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H. Public Buildings, Facilities & Services Element

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Sections of this Element:

  1. Public Buildings
  2. Public Services and Facilities
  3. Utility Services
  4. Functional Plans
  5. Cost of Development Element

Ensuring adequate public facilities and services demonstrate the City’s commitment to orderly growth. Certain services, like water and wastewater utilities, are privately provided in Maricopa, highlighting the need for cooperative efforts in maintaining acceptable levels of service at reasonable costs. The availability of public services and facilities will enable Maricopa to meet its future population expectations, accelerate growth in desired areas of the community, and, if needed, the flexibility to constrain development where growth is not desired. Developer provided infrastructure, coordinated with the City’s efforts, is an important component of this Element.

As a rule, public facility planning in a developing community like Maricopa should be directed to meet three important criteria:

  • Service standards that are adequate and equitable for all parts of the community;
  • Service to new developments that is cost-beneficial to the City’s citizens; and
  • Financing that maximizes the long-term value of local government assets.

Carefully planned and implemented facility expansions and service extensions can maximize the return on investments by the City, School Districts, the private sector and other levels of government.

As Maricopa matures, new functions, public and private facilities, and income producers add new dimensions to the community. As public facilities and services continue to be established, a broadened revenue base can support these and other desired investments. The City and community are committed to expanding public facilities and services to meet citizens’ needs.

The citizens of Maricopa desire a “Smart City” approach as a path for enhancing the performance of City facilities and infrastructure, reducing costs and resource consumption, and engaging more effectively and actively with its citizens. This approach integrates technology and government with the intent to empower planning efforts and infrastructure development to create a more attractive and efficient city for residents, visitors, and businesses/employers. “Smart Cities” is an integral aspect of the Vision 2040 Strategic Plan adopted by the City Council May, 2015 with equal importance in this General Plan.


1. Public Buildings

Maricopa acknowledges the vital role public buildings play in shaping community life, and the city seeks to design facilities that represent the community’s special qualities. Public buildings are designed to respond to the needs of the community, and as such, the location, size, timing, and financing of public buildings must be planned well in advance of construction to minimize cost and maximize function. For new buildings, the City will lead by example in constructing facilities that reflect the community’s character and history, while maximizing usefulness and public benefits for generations to come.

Maricopa maintains City Hall, Police Station, Copper Sky Multi-Generational Center and Park, Copper Sky Police Substation, Pacana Park Maintenance and Concession buildings, Library, Public Works Building and Equipment Yard, Fire Maintenance facility, Copa Center Community Building, VFW Facility, Don Pearce Fire Station Community Room, four (4) fire stations and the Fire Department Administrative offices. The City operates centrally from City Hall located at 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

In 2010, City leadership undertook community outreach and visioning exercises to capture the citizens desires to assist the planning and design of a variety of City facilities: the City Hall Complex, Regional Park, Aquatics Center and a Multi-Generational Center. A result of the citizen outreach process was the conceptual design of the future City Center Complex, which includes a City Hall building and spaces for other public buildings and City services, a civic mall open space, a performing arts and cultural center, and a museum all located in the heart of a 145 acre mixed–use development.

In 2013, the City opened the new City Hall that was designed to embody the citizen’s desire for transparency and connectivity. The building and surrounding area is designed for expansion to support the growth of the City and meet the needs of Maricopa through build-out. The City Hall building is positioned on a highly visible site and raised on a plinth to create a civic presence. The architecture expresses an outward-reaching connection between the City’s programs and services and the community. To honor its past, materials symbolic to the city’s history, such as stone, ground-face masonry and metal panels are melded with concrete, steel and glass that express the city’s future.

City Hall offices house the City Council Chambers, City Council offices, City Management and administrative offices, Finance Department, Economic Development, Development Services, Engineering, Community Services, Information Technology, and the City Clerk offices.

Interactive (GIS) Maps

Interactive (GIS) Map

Figure 12-Public Buildings and Facilities Map


2. Public Services and Facilities

The service level provided by Maricopa’s public facilities has progressed significantly since incorporation. Facilities that once supported the original rural community have evolved and expanded to service large master planned developments. Municipal infrastructure is a mix of components that vary in quality, differ in capacity, and may involve multiple service providers or jurisdictions. Most facilities are newer, installed by developers, utilities, or by the City; others are older and require major maintenance, expansion, or replacement. Some essential public facilities, including higher education and medical services, are emerging in Maricopa.

Recently developed areas of the community are designed and constructed with urban infrastructure and services. Older neighborhoods, less dense and more rural in character, are usually served by water, on-site waste disposal (septic), and street systems designed for their level of need at the time of improvement, and these will not accommodate future growth without additional infrastructure improvements. Public safety functions, such as police protection, have significantly expanded to keep up with the population. Fire services are provided by the City Fire Department and emergency medical service is offered by a contract provider, Southwest Ambulance Service.

