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            NEWS
Public Information Office

For Immediate Release:

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006

Goodyear Expands Planning Area To Assure

Transportation Corridor and Open Space to South

 

 

(GOODYEAR, AZ) Assuring quality development, managing a major Valley north-south transportation corridor, and maintaining open space motivated Goodyear to increase its current 135-square mile planning area by 70 percent. Believing that now is the critical juncture in managing the future destiny of its southern region, the City of Goodyear recently filed the Sonoran Valley Planning Area major amendment to its General Plan.  If approved by the Goodyear City Council later this year, the General Plan amendment would increase the City’s Land Planning Area to 230 square miles.

 

“By adding this 95-square-mile area known as the Sonoran Valley to our current planning area, we could better assure quality development south of Estrella Mountain Ranch (EMR). This will help protect Newland Community’s heavy investment in EMR as well as other property owners in Goodyear,” states City Manager Stephen Cleveland. “This is one of the key reasons the City initiated a development plan for a 5,310-acre state land parcel adjacent to Goodyear’s southern border.”

 

The State land represents only 9 percent of the total Sonoran Valley Planning Area’s 60,904 acres. Forty percent is under private ownership and 51% is open space managed by the Phoenix District Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Sonoran Desert National Monument borders the proposed land area to the west and the Maricopa-Pinal County border makes up the eastern boundary.  The southern border lies about four miles south of SR 238.

 

Of the 18,000 acres of unincorporated Mobile area, 10,000 acres are under the control of Elliott Homes and 690 acres are being developed by Montage Holdings. Because of the future 303 freeway, SR 238 and the Union Pacific railroad running through Mobile, these master plan developers see the Sonoran Valley around Mobile as a transportation hub with the potential of being a major employment and retail center. This economic engine could benefit not only the Mobile area, but all of Goodyear as well.

 

City officials and representatives of Elliott Homes and Montage Holdings met with property owners from the Mobile area on Aug. 7th to go over the General Plan amendment.  They explained to the attendees what inclusion in the City’s Land Planning entailed and also what eventual annexation would mean. While the developers have been working with the Mobile area residents for some time, this is the first time City officials met with the community as a whole to get their input.

 

Goodyear planners and developers thought it would be better if the area master planned communities were brought into Goodyear’s Land Planning Area now so they could be built to Goodyear standards and eventually annexed into the City. Annexation would make these communities eligible to receive urban municipal services such as water and sewer as well as fire and police when the population warranted.  Most of these are services that the County does not provide.

 

“Goodyear’s policy requires growth to pay its own way,” said Cleveland. “The local services and local infrastructure in this area will have to pay their own way and will not be subsidized by existing Goodyear taxpayers.” 

 

Because thousands of acres of open space separate the Mobile area from the rest of Goodyear, Mobile will be linked by a 2- to 4-lane regional road as soon as possible that will be built by a public/private partnership. The Mobile area will have its own water and sewer systems which can eventually be linked to Goodyear’s existing system. Its police, fire stations and parks will be built with developer funds and development impact fees which are dedicated to paying for growth-related facilities.

 

As of now, Loop 303 is planned to end at Patterson Rd., Goodyear’s current southern border. “We want to eliminate another possible “cul-de-sac” traffic problem such as those experienced in Ahwatukee and Anthem,” said Goodyear’s Community Development Director Harvey Krauss. “Goodyear feels it is crucial to obtain an alternative transportation corridor to the south of our City during the initial planning stage of the Sonoran Valley.”

 

He added that by including a 1000-foot-wide planning corridor for Loop 303 south to State Route 238 and eventually to I-8, Goodyear can help maintain this corridor that will be a major part of the Valley’s transportation system.  Planning for and protecting this corridor now should also head-off a problem such as that which occurred with the recent alignment of Loop 202.

 

One of the key goals of this plan is to preserve open space. There are more than 31,000 acres of Federal ownership that will remain open space within this Sonoran Valley General Plan amendment area. If included in Goodyear’s planning area, the City can work in conjunction with the Phoenix District of BLM to help promote environmentally sensitive communities to minimize the negative impacts of growth on native vegetation and wildlife and to protect and maintain wildlife and migratory paths for various species in the area.

 

Maps of the Sonoron Valley area, copies of the information passed out at the Aug, 7th Mobile Community Meeting and a copy of the Sonoran Valley Planning Area Major General Plan Amendment application can be found on Goodyear’s website: www.goodyearaz.gov.

          

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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749