By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The Scottsdale Development Review Board approved plans last month to allow re-platting of the planned Wildcat Hill single-family development from 76 lots to 122. Despite the increased volume, the revised plans also add 50 more acres of open space.
Zoning requirements for the 353-acre area, which begins at the southeast corner of Cave Creek and Bartlett Dam roads, calls for a minimum lot size of 70KSF. The minimum lot size under the revised development proposal will be 80KSF, with an average size of just more than 99KSF (2.28 acres).
While the revision increases the overall number of lots to be built at Wildcat Hill, it also increases the amount of Natural Area Open Space dedicated as well. Regulations require 145.6 acres of open space for a 353-acre site. The originally planned 76-lot subdivision would have had 189 acres. The revised proposal sets aside 239.
“We’ve been on this for quite a while,” said Brian Hensley, Coe & Van Loo Consultants’ project manager for the development. “We think this is a much better project than what was approved in the past. We’ve increased the natural open space out there from about 51 percent disturbance to about 30 percent disturbance, and we’ve increased the density.”
Hensley said they were able to increase both the lot density and open space by reducing the area each lot was able to disturb. “Some of the previous lots were disturbing four or five acres at a time. We’re only going to be disturbing, at a maximum, around 20,000 SF per lot.” See the image for a before and after comparison of lots, their impact areas and the newly-planned open space.
Desert Features Key to Development’s Appeal
The development’s custom and semi-custom homes will be built to preserve the main washes that run through the area, along with most of the natural boulder outcroppings. Internal roadways will be designed and constructed to preserve as much existing desert plant life as possible. Those cleared in roadway development will be replaced by desert-appropriate plants from the city’s approved list.
As part of the plans to enhance resident enjoyment of the development’s natural amenities, a series of pedestrian and multi-use paths are included.
One- and two-story floor plans will be created for the homes and will focus on enhancing the area’s desert character through the selection of building materials and accents. Homes will also be built with energy conservation and environmental sustainability as integral design components.
Construction will be handled in three phases, with the first phase including 49 lots, approximately three-fifths of the internal street system, and improvements to Cave Creek Road, streets and utilities. Remaining water and sewer developments will be phased with lot development.
The project will be developed by Wildcat Hill Properties. Lots will be sold individually or in blocks to custom developers or homeowners who will then name their own contractors and architects to build out lots for completing homes. A GC and architectural firm will be brought on board for common areas, facilities and infrastructure, but have not yet been named.
Civil engineering and landscape architecture are through Coe & Van Loo Consultants. The timeline goal is to develop, submit and gain approval for final plans around April 2016, with initial construction to follow.