Proposed 2,100-acre subdivision could be Queen Creek’s largest rezoning ever


Members of the Queen Creek Town Council May 18 were updated about plans for a proposed residential community that could be home to an estimated 10,000 residents.

The Box Canyon Project is a master-planned community on about 2,089 undeveloped acres in Queen Creek. The tall, narrow parcel is bounded generally by Hunt Highway to the north, San Tan Mountain Regional Park to the south and east, and the Gila River Indian Community to the west, according to minutes from the Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission’s April 13 work session.

Queen Creek Planning Administrator Brett Burningham told the council at the May 18 meeting the project was probably the largest rezoning application the town will ever review and the town’s only area that will require hillside development standards.

The project will request the land be rezoned to Planned Community District.

The proposed project includes 56 distinct parcels comprising mixed-use, medium-density, medium-high density and low-density neighborhoods as well as a 27.8-acre resort site, a 28-acre park and a school site. The proposal also includes a park, trails and open space plan with multi-use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the planning and zoning minutes.

Mr. Burningham said the project is expected to go before the planning and zoning commission in July and the town council in August.

The project is unique to the town for several reasons, Chris Anaradian, the town’s director of development services, told the council at the May 18 meeting.

“It has the very large potential as the last large tract of undeveloped property that is privately owned and has the right to be developed really in the southeast Valley,” Mr. Anaradian said during the council meeting. “It has a projected future population of nearly 10,000 residents for a town that has an ultimate buildout has about a 90,000 population. That’s a little over a 10th of the future Queen Creek population will be residing in this property,” he added.

Mr. Anaradian added that, when working with the parcel’s seven property owners and their legal counsel, Pew & Lake PLC, town staff have considered how to “best introduce those residents to the pristine area, how to protect and preserve the best the region has to offer and how to integrate the subdivision with the rest of the town.”

The landowners are: Viewpoint North Resort LC, and Viewpoint Resort Living LC, 659 acres; Jorde Hacienda Inc., 770 acres; Hale Homestead LLC, 40 acres; Keith E. Jorde Inc., 561 acres; Jim Jorde/Trinity Farms Inc., 39 acres; Jeffrey A. Sheidler and Lori J. Sheidler, 10 acres; and the Jeffrey Alan Sheidler Trust and Julie C. Bellman, 10 acres.

Mr. Burningham said town staff has been reviewing the zoning case for about a year. About 30 people attended the first neighborhood meeting on March 8 and a second neighborhood meeting is planned for June 6, he said.

“We’re finally at a point where we have taken care of a lot of issues,” Sean Lake of Pew & Lake PLC, told the council at the May 18 meeting.

He said the property owners have worked together so that 20 years from now “it looks like one big master-planned community that someone thought through in the beginning. What we didn’t want to happen was chopped-up development of that beautiful piece of property.”

Mayor Gail Barney thanked Mr. Lake for his presentation, saying it is amazing to have that many landowners sit down and come to an agreement.

Councilman Jeff Brown said during a phone interview May 19 it is too early to comment on the project. He said it is a big swath of area and “certainly one of the most beautiful in Queen Creek.”

The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission typically meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road. Study sessions, if scheduled, start at 6 p.m., prior to the regular meeting.

The Queen Creek Town Council typically meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road.

To view agendas and information packets, visit the town’s website and click on the Calendar.

News Editor Wendy Miller can be contacted at 480-982-7799 and via e-mail at qcnews@newszap.com, or follow her on Twitter @WendyNewszap123.

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