By Philip Haldiman, Independent Newsmedia
Peoria retirement community Ventana Lakes is getting bigger.
City Council approved a proposal to bring 69 new homes to two parcels — one 7.12 acres and one 10.2 acres — at 107th Avenue and Beardsley Road.
Ventana Lakes Property Owners Association President Lori Norris, who has lived in the community for almost 15 years, said the parcels have been vacant for more than 30 years.
She said the new development, Four Seasons at Ventana Lakes, will be a positive improvement to the neighborhood and cause minimal cost to the neighborhood because it is an infill project.
“We are looking forward to this proceeding,” she said. “By allowing the rezoning, Ventana Lakes and the developer can improve the aesthetics of the area and eliminate two very unsightly lots that have been here the entire time I’ve been in the community.”
The approval included a rezoning from commercial to residential Planned Area Development, a specialized type of zoning district that permits tailored standards to fit the context of the area and the characteristics of the site.
It includes frontage improvements, such as additional sidewalk connections that provide increased pedestrian safety to the existing neighborhoods. The Peoria Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended the proposal to Council June 1.
To make way for the approval, Ventana Lakes Property Owners Association voted 955 to 70 in favor of annexing the two parcels into the existing age-restricted community, March 18. The majority vote needed 405 votes for a successful annexation.
Past attempts to develop the lots commercially have failed because of lack of financial feasibility due to property limitations from city structures and a 30- to 60-foot gas pipeline that runs diagonally on the east side of both parcels, near 107th Avenue.
No buildings or tree plantings are permitted within the easement, so the proposed development plan worked around this by designing this space into the proposal as a significant open space amenity corridor. Through the easement corridor, the developer proposed an 8-foot-wide paved meandering trail with four fitness stations and seating.
Vice Mayor Jon Edwards, who represents the area, said the applicant and city have worked very hard to bring the project to the council for approval.
“The project not only completes the two corners of 107th Avenue and Beardsley Road that has sat vacant for so many years, but also has full support of the Ventana Lakes HOA and every resident I have talked to.”
FOUR SEASONS AT VENTANA LAKES
• 8-foot wide paved multi-use trail (east side of both parcels)
• Four‘parcourse’ fitness stations along east trail
• Four shaded seating nodes
• Additional 8-foot wide trail on west side of the north parcel
• Two golf putting greens in the northwest corner of the south parcel
• Additional 8-foot wide trail near putting green area, connecting the project to the Ventana
Lakes Yacht Club directly west.
• 10-foot wide paved multi-use trail on the south side of the south parcel.
Source: City of Peoria