By Philip Haldiman
A large retirement community in the West Valley is on track to get bigger.
The Peoria Planning Commission recommended a proposal for the City Council to rezone 17.3 acres in Ventana Lakes to allow for 69 new homes, June 1.
Council will make the final decision at a public meeting later this summer.
The proposal includes two parcels — one 7.12 acres and one 10.2 acres — at 107th Avenue and Beardsley Road that would be rezoned from commercial to a residential Planned Area Development. The proposal includes frontage improvements, such as additional sidewalk connections that provide increased pedestrian safety to the existing neighborhoods.
Commissioner Leigh Strickman, a resident of Ventana Lakes, said the new development will make the area better.
“Yes, those lots have been vacant a number of years, so I applaud that something is finally going in there,” she said.
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 for a successful annexation was 405 votes.
Thomas Galvin, a land use attorney with Rose Law Group who represents applicant CVL Consultants, Inc., said cooperation from Ventana Lakes residents helped.
“It was a very fruitful process with the Ventana Lakes Property Owners Association,” he said. “Moving forward, we believe (the development) will add value to the area.”
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 proposes an 8-foot-wide paved meandering trail with four fitness stations and seating.
POA President Lori Norris said the parcels have been vacant for more than 30 years.
“Many developers have tried to develop the land but found it not feasible due to pipelines and other things far too expensive,” she said.
Senior planner Sean Allen said the proposal includes a number of amenities, one of the most striking being enhanced community entry monuments.
“They will bring a great sense of theme and entry for the community,” Mr. Allen said.
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