Park Stewards have a wide range of backgrounds, interest areas, and activities that they participate in. But one thing they all have in common is a dedication to Phoenix Parks and Preserves. Please meet these dedicated individuals through their October 2022 Newsletter. Park Stewards Oct 2022 Newsletter
The proposed Taylor Morrison “Verdin” development would be the first one within the Desert Character Overlay area, and will set a disastrous precedent if allowed to move forward, totally bypassing the Desert Character Overlay, and in essence, deleting the DCO Preserve Protection intent for all future developments adjacent to our Desert Preserve Lands. See attached PMPC Call to Action for attendance to the March 10th Meeting by Desert North Gateway Village Planning Committee Meeting.
Note: ***The March 1st Village Planning Committee regarding Verdin Development was moved to March 10th at a different location.
For More Information
PMPC Talking Points for Individuals
Call to Action with Date and Location Change
PMPC is very concerned about the Verdin Housing Development project. The Taylor Morrison Verdin (formerly MacEwen 480) is a 480-acre Planned Unit Development (PUD). This site is pristine desert adjacent to the Sonoran Desert Preserve, located south of Sonoran Desert Drive, between Cave Creek and Apache Washes, and incorporates the smaller Mesquite Wash. This PUD will set a precedent for all future developments adjacent to the Sonoran Desert Preserve and along Sonoran Desert Drive. The northern third of this site is under the ‘Desert Character Overlay District’ (DCOD), per Section 653 of the Phoenix Zoning Ordinance. The DCOD is the result of hundreds of hours work by individuals committed to thoughtfully and specifically ensure the native desert areas adjacent to the Preserve are not eclipsed by future housing developments that disregard the fragile beauty of the desert. Present zoning is S-1 or one home-site per 35,000 SF; or about 500 homes. Their PUD proposes to increase the zoning to allow about 1,420 home sites!
For More Information
PMPC Letter to Desert View Village Planning
Talking Points for Issues of Concern
City of Phoenix Natural Resources Division North Area Park Preserve Supervisor Claire Miller, working with representatives of Pointe Mountainside HOA, Hillcrest IX HOA, PMPC, SOMF and Lookout Mountain Golf Course, continues the City of Phoenix’s goal to re-establish Trail 25 that connects the North Mountain Preserve south of Thunderbird to Lookout Mountain north of Thunderbird. Supervisor Miller and North Area Park Preserve Manager, Josh Parnell have flagged the original trail with yellow ribbons, and has flagged the proposed realignment with green ribbons.
The main goals are to realign the trail in dedicated Multi-use Trail Easements or as close as possible to them and to route the trail away from the golf cart path and back onto natural surface areas. The excitement of the new alignment is that by routing the trail away from the cart path and through natural areas, hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers will be closer to the desert environment and will be able to enjoy some really stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Trail creation and realignment is a multi-step, multi-year process involving various city departments and community stakeholder groups and the public. Stay tuned for future updates!
An approved project on 160 acres in the North east corner Happy Valley Road and Central Avenue can be reviewed at PMPC will continue to request that the Hillside Ordinance (if it applies in the SE corner) and the Edge Guidelines be adhered to. The current zoning is S-1 which is approximately one house per acre. The approved zoning is for higher density housing, and commercial. The east boundary is adjacent to the Sonoran Preserve, and there are no planned or existing trails in that location. For More Information
City of Phoenix Staff Analysis Report
The approximately 480 acres to the west side of the Cave Creek Wash, and south of the Sonoran Drive is set for rezoning. PMPC and the local community group “Save Our Sonoran Preserve” are very concerned that the Desert Character Overlay and the Edge Guidelines be adhered to in the development of this environmentally sensitive site in the north Phoenix area, adjacent to the Sonoran Preserve on its south and east boundaries. The Overlay designation would require a lower density of development in the north third of this site. PMPC has requested and will continue to request the City of Phoenix to have the developer adhere to this overlay in the site plan design, as well as assuring public access to public lands through the site. So far the developer and the City have ignored the Desert Character Overlay. The project is named “Verdin” For More Information
Save Our Sonoran Preserve
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation has purchased 1,129 acres at the North West corner of I-17 and the 303. It was purchased from the State Land Department for $89 million. The City of Phoenix expects to spend over $200 million for new infrastructure at the rezoning site. This new infrastructure should benefit the north valley. It is currently zoned S-1, or one house per acre, and it will be rezoned as per the General Plan to a Commercial designation. The concerns that PMPC would have involve Dead Mans Wash at the west end of the site, and the ability to maintain a Desert landscape environment along with a natural wash system with the possibility of using the sides of the washes for trails. The site is bounded by State Land to the west and south and Arizona Game and Fish to the north. For More Information
PMPC continues to monitor the pathway of the drought pipeline through the City of Phoenix in order to protect our Preserves and keep local communities knowledgeable of potential impact in their neighborhoods. The current construction area of installing the new pipeline all the way to the north valley – is now going through Dreamy Draw. So the Trails are closed now in September – but we are not sure which trails will be remaining. There was a survey which ended in August regarding the option of a hiking trail next to the bikes path, or separate from the bike path. We hope most of our membership did respond to the City of Phoenix survey. For More Information
