By Adrienne St. Clair for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The Empire Group, LLC has submitted a request to the City of Goodyear for a zoning change to build a new high-density gated residential rental community in the heart of one of the city’s growth areas.
The Villages at Pebble Creek will consist of 184 single-story, single-family units and will stand on the 14.53 net acres on the SWC of Pebble Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue. The development will be professionally managed and will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units available for lease. The one-bedroom units will be configured as duplexes, while the two- and three-bedroom apartments will be detached.
The developer boasts each unit will feature a modern, open floor plan, high-end features and appliances, energy efficient design and a private outdoor space. There will be an “indoor amenity area” and pool on the southern end of the neighborhood.
The development will be built on currently vacant property, which has been empty since the site was originally zoned in 2005 for Planned Area Development to allow for Mixed-Use Commercial building. In fact, it’s been vacant since as early as 1989 when the Pebble Creek Master Plan was established.
This new build requires a major amendment to the original PAD approved in 2005. The developer requests a change from the Mixed-Use Commercial designation to High-Density Residential. The density will be capped at 12.07 du/acre.
The requested density conflicts with standards at Luke Air Force Base, which is located near the property. In a letter, James R. Mitchell, the director of the community initiatives team, said the base allows a maximum of six du/acre for anything one-to-three miles away. Mitchell notes that the development will be subjected to as many as “165 over flights a day, with some as low as 1,500 feet above ground level.” He recommends another review of sound attenuation requirements and providing a strong notification program to alert potential residents about base operations.
In the discussion about this density, the project proposal states, “The proposed land-use designation and development standards have been thoughtfully crafted to provide the City of Goodyear with a high-quality residential community that matches the identity of the neighborhood and complements the character of the area.”
The property is bordered on the north by Virginia Avenue and a private park used by a single-family residential area. Vacant land designated PAD/Neighborhood Commercial is to the south. To the west is more single-family residential living, buffered by a greenbelt. Pebble Creek Parkway runs along the eastern edge of the site. The other side of the parkway is more vacant land that has been designated as General Commercial.
The project proposal claims the development will attract new, diverse residents to Goodyear, including retirees, empty nesters and Millennials. According to city documents, the new community is designed to provide “a diversity of housing that can accommodate a variety of lifestyles and transitions” and satisfy those in search of a “less burdensome lifestyle that is more ‘lock-and-leave’ and does require the typical maintenance of traditional living.”
The rezoning request was heard and approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission in June and heard and approved by City Council in July.