CHANDLER — A planned development that was a hot topic at a recent Chandler City Council meeting wasn’t on the agenda.
In fact, it didn’t involve any city developments at all.
The Landings at Ocotillo is a large, proposed apartment complex set to be built on a county island along Ocotillo Road, a few blocks east of both Arizona Avenue and Hamilton High School, between a shopping center anchored by a Target store, a small parcel zoned as planned-area development and the Chandler Unified Schools bus yard.
The main objections voiced at a late-October meeting about the project had to do with anticipated traffic. The density of the 518-unit plan seemed to come up often as well.
Trouble is, the Chandler City Council and the city’s Planning and Zoning Commissio don’t get to vote on anything regarding The Landings at Ocotillo. Those who came to speak in Chandler were merely backing up what the city has already expressed, hoping its concerns about the planned use of the 25-acre property will be heard by Maricopa County officials.
Mayor Kevin Hartke said he and the city have each sent letters of opposition to the project as described in Maricopa County documents.
The site is a Maricopa County island, meaning all development applications go through the county government. Case No. Z2021175 involves the Housing Authority of Maricopa County and its developer, Dominium Apartments.
The developer wants to build one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on the site. This case is scheduled to be reviewed by the Maricopa County Planning & Zoning Commission on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 9:30 am in the Board of Supervisor’s Auditorium, 205 W. Jefferson St. in Downtown Phoenix.
Lisa Ritchie, a realtor, a Chandler homeowner who has worked in the city for 16 years, said she isn’t opposed to affordable housing. She said she’s not only opposed to the developer Dominium being used, she’s concerned the traffic quagmire near Hamilton High School will get much worse.
“We want every member of the council to oppose this,” she said.
Another speaker said she feels it’s the council’s obligation to stand up against plans of adjacent jurisdictions that not only make an impact on a Chandler community, but also don’t fit with the city’s General Plan or any area plans.
One speaker who submiited a card, read aloud by Mayor Hartke, added that police and fire needs for 518 apartments on a county island would likely incurr new costs to the city.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hearing date will be about 30 days after the Planning & Zoning Commission hearing in January 2023, regardless of the recommendatio made by the Planning & Zoning Commission.
The Planning and Zoning Commission agenda and staff report will be available on its online agenda center website on Friday, Dec. 2.
The hearing will be a hybrid in-person and virtual hearing using GoToWebinar. The registration link to attend virtually will be listed on the Commission agenda. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.
Jason W. Brooks
Jason W. Brooks is an associate editor for the Daily independent.
He covers the Buckeye area and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Brooks is a well-traveled journalist who has documented life in small American communities in nearly all its time zones. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised there and in suburban Los Angeles, he has covered community news in California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.
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