Firms eye Mesa tracts for homes - East Valley Tribune: News

Firms eye Mesa tracts for homes

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Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2004 5:55 am | Updated: 4:26 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Developers want more than 3,000 single-family homes in southeast Mesa on one of the last large tracts of land identified for future housing by the city.

The Mesa City Council on Tuesday will consider annexing the more than 900 acres of unincorporated land in Maricopa County where the homes are planned. The developers will have to come back to the council for zoning changes and plan approval.

The annexation area borders the General Motors Proving Ground on the east and Pinal County border, on the southeast corner of Elliot Road and the Signal Butte Road alignment, several miles east of Williams Gateway Airport.

Developers have given the city preliminary plans for three master-planned communities:

• Mountain Horizons, offering 1,925 homes on 558 acres. Pulte Home Corp. of Phoenix would build 898 homes on the northern half of the property. Plans also call for an elementary school in the Queen Creek Unified School District.

Del Webb Corp. of Phoenix, builder of the Sun City retirement community northwest of Phoenix, would build a 1,027-home retirement community on the southern half of the property, according to plans. Metropolitan Land Co. of Phoenix is the developer of Mountain Horizons.

• Nova Vista Estates, offering 819 homes on 240 acres. No builder is specified. Plans call for the possibility of a school being built under the Gilbert Unified School District. LKY Development Corp. of Scottsdale is the developer.

• Keighly Place, offering 289 homes on 100 acres. No builder is specified. The community will be occupied by home buyers beginning in 2005, plans indicate. Providence Development Inc. of Mesa is the developer.

So far, nobody is raising noise concerns because the property is far enough away from the airport.

Mesa plans to turn the former Air Force base into a hub for international cargo flights, and the surrounding area into an industrial and commercial complex.

Homebuyers in Nova Vista Estates would be required to sign documents acknowledging they are near a flight path, city records indicate.

Annexing into Mesa would allow the area to receive city sewer, water, police and fire service.

Mayor Keno Hawker said he will vote for the annexation because home construction is appropriate for the area.

The land is designated for residential development on the city’s general plan.

Councilwoman Janie Thom, who represents the area, said she doesn’t have any reason to oppose the annexation based on information she has now, but added that she doesn’t know what it will cost the city to improve roads and build infrastructure.

Reports in the city’s planning office indicate Mesa may have to front $6 million or more to build roads and utility infrastructure in the area. The cost would be recouped over time through developer impact fees and utility rate fees, Hawker said.

The city would also receive more state shared revenue as people move into the homes. Last year, the state paid the city $287 per resident.

GM is planning to close the 5,000-acre proving grounds and make the property available for residential and commercial development. No date has been released.

On Friday, city officials said the auto giant plans to close the site three to four years after selecting another location, but the company has yet to find a site.

More than a dozen people own land in the annexation area, including Lela and Warren Steffey. Lela Steffey served in the state Legislature for 14 years, and Warren Steffey served on the Mesa City Council for eight years. Warren Steffey said Friday he bought the property in the 1950s as an investment. The Steffeys are one of four land owners in the area slated for Mountain Horizons.

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