner of East Old West Highway and South Goldfield Road from community commercial to medium density residential so the property may later be developed with a conventional single-family-home subdivision.

Applicant McMillan Manufactured Home Development Co. and Lennar Homes were represented by Ralph Pew.

Apache Junction City Councilwoman Robin Barker at a recent council meeting. (Arianna Grainey, Independent Newsmedia)

Councilwoman Robin Barker asked if home values would be lowered because of the property’s proximity to the freeway.
“These will be site-built homes and Lennar is excited to be here,” Mr. Pew said.

“We are not immediately adjacent to the freeway. I’m not sure exactly how far. I would say at least 300 feet, maybe even significantly more,” he said.

“You will see in many communities that actually do back up to the freeway, done correctly they thrive, they prosper and they do not deteriorate,” Mr. Pew said.

An Apache Junction resident asked the council to not allow small-acreage homes.

“If you take that 38 acres and divide it by 178 homes, your average lot size is going to be less than a quarter of an acre,” Steve said.

“If people want to live in a dense community as such, let them go back into the city where they’ll be happy. But out here, the people who live out here treasure the open spaces. We treasure the horseback riding.”

Apache Junction resident George Schroeder told the council he welcomes development to that area of the city.

“Coming in from the east to that area, all of the time I’ve been here, it’s ugly. We want to do something there,” Mr. Schroeder said.

“I think the number of houses is a little much. I don’t mind seeing the houses or just anything there,” he said.

Voting to approve the General Plan change to high-density residential were Mayor Jeff Serdy, Vice Mayor Chip Wilson and council members Jeff Struble, Gail Evans, Christa Rizzi, Dave Waldron and Robin Barker.

“Wish it were commercial, but yes,” Councilwoman Rizzi said during the call for votes.

U-haul, industrial uses

The council voted 6-0 to approve a General Plan land use map amendment to redesignate 50 acres of a 78-acre property at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 60 and south Idaho Road from community commercial to light industrial/business park. The council also voted 6-0 to continue a companion case to rezone the 50-acre property from general commercial by planned development to light industrial/business park by planned development.

A U-Haul truck rental and self-storage facility is to be the first development within the rezoned area, according to a report to the council.

The rental and storage business is to be constructed on about 10 acres at the southeast corner of the freeway and Idaho Road and includes about 200 spaces for RV, boat and vehicle storage.

Christa Rizzi

Councilwoman Rizzi said she had a possible conflict of interest as she owns a U-Haul site. She recused herself and left the council chambers during the discussion and vote on the General Plan amendments and rezoning.

David Pollock, representing applicants Amerco Real Estate Co. and U-Haul International LLC, had asked the Planning Commission for a continuance on the rezoning.

He said city officials had recently stated a half-street of 75 feet of improvements would be required on Idaho Road instead of the standard 50 feet and the company needs to determine that cost and other items before moving forward.

Other items that need to be determined include the cost of a traffic light, details on required architectural compatibility details and stormwater requirements, Mr. Pollock said at the commission meeting.

“There are a few pieces of the puzzle … that are still needed from staff that we want to kind of go back to staff with and talk about timing and scheduling and how it’s all going to work so we’re all on the same page,” Mr. Pollack said to the council Sept. 18.

“You need some property in order to increase your employment base. We have 50-plus acres to be able to help provide that,” he said.

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

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