P&Z continues to ask for reduced villas in Stonegate

This elevation shows the proposed design of the townhouses in the Villas at Stonegate project proposed for the area just northwest of Walmart. The 293-unit project will include three-bedroom townhouses for sale. [City of Maricopa]

The planning and zoning commission on Monday pursued an application without approving it for the proposed 293-unit townhouse project in Stonegate.

The commissioners had a variety of questions about the site, the landscape and photometric plans as well as the elevations. While some were addressed by developer BFH Group, the commission felt there were too many stipulations attached to the measure to approve the project without further review.

The measure was maintained until “the time when the petitioner and the city have completed the stipulations and modifications which have been discussed”.

The Commissioners’ concerns – and associated stipulations – fell into four areas:

  • Lack of pedestrian access and security gates at Wells Mall and Walmart.
  • Ensure that the aesthetics of the community pavilion match those of other buildings, as the design of the pavilion was not included in the elevations.
  • Lack of parking on the north side of the project.
  • Not enough awnings for windows in west facing units.

The project had already been continued at the planning and zoning meeting on May 23 because BFH had not completed the necessary documentation for the meeting and had requested continuation.

The issue of parking was a common theme among commissioners. Virtually all public parking lots are on the south side of the community. Many commissioners have expressed concern that the elderly or physically disabled may have difficulty transporting gifts, food or other items to units across the north side compound.

Attorney Brennan Ray speaks on behalf of developer BFH Group, at Monday’s planning and zoning meeting. The commission continued to seek approval of the site, landscape and photometric plans from BFH until several design and community development issues could be resolved. [Jay Taylor]

BFH had made a few concessions to comply with P&Zs and public comment, including widening driveways and removing 25 units to expand the community’s open space, which is now over four acres or approximately 25 % of the community’s 16.1 acres.

Attorney Brennan Ray, speaking on behalf of plaintiff David Bohn, said it’s important to remember that living in a townhouse is different from single-family communities.

“The way these communities work, I’m sure you know, is a lifestyle choice,” Ray said. “People choose to live in this type of development. They know very well that they want to live in this type of community, which has courtyards and five feet of private patio, which has common areas, which has centralized amenities. It becomes a lifestyle choice for low maintenance, lock-and-leave convenience.

Another change made by the developer was to convert what was to be a mix of one, two and three bedroom units into three bedroom homes.

The buildings will all have two stories and each unit will have its own two-car garage.