2040 Vision: Ensure parity of services among all sections of the City.

This chapter lists the major services provided by the City (Refer to Public Facilities Map) and the issues related to examining future needs and desired levels of service. Some services may be discussed in other portions of this General Plan, such as Open Space & Recreation. As other services develop or new issues arise, the plan will be amended to include them for analysis.

Level of Service

To determine what constitutes an equitable provision of city service, the City of Maricopa must first determine the desired level of service for any service provided by the City or other private and non-profit entities. The method to determine this can be measured in many ways depending on the amenity provided. Examples of this include service per population, per area, or per distance traveled.

When determining level of service it is important to also consider the desired level of service when related to the existing or future intensity of the area. Equitable service planning for Maricopa will look at the sustainability of the service when compared to the number of users and the cost to the City. Fewer services will be provided in rural areas in general and some noncontiguous (leapfrog) development, due to cost of providing the service as well as the fewer number of residents who will benefit from the service. When looking at service levels compared to density it will be important to examine the need of the residents and if there are other areas of the City that have a greater need for the same or different services when budgetary constraints are applied.

a. Emergency Services

Fire Prevention/Suppression

The Maricopa Fire Department (MFD) provides emergency fire suppression and EMS services to all development in Maricopa. MFD is rapidly growing, and will keep growing, to meet new demands in the community. MFD currently has 68 trained firefighters, four fire stations and one administration building. Further, MFD has also recently added major new firefighting equipment to their roster to enhance emergency response preparedness.

Dispatch is handled through Phoenix Regional Dispatch system. MFD is working with the Ak-Chin Fire Department to provide back-up service to one another.

Fire Prevention Services are managed by the MFD, which coordinates fire code enforcement related to new and existing construction. Fire inspections to all commercial, schools, and industrial buildings occur regularly by fire inspectors. Fires are investigated for cause and determination to reduce future fires by educating the community. Emergency operations center has reached out to the community for engagement to promote “Whole Community” approach consistent with FEMA emergency management. FEMA has recognized to partner with organizations like faith-based and nonprofit groups, and private sector to individuals, families who continue to be the nation’s most important assets as first responders during a disaster. Fire prevention has incorporated a Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) with volunteers who are interested in training for major disasters. An additional function that has been initiated by MFD is public education that extends to all of the Maricopa area schools and special events. MFD has also developed a Hazardous Materials Response Team, designed to provide specialized emergency response to both personnel and equipment to protect the public, the environment and properties. Refer to the Section II. D Safety Element for additional policy discussion.

Goal H2.a.1: Maintain a community in which all residents, businesses and visitors are safe.
Objective H2.a.1.1: Ensure all future development infrastructures include fiber-optic, proper ingress and egress for efficient public safety including bicycle paths and pedestrian crossings.
Objective H2.a.1.2: Develop specific initiatives for Homeland Security and the City’s Emergency Operations Center focusing on an all-hazards response to critical infrastructure.
Objective H2.a.1.3: Achieve optimal staffing levels and facilities, located in strategic areas throughout the City to provide efficient public safety including hazardous material and water rescue.
Objective H2.a.1.4: Ensure the MFD delivers seamless services to the community.
Objective H2.a.1.5: Increase opportunities for use of technology and high quality resources.
Objective H2.a.1.6: Achieve national accreditation for Fire Department

2040 Vision: Maricopa is a safe and livable community in which citizen involvement supports and upholds the value of being safe and secure in one’s own community.

Police

Police CarThe Maricopa Police Department (MPD) began taking calls for service on July 1, 2007. The Department has 66 sworn employs and 11 civilian employees as of 2015. With an approximate population of 50,000, there are 1.32 sworn officers per 1,000 residents. The national recommendation for staffing is between 1.8 and 2.0 officers per 1,000 residents. Adding to the challenge of preserving life and property is the 45 square miles of incorporated land that requires vigilant patrolling. To help meet immediate and future needs of the residents, the Maricopa Police Department moved into its first police station and headquarters in November of 2013. The headquarter facility acts as the first permanent facility in the history of the department. MPD plans to open the second permanent facility in January 2016.

As part of the effort to maintain a consistent level of high performance, the Maricopa Police Department has made strides in accountability, professionalism, and community engagement. The Maricopa Police Department was able to complete the initial accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA accreditation is the highest form of national accreditation currently offered to law enforcement agencies.

