New design guidelines approved for Queen Creek’s downtown core

The Queen Creek Town Council. (Courtesy of Town of Queen Creek)

Downtown Queen Creek is to become pedestrian oriented as businesses are given more flexibility with new design guidelines and zoning designations approved recently by the town council.

“The downtown core as referred to within this application is envisioned to become a destination that focuses on pedestrian oriented, compact development that is integrated with more specialty uses related to retail, dining, entertainment, services, residences and recreation,” Brett Burningham, planning administrator, and Kyle Barichello, planner I, said in a memo to the council.

The design guidelines include urban block patterns; sidewalk patterns; trees and landscape; village square and open space; street lighting; walls, fencing and screening; signage and wayfinding; public art; streets and public parking; urban block massing; building facades and entrances; outdoor spaces; architecture character and materials; parking lots; and existing buildings.

“We really like the vision the town is taking. We really like the approach,” Stacy Brimhall of Gilbert, who owns property in the town center, said at the Nov. 7 council meeting.

Approximately 70 acres were rezoned, converting properties zoned C-1 (light commercial), R1-43 (rural estate district), C-2 (general commercial), R1-6 (urban development type A district), and TC (town center district) to a newly created downtown core zoning district.

“Every town has certain locations in town where they kind of have one shot at doing something really unique and special and this is that place,” Jason Barney of Gilbert, a member of the Queen Creek Economic Development Commission, said at the meeting.

Voting 6-0 on Nov. 7 in two motions, one for six design-standards zoning ordinances and the second on a zoning map update, were Mayor Gail Barney, Vice Mayor Emilina Turley and council members Jake Hoffman, Robin Benning, Dawn Oliphant and Jeff Brown. Julia Wheatley was absent.

“These design guidelines and zoning updates are intended to attract development of higher and better uses to create a unique marquee destination and in doing so, increase property values,” Jennifer Lindley, downtown development manager, said to the council Nov. 7.

“These guidelines were created to capitalize, inspire and elevate the quality of development in our area.”

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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