Developers with Lennar Homes have their sights on one more empty plot on the edge of Ahwatukee Foothills.

Lennar presented its plan to build nearly 70 homes at the southwest corner of Liberty Lane and 17th Avenue to the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee during its monthly meeting on Monday. The plan requires a change to the general plan and the zoning.

The empty 17.55 acres of land is currently zoned for commercial use, though it’s so far into the Foothills it has never been developed for that purpose. At the northwest corner of the land there is an SRP Marley Substation and to the east and north are homes. To the south the land is owned by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and may be developed to accommodate an entrance or exit for the proposed Loop 202 Freeway extension.

The planning committee discussed in detail with presenters at the Nov. 26 meeting the possibility of part of this development being destroyed to make way for the Loop 202. Stephen C. Earl of Earl, Curley and Lagarde, representing Lennar, said Lennar has had many talks with ADOT and they feel confident that if ADOT does move forward with the Pecos Road alignment for the freeway they will not need anymore land from that area.

“ADOT is indicating that at the time of subdivision review they may have refinements to the right of way line like on 17th Avenue, maybe a little bit of extra right of way,” Earl said. “We’ll work with them at that time. Candidly, there’s a lot of hope that this freeway won’t go here. Who knows.”

Earl said ADOT has been very ambiguous about its plans for the land, but said it’s unfair to the landowner to hold the land until ADOT makes a final decision. ADOT’s clean take line across the plot has not changed in more than 20 years.

The committee approved the rezoning for the project with one added stipulation. Potential homeowners of the homes in the southern portion of the lot must be informed that their home could be purchased by ADOT for Loop 202 construction, and also be shown a graphic of the clean take line.

Michael Middleton, a member of the planning committee, said he bought his home 17 years ago and was given a similar warning. Since then he has raised his kids in Ahwatukee. Middleton said that while he’s for the development he thinks full disclosure is important.

The project will be considered by the city of Phoenix Planning Commission on Dec. 11.

Lennar recently began breaking ground for homes to be built on an empty lot near Desert Vista High School. They hope to begin developing the plot at Liberty Lane and 17th Avenue in the next year or two. The homes will be designed to match other homes in the area and will be similar in price point.

The Ahwatukee Village Planning Committee will not be meeting in December.

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