Mesa planning officials, faced Thursday with a choice between city residents and city revenue, decided not to decide.
Developer JCA Holdings has been trying for four years to come up with a use for 51 acres it owns on the northeast corner of McDowell and Power roads in east Mesa, adjacent to the posh Las Sendas community.
The area’s outspoken residents want development that won’t dramatically increase traffic and noise, such as homes, medical offices or retail boutiques.
Mesa’s general plan for the corner requires a business park that would bring jobs and tax revenue to the cash-poor city.
JCA Holdings principal Mike Arnold said he has drafted 33 different site plans, ones featuring all single-family residential and others with large-scale commercial use, a hotel, offices and a retail center.
In each case, the proposal has been shot down, either by city staff or neighborhood groups.
“I’m on my 33rd site plan in four years, and I still can’t get a consensus,” Arnold told the Mesa Planning and Zoning Board on Thursday. His most recent plan, submitted to the board for a general plan amendment and rezoning Thursday, offered an even split between condominiums and office/retail.
For its part, the board did reach a consensus: It voted 6-0 to give Arnold 60 days to draft site plan No. 34.
Still, there appeared to be some hope for Arnold, with both city planning staff and area residents expressing sympathy and a willingness to compromise. The board asked them to try again.
“What held out was a possibility and a promise that there could be something great in the area,” board member Chell Roberts said. “I would love to see just one more stab at it.”