PMPC Board Representatives are monitoring this Rezoning Process and have last year submitted a PMPC Rezoning Opposition Letter to City of Phoenix. The Developer’s “Up Zone” application request would change and increase the existing zoning density. The Site Plan that we have been given for this 160 acres only shows the preliminary plan for the NW area of residential development. This is neither Hillside nor adjacent to the Sonoran Preserve. PMPC is currently trying to get a more detailed site plan for the 160 acres, making sure that the City asks that the Hillside Ordinance and the Edge guidelines be adhered to, along with a more compatible re-zoning. PMPC Board Representatives continue to attend hearings and meetings – and support the local community in opposition to this Rezoning. For More Information/
Lookout Mountain Connector Trail #25 – discussion is still going on regarding the final official pathway of Trail#25 that links North Mountain to Lookout Mountain Preserves –available to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. There is a coalition of people,including PMPC representative Libby Goff, HOA organizations and members, Save Our Mountains, active hikers and bikers, and local residents who cooperated to determine an alternative routing of the trails and presented a map showing them to the City of Phoenix. Various city subdivisions are studying and reviewing the routes and we are waiting for a response. PMPC monitoring continues. For More Information:
As many Phoenix community members have seen, there is a major issue regarding the approval of the City of Phoenix of recent rock debris recently dumped in large portions all around South Mountain Park – not in the South Mountain Preserve. More attention is needed on this issue. For More Information
Our ANNIVERSARY Celebration is Postponed until the Fall of 2020!!! Our new date will be posted here!!!
Where: North Mountain Visitor Center at 12950 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85022: from 7am to 2pm.
Activities may include:
- Birding Hike
- Dog Hike
- Seasoned Hikers Trek
- Family Group Hike
- Guided Nature Walk
- Planting native trees
- Book Readings
- Activities for Children
Aaron Lieberman read a statement about PMPC and specifically to honor Maxine Lakin as part of our 50th anniversary. Because of the coronavirus no one was able to attend. AZ Legislative Proclamation
Completed!!! The City of Phoenix began improvements to the 7th street North Mountain Access Road to the North Mountain Towers. The access road was in a state of disrepair, had several potential hazards for rock fall, needed drainage improvements, and the pavement was near the end of its performance life. The City developed a new pathway from North Mountain Visitor Center Parking to North Mountain Tower Road. Plan ahead. The parking area fills up quickly!!! For More Information FactSheet
The Annual Report from the Phoenix Parks and Receation Department provides a nice overview of 2018 highlights. for more info
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, the site of an ancient Hohokam farming community that thrived along the Gila River for 1,000 years, is just one of the sites in Arizona that have benefited from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Yes!!! At last, after 50 years trying to protect Phoenix’s major iconic mountain, all of the land that is Camelback Park, and all the city land and trails on Camelback, including the top has just been voted, by the City Council, to be included in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. All are now protected by Chapter 26 which states that none of that land can be sold, developed, traded, destroyed, misused….etc. without a vote of the people. It now has the same protection as the rest of our wonderful Preserve.
The city of Phoenix is working with a variety of agencies including local businesses and faith-based organizations to reduce homelessness in the city. The links below provide a variety of Phone numbers to get people, both families and individuals, help. If you see people living or congregating in areas not meant for long-term occupation call 602-466-3461 which is for both Crime Stop and PHX C.A.R.E.S. The brochure’s second page includes phone numbers for food, senior citizens, veterans, and mental health assistance.
If you see questionable activities in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves make sure you not the location, observed activities, description of the people involved, and the time of day. You should not approach the people, but call the Crime Stop number as soon as possible to notify the City of Phoenix police.
The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department developed general guidelines for hikers.Take a Hike. Do It Right. With record breaking heat during this time of year hikers need to be concerned about their furry friends as well as themselves so Heat Safety guidelines are available. Also no dogs on certain trails when the temperature reaches 100 degrees or more. With the lack of rainfall there is a Fire Ban for Desert Parks and Mountain Preserves NO OPEN FIRES of any kind. For More Information
“If we ruin Camelback, ever afterward people will think of Phoenix as the city that made something ugly of the most beautiful thing it had.” Barry Goldwater – Arizona Republic, 1965. The highest undeveloped lot on Camelback Mountain sits at a 52 percent slope. It is targeted for an almost 10,000-square-foot home, the largest ever constructed on Camelback Mountain. To access the proposed house, an approximately 600-foot-long roadway will cut deeply into the steep mountainside, forever scarring the iconic mountainside.