While the upcoming annexation and series of zoning changes to put it in place were complicated, Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission approval of the Magnolia development was not.
During its meeting Thursday, commissioners praised the larger development and smaller associated development plan on what is now a county island east of 175th Avenue and north of Cactus Road.
All four annexation changes and both preliminary plats won unanimous appeal of the commission.
"It's pretty commendable to see the finished project and what's going to be developed here, given how complicated the region and this area is," commission member Eric Cutlum said.
An annexation proposal of this county island will be heard by the City Council at its Jan. 17 meeting. It will be a bit irregular as the land owner will retain 10 to 15 acres for his residence, on the northeast corner of the land, and a smaller property on the southeast section will not be included.
Land owned by Paradise Schools Inc. for the campuses of Paradise Honors High School and a new middle school and sports facilities will remain a county island as construction continues.
The Magnolia plat includes 812 lots with 340 standard housing lots (or two different sizes), 224 lots served by alleys and 248 cluster lots.
A 10-acre slice of property around 175th and Sweetwater avenues, just north of land owned by Paradise Schools, is carved out of Magnolia because of a contractual agreement by the developer and the seller.
This as yet unnamed property is is surrounded by the larger Magnolia development. It is planned with 49 lots served by alleys, will share amenities and road connections with Magnolia and will be part of the Magnolia HOA.
These intergrated plats and projects include full street improvements to Sweetwater should improve traffic around 175th Avenue and Cactus Road, Surprise Planner Robert Kuhfuss said.
The alley lots and cluster products are narrower than is typical for city development standards, but as Mr. Kuhfuss said this provides more room for open space in the development.
"The standards would ask for only 20 percent open space and they're well beyond that all the way around. There's a considerable amount of open space that's being provided as a result of massaging those development standards," Mr. Kuhfuss said.
One large park complex will serve the whole community, complete with a community center, pool, sand volleyball, splash pad and tennis court.
A trail system and several open space corridors run through the property.
The Truman family has owned this land since 1946. During Thursday's meeting James Truman spoke favorably about the plans for Magnolia.
"We were struggling to come up with a buyer who would put in a decent project. This developer has been very reasonable in working with us. It has been very easygoing with them," Mr. Truman said.