A developer wants to build a gated 207-unit townhome community at the southwest corner of Lindsay and Germann roads on land zoned for office use.
The applicant, Norris Design, is seeking a minor General Plan amendment and rezoning of the 14.53 acres currently used for agricultural, according to staff at a Planning Commission study session last week.
“It is a good use for this area,” Chairman Carl Bloomfiled said. “There’s always a concern when there is down-zoning and taking out businesses and commercial.
“But at the same time the development of residential is not a bad use especially this close to the SanTan development area.”
The site is located within the Gilbert and Loop 202 growth area, which identifies areas that are particularly suitable for multi-modal transportation and for uses such as residential, office, commercial and industrial, planner Keith Newman said.
He said constraints on the site – such as a lack of frontage along Germann Road, poor access and close proximity to an existing apartment complex – make developing an office park challenging.
He added that property owner Nothum Properties LP has owned the site for 35 years and during that time has been unable to attract interest from employers.
According to the applicant, the proposed townhomes would fit the area because they would be a better buffer to the existing single-family homes to the south and planned employment uses to the north and west.
Newman said seven property owners voiced concerns with the project in a virtual neighborhood meeting on June 18.
They were concerned with lighting from the site shining into homes if balconies face the houses to the south and wanted assurances that leaves from trees proposed next to a wall along the southern boundary won’t fall into the pools of nearby homeowners.
Newman said the applicant took note of the concerns and will address them during the design review at a later date.
Newman added the site currently has one way in and out from Germann via Silverado Court but that preliminary discussions are underway with the adjacent property owner to the west to secure a cross-access easement for a second access for emergency use.
The industrial site to the west is currently under construction.
Vice Chairman Jan Simon said the acreage is really an island and that it made sense for the proposed residential development to be located there.
Commissioner Noah Mundt raised concerns about traffic – noting the imminent freeway interchange at Lindsay Road – and asked what kind of traffic the townhomes would generate.
Newman said he didn’t have exact numbers as staff was still going through first review of the proposal and will have to conduct a traffic analysis and daily-trip count.
Commissioner David Blaser said he also had concerns about traffic but felt the proposed residential use was proper for the property.
According to Norris Design, the townhomes would be built by Family Development, an award-winning development firm with a proven history of building high-end luxury communities throughout Arizona and California.
Town on Germann is anticipated to have luxury townhomes with two-car garages and private patios or stoops.
The applicant said the residential development would provide a new housing option near existing and future employment in the Loop 202 corridor.
Also at last week’s meeting, Commissioners Brian Anderson and Bloomfield took their oaths of office – as did new Commissioners Blaser, William Fay, Tyler Jones and alternates Colby Ashton and Anthony Bianchi. They will serve for four years.
Bloomfield also was voted in as chair and Simon was approved for vice chair.