Council approves change to commercial zoning south of City Hall
The Maricopa City Council took a step toward one of its village concepts becoming a reality Tuesday night by approving the rezoning of approximately 23 acres south of City Hall to neighborhood commerce.
Council approved a zoning map amendment to rezone a total of 22.87 acres on both sides of West Bowlin Road, between North White and Parker Road and West Civic Center Plaza from the existing ‘transition’ to ‘Commercial Neighborhood’ . He then approved an ordinance adopting an amendment to the city’s zoning map to rezone that land as “Commercial Neighborhood.”
The zoning will allow for the placement of the upscale Mexican restaurant, Cocina Madrigal, on a half-acre parcel directly south of the library. It also opens more than 22 acres south of Bowlin to “neighborhood” commercial zoning, meaning it will be made up of small businesses without the presence of big box stores.
“Neighborhood Commercial” zoning allows the development of neighborhood businesses such as restaurants, nail salons, physiotherapy centers or chiropractors’ offices in the area. It wouldn’t allow big box retailers or even a big grocery store like Fry’s or Sprouts.
The sites are across White and Parker Road from the Desert Cedars community.
“A small grocer would be allowed as part of the commercial district, but a larger one would not,” said Byron Easton, a senior planner with the city’s planning department who presented the city to council.
The town’s development plan provides for several urban “villages” around the town that provide residential, recreational and commercial opportunities within the village, eliminating the need for residents to travel to a single area of the town to obtain amenities. necessary services.
Council member Rich Vitiello praised the change but worried about access.
“I appreciate that you’re actually moving traffic to the 347, and I’m sure everyone will be happy to hear that,” Vitiello said. “But you’re going to have an entrance and an exit, it seems Bowlin Road is about it.”
“This is precautionary zoning to provide a business opportunity,” he said. “It would ultimately be up to the individual developer to decide how they would propose to provide access to Bowlin. Looking at this there might be access, maybe an entry fee, direct access only on White and Parker.
Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi shared Vitiello’s enthusiasm for removing traffic on SR 347.
“It’s good to see that we’re pulling people out of 347 and hopefully giving others the opportunity to open a business in the town of Maricopa that has offices and/or businesses,” said said Manfredi. “The approximately 0.52 acres, which is currently planned to be a restaurant, Cocina Madrigal is the one we heard about, and everyone is thrilled, as it is the number one restaurant on Yelp in the country. Opposite that is a bunch of other commercial space, which the city is starving for, I work with businesses every day and the first question I get is, “Where can I open my business?” »
“I work with a business in Casa Grande that wants to open a store here and they’ve been looking for over a year to find a storefront. I think they’ve found one now, but we need places to open small businesses and this is a great opportunity for that to happen.
Based on the rezoning staff’s analysis, the proposed zoning change will establish neighborhood-level commercial zoning that will support future residential developments to the north, east and south. The commercial rezoning will work in tandem with a rezoning application to establish a high-density residential development north of City Hall.
“The Proposed Rezoning Amendment will further contribute to the balance of commercially zoned land in the City by expanding the overall area and locations of commercially zoned land,” the staff report states. “As other commercially zoned properties elsewhere in the city have been rezoned for residential and mixed use, this application seeks to restore commercially available land in support of localized residential development in the downtown area. As such, the rezoning will create easily accessible business opportunities for nearby residents without them having to travel to other areas of the city. This, in turn, will help ease traffic through the city for access to neighborhood-level commercial activities. »
–Vincent Manfredi is co-owner of InMaricopa.