Community Planning Assistance Teams

Seven Ranches Area – Maricopa, Arizona

Team visit scheduled for: February 22-25, 2012

Meet the Team

Sue Schwartz, FAICP, Director of the Department of Planning and Community Development for the City of Greensboro, North Carolina, and former AICP President, will lead the CPAT in Maricopa along with three other planning professionals with the expertise needed for the Seven Ranches Area.

Community Planning Assistance Team member profiles


June 15, 2012

Value in Collaboration: Finding a Future for Seven Ranches

Final Report (pdf)

February 22, 2012

Team members arrived and toured Maricopa, including the study area, Seven Ranches. They conducted a well-attended community meeting in the evening. Residents participated in a visual preference survey using an electronic polling system. Community members met informally with team members individually and in groups following the meeting to hear hopes, concerns, and other ideas.

Community Planning Assistance Team Final Presentation (pdf)

The Process

December 2011

Team leader, Sue Schwartz, FAICP, and APA Senior Outreach Associate, Ryan Scherzinger, visited Maricopa on December 19 and 20. Maricopa planning staff gave them a tour of Maricopa and the Seven Ranches area. They met with numerous city staff members from various departments, including engineers, parks and recreation, the city manager, fire department, and economic development to determine the challenges and opportunities associated with the Seven Ranches area. The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission held a special joint session during the visit, in which Maricopa's elected officials expressed their ideas and concerns about the Seven Ranches area.

Community Background

The City of Maricopa, located about 30 miles south of Phoenix, experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, transitioning from a small town of just over 1,000 people in 2000 to more than 40,000 by 2010. Maricopa incorporated as a city in 2003 and has struggled as a newly formed administration to keep pace with the rapid growth in the area. Development has reduced significantly since the economic downturn, which has given the city time to concentrate more efforts into much needed planning. The city reached out to APA regarding the Seven Ranches Area, which is included in the City Council's 2011-2013 Strategic Plan.

The private water provider for Seven Ranches cannot meet minimum fire flow requirements, which has prevented additional development. The area's poor infrastructure, blighted homes, and uncoordinated developments have presented significant obstacles for the overall economic expansion of the city. A 2009 survey conducted in Seven Ranches showed a strong voice for a planning study focusing on the area's infrastructure issues and the encouragement of commercial / mixed use developments. The CPAT will engage the community