A family begins the process of converting the farm into houses


The entrance to Kelly Farm on Porter Road, near Farrell Road. Photo of Brian Petersheim Jr.

A local family is taking steps to turn their 100-acre farm off the Maricopa-Casa Grande highway into a planned residential development.

The Kelly’s hired Cowley Companies of Phoenix to develop their farm property on the southeast corner of the Maricopa-Casa Grande freeway and Porter Road.

Cowley is seeking a major change to the general plan of the site, which is the homestead, stables and agricultural farm. The property is bordered to the north by the Union Pacific Railroad and to the south by the Santa Rosa Wash. The Eagle Wing residential development is planned for an adjacent area to the east.

The land currently has multiple use designations: commercial on approximately 90 gross acres, open space on approximately 9 acres, and employment on approximately 1 acre. The developer asks to modify the general plan to designate the entire property as medium density residential. Future rezoning will be requested, Cowley said.

As designed, the residential community known as Kelly Ranches would be developed in multiple parcels with multiple lot sizes with the potential for detached single family homes, attached single family homes and single family homes for rent. Overall, the maximum density would be around six homes per acre, or about 475 housing units in total.

The family would keep their home on a 3-5 acre plot.

In addition to the existing farm, the property includes previously cultivated farmland and stables and includes fencing, concrete irrigation ditches, dirt roads and a number of canopy structures and storage sheds.

Current access to the property is from Porter Road at its western border. Due to an existing 200-foot rail corridor, there is no access from the Maricopa-Casa Grande Expressway.

The developer has said that a two-lane stretch of Porter, south of Iron Point Road, will require improvements during development. He also noted the limited effectiveness of Porter Road due to the crossing to the north and the wet crossing to the south. The developer noted that the town of Maricopa is planning to build a bridge over Porter Road on the Santa Rosa Wash.

In addition, the City is designing and planning an east-west corridor that will extend and widen Farrell Road to a boardwalk from John Wayne Drive to Maricopa-Casa Grande Road. This project could accommodate an access point to the Kelly Ranches community.

Most of the site is in a flood zone. The City is expected to submit a CLOMR, or conditional map review letter, to FEMA for review this summer, with possible approval and start of construction in about two years and another year of construction. (A CLOMR is a letter from FEMA indicating whether a project, if constructed as proposed, or hydrologic modifications would meet the minimum standards of the National Flood Insurance Program.)

Conceptual Plan of Kelly Ranches
Conceptual plan for the development of Kelly Farm into a planned residential development. Courtesy: Cowley Companies

The developer has said he will process his own CLOMR for the property if he wishes to proceed before the city’s CLOMR application is approved.

The development would have a 150-foot-wide buffer zone along its border with the Union Pacific Railroad corridor to reduce visual and noise impacts. In addition, the number of houses directly attached to or located in close proximity to the railway line will be reduced by design considerations.

In an introduction to the application, the developer said the family seeks to ensure “the design and development of a cohesively planned community that will exemplify respect for community heritage, while providing a family-friendly, connected and safe neighborhood.” .

According to the promoter, the following public meetings are planned on the plan:

Neighborhood Meeting – August 11, 6:00 p.m. Central Arizona College Building A, Community Room A101, 17945 N. Regent Dr.

Zoning and Planning Commission Hearing # 1 – September 27, 6 p.m. Copper Sky Multi-Generation Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing # 2 – Oct. 25, 6 p.m. City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

City Council Hearing – Nov. 15, 7 p.m. City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

Kelly Ranch Site
An analysis of the Kelly Farm site, south of the Maricopa-Casa Grande Expressway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Courtesy: Cowley Companies


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