News Ticker

Surprise Town Site Residents Want Upgraded Basics

The entrance to the Original Town Site is off Santa Fe Drive and Hollyhock Street. Photo credit: Jeff Grant/

By Richard Smith for

Residents attending last week’s Heritage Overlay District meeting in the Original Town Site (OTS) had a clear message for Surprise.

When considering what improvements need to be made and what to bring into the area they’re asking the city keep it simple and don’t import anything that will change the character this neighborhood has enjoyed for more than 50 years.

Priorities included improved infrastructure.

Through a heritage overlay district, the city can manage what kind of development fills the neighborhood. It also can preserve historical buildings and phase out the spot commercial zoning that brought in industrial developments and marred residential areas.

Surprise also seeks to enhance the appearance of its Grand Avenue entry point around Greenway Road.

While the neighborhood is the only part of Surprise that qualified for federal grant money based on the portion of residents living below the poverty level, no one called for sweeping changes last week.

Instead, they want basic quality of life enhancements like:

  • Adequate lighting throughout the OTS
  • Water and sewer upgrades and billing questions
  • Upgraded paths for walkers, bicyclists
  • Increased youth and senior recreation opportunities
  • Preserve and restore Original Town Site historical places