The Villas at Cheney Estates set for Nov. 16 public hearing

Town Hall is at 6401 E. Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. (file photo)

Paradise Valley’s newest proposed residential community, The Villas at Cheney Estates, is continuing its march forward after an Oct. 26 Paradise Valley Town Council study session.

The town council discussed the state of triangle-shaped neighborhood, The Villas at Cheney Estates, a proposed eight-lot private residential community on a 9.6-acre property at the northwest corner of Northern Avenue and Scottsdale Road. The discussion came at a Thursday, Oct. 26 council meeting at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

Prior to the council meeting, the Planning Commission approved recommendation of several concurrent applications that make up the project on Oct. 3, with a 4–0. Three commissioners absent from the proceedings: Charles Covington, Richard Mahrle, and Thomas Campbell.

The Villas at Cheney Estates is slated to have a public hearing Thursday, Nov. 16. Council will have the option at that time to vote on the item or table it for a later date, town officials say.

Town Senior Planner Paul Michaud presented council with the project on Oct. 26, including what the Planning Commission recommended for approval.

An conceptual design of The Villas at Cheney Estates. (graphic from Town of Paradise Valley)

This included the 9.6-acre preliminary plat with four conditions, consideration of a conditional use permit for private roadway with three conditions and two subdivison wall signs.

Another aspect of this project is it shares a border with the city of Scottsdale to the east along Scottsdale Road.

In order to accommodate the proposed development, a deceleration lane will run along the property to not disrupt the flow of traffic on Scottsdale Road, a major arterial.

Several councilmembers raised concerns about the development being turned into short-term rentals.

Vice Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner encouraged the developers to, within the law, include in their Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the community that homes would be used for residential purposes and not short-term use.

Councilwoman Julie Pace also pushed for the CC&R to include direction regarding short-term rentals. She said she believes short-term rentals are a new expense to the town.

Later, several other council members voiced their opposition to short-term rentals in the proposed neighborhood. Councilman Scott Moore said short-term rentals can bring up other concerns such as safety for those nearby.

“Even though Scottsdale Road is out of our jurisdiction, this property is within our jurisdiction and the complaints will come to us on that,” he said.

While the town cannot force the developer to place any stipulations into the CC&R, it can encourage it.

Mr. Bien-Willner said he would like the developers to consider putting in a point about short-term rentals because of what the end goal is for the proposed neighborhood.

“All of this has been done in the spirit of bringing a high quality residential development to a very difficult-to-develop parcel that has seen all kinds of commercial proposals,” Mr. Bien-Willner said during the Oct. 26 meeting.

This project has gone through a lot over the past year. Back in September 2016, Paradise Valley residents and real estate professionals Geoffrey Edmunds and Rod Cullum teamed-up with prominent zoning attorney Doug Jorden to submit plans for a residential subdivision on behalf of Town Triangle LLC.

Initially, the plans called for eight single-story homes on a 4.4-acre piece of land but last December the Planning Commission recommended denial of a major General Plan Amendment that would have increased the parcel’s residential density.

However, the commission did give the applicant more time by continuing to consider five other requests. The Town Council voted to continue with the General Plan amendment in December but Mr. Michaud said the request was withdrawn.

After several public meetings, the applicants acquired more acreage from the nearby golf course, which made it no longer necessary for a General Plan amendment, according to town officials.

Since July, the development’s plans went through two Planning Commission study sessions. During these sessions, Mr. Michaud presented what he called the cluster plan approach.

There are several cluster plan developments in the town, including Cheney Estates, just south of the proposed development.

One request for the proposed development has already gone to town council — asking for a special-use permit for a residential community gate. The council unanimously approved the gate’s statement of direction.

Mr. Edmunds said each time this project has moved forward, it’s improved in many different aspects.

“We’ve put a lot of work into this small portion of land because we care,” he said during the Oct. 26 meeting. “We care about what’s in there and whether it benefits the town, benefits us and benefits our neighbors.”

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