Feb. 23, 2005 - The Marana Town Council gave heavy criticism of plans for a new residential development near The Pines golf course during a Feb. 15 study session.
Council members responded unfavorably to conceptual drawings showing narrow, three-story units, presented by representatives from Standard Pacific Homes, developers of the project.
"There are no three-story homes in the town of Marana, so this is definitely a new concept," said council member Ed Honea, who also expressed concerns that there weren't play areas for children. He said he didn't want children being forced to cross busy streets to get to a park.
"That has a lot to do with getting three-story houses approved when you're talking to me," he said. "You've got to give me something in trade, and that's quality parks."
Council member Jim Blake said he preferred to see less emphasis on front garage space, and expressed concerns that the homes were too narrow and densely packed together.
Mayor Bobby Sutton said the homes appeared a bit upscale from a "starter home," and wasn't sure if families with children would buy a home "on the seventh green" when they could buy one in Continental Ranch. But, he said, that would be their choice.
"If you put your house next to an alligator farm, your kids are going to see alligators once in a while," he said.
Architect Jeff DeMure, president of Jeffrey DeMure and Associates, said bold steps are being taken to enhance Marana and a good community starts with good planning.
DeMure said his visit was only to solicit input and to see if the ideas presented were in the ballpark of the draft vision for Marana, and he thought the town made good suggestions.
"There's some strong suggestions about what people would like or dislike," said Town Manager Mike Reuwsaat. "We're working with the developer to redefine his product a little bit and come back to council again."
Following discussions of The Pines development, the council entered another study session to consider repaving and landscaping plans for the Honea Heights neighborhood.
Pima County Wastewater Management is cooperating with Marana to construct sewers in the Honea Heights area, with the mainline sewer construction anticipated to last nine months once it begins this year. Through an intergovernmental agreement, the town agreed to provide the final pavement surface for the roadways following construction of the sewers.
The cost-sharing portion of the project is still being hammered out before it goes to bid, Reuwsaat said. The Rural Development Administration awarded a $900,000 grant to the county, which is going to help cover costs, he said.
At the meeting, the council was presented three repaving plans that ranged from $600,000 to $5.7 million.
The lower option would cover simple asphalt surfacing costs, while the $5.7 million project would include asphalt surfacing, ADA accessible ramps, concrete driveways, five-foot sidewalks, landscaping, irrigation, additional street lighting, and curb, gutter and related drainage improvements.
Another option, at a cost of $1.1 million, would include asphalt surfacing, six-foot stabilized decomposed granite pathways and minimal landscaping and irrigation.
No council action was taken, but town staff is expected to consider the costs and bring the matter back at a later date.
Reuwsaat said the town is going to go with a modified version of the middle option that includes paving the streets with a two-inch layer of "hot mix" asphalt and a hard sidewalk on one side of the street.
Sidewalks and pathways are expected for all roads within the neighborhood, which currently doesn't have any, Reuwsaat said. Plans indicate a sidewalk or pathway will be constructed along the south side of Moore Road from Sanders Road to the future Tangerine Farms alignment.
The town has agreed that, over a three- to five-year period, residents will receive free connections to the sewer system at no cost, Reuwsaat said.
"It's an old neighborhood, so it's starting to see some problems," he said. "It's an aquifer protection issue over time."
In other action, council members approved a design review for a proposed commercial center west of Silverbell Road and north of Wade Road.
Mesquite Ridge Builders Inc., which owns about 2.5 acres within Continental Ranch, applied for a design review approval for the Silverbell Wade Commercial Center, which lies within the bounds of the Silverbell Road Corridor Overlay District.