The New River Area Plan, which helps guide rezoning decisions for unincorporated areas of Maricopa County’s northern reaches, including New River, Desert Hills and the east side of Anthem, is 20 years old. That’s about to change. After a series of public meetings and input from residents, the county unveiled its revised draft plan at a public meeting June 25.
This latest draft nixes the idea of a square-mile town center anchored by government buildings and bordered by Joy Ranch and Cloud roads, 7th Avenue and 7th Street. “We do not see that as reasonable land use in the future,” said Jen Pokorski, Maricopa County Planning and Development director.
New River Road will be designated a scenic corridor, from I-17 eastward and including 7th Avenue down to Carefree Highway. That designation seeks to have developments blend in with the existing landscape. The plan also includes preserving land on Daisy Mountain to make its trails official. [See Page 18].
“We heard a lot of concerns about this area growing too fast,” Pokorski said. The document, which will serve as a regional supplement to the county’s Vision 2030 plan, cannot supercede any state or county laws, so it’s not seen as a tool to throttle development in general, just to help officials make rezoning decisions within existing law.
Public comment can be made until July 31 at Maricopa.gov/NewRiverAreaPlan.