Due to the fact that the first four minutes of any emergency are critical, it is the goal of MPD to be on scene within four minutes of the 9-1-1 call. Currently the response time is more than five minutes. Maricopa has relied on contracted 9-1-1 services through Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) and then Buckeye Police (BPD) since the inception of the police department in July, 2007. All 9-1-1 calls made within Maricopa are answered either by PCSO and then transferred to the City of Buckeye Police Department Public Safety Communications Center or they are answered directly by the City of Buckeye. Upon completion of the Police Communications Substation discussed below, MPD will take full control of police and emergency dispatch serving Maricopa. Furthermore, Section II. H2 .i Communications subsection explains public communications in the event of an emergency.

Maricopa has worked to keep pace with meeting the public safety needs. A new police substation opened in 2016 to house the Maricopa Police Department Communications Division and an expanded Property and Evidence facility. Furthermore, the new substation provides emergency and policing presence south of the railroad tracks and the neighboring Copper Sky Recreational Complex. The facility also provides expanded, walk-in access to policing personnel through the 24/7/365 communications and dispatch center. The facility expands the deployment of resources currently available to MPD and the citizens of Maricopa. Finally, the new substation houses a regional emergency operations center and training facility. These features allow MPD to create and maintain partnerships and emergency communications with regional and national public safety providers, including the municipal police departments in Pinal County.

Moving forward, the MPD is actively pursuing Smart City technologies to improve operational efficiencies. The MPD has launched a mobile app to allow residents and businesses to keep up with MPD news and updates, as well as report crimes and suspicious activities on their mobile devices. MPD is also implementing new technologies for monitoring public facilities and parks 24/7. Refer to the Safety element for additional policy discussion.

Goal H2.a.3: Increase meaningful citizen participation in community policing efforts, especially in neighborhoods.
Objective H2.a.3.1: Promote efforts and successes in making Maricopa safe through enhanced website and meaningful partnerships with local and regional media.
Objective H2.a.3.2: Create Neighborhood Watch programs in all areas.
Objective H2.a.3.3: Involve public safety officials in the City’s planning process (e.g., review plans to ensure incorporation of public safety concepts).
Objective H2.a.3.4: Create liaisons to facilitate the development of neighborhood groups and activities.
Objective H2.a.3.5: Expand the services provided for community organizing, creating and maintaining citizen involvement (e.g., partnering with neighborhood HOA’s).
Objective H2.a.3.6: Continue to provide City sponsored mechanisms for citizen input (e.g., coffee with the Chief, town hall meetings, public forums, Public Safety Citizens Academy, etc.)
Objective H2.a.3.7: Engage citizens in the building of community and neighborhood safety programs.
Goal H2.a.2: Maintain a community in which all residents, businesses and visitors are safe.
Objective H2.a.2.1: Create and implement policy for Crime prevention through Environmental Design to improve public safety in existing and new development.
Objective H2.a.2.2: Conduct a study to evaluate lighting levels throughout the City.
Objective H2.a.2.3: Adopt civil and criminal abatement ordinances and policies.
Objective H2.a.2.4: Incorporate into the City’s Development and Redevelopment plans, Urban and community Crime Prevention design concepts that adhere to national standards and promote public and neighborhood security and safety.
Objective H2.a.2.5: Design and implement effective community policing programs and strategies.
Objective H2.a.2.6: Achieve optimal staffing levels and facilities, located in strategic areas throughout the City to provide efficient public safety response.
Objective H2.a.2.7: Maintain national accreditation for Police Department.
Objective H2.a.2.8: Increase opportunities for use of technology and high quality resources.

b. Courts

The Pinal County Complex in Maricopa at 19955 N. Wilson Ave, houses the court services that serves Maricopa. As of July 1, 2004, the City of Maricopa began operating under a consolidated court system with Pinal County. The City has elected to use a consolidated court based on increased efficiency and lower costs.

c. Community Services

The City of Maricopa Community Services Department is committed to providing services and amenities to enhance the quality of life of Maricopa’s residents. The department offers a variety of diversified programs, activities and special events that focus on family, fun, recreational needs, inclusion programs, and physical wellness of children, adults and seniors. Parks and other public facilities enhance the quality of life of Maricopa residents, provide a place for families and friends to gather and add to the amenities offered to many visitors. The Community Services Department is comprised of the following four (4) divisions:

  • Library
  • Parks
  • Recreation
  • Events

Library

Public LibraryThere is one public library in Maricopa that is part of the Pinal County Regional Library System. The library is located on a one-half acre site at 41600 W. Smith-Enke Rd, Building #10. The library is approximately 8,000 square feet in size and has a collection of over 40,000 books, journals, cd’s, dvd’s, videos, etc. The Library provides full library services, materials in all formats, programming for all ages, and 20 public access computers. As the population grows, this facility, too, will need to keep pace with increasing demand. A growing and expanding library network, equipped with the latest technology and quality programming betters the community by supporting education, community togetherness and both personal and econoimic growth.

Libraries built in the future should be located and designed as a central part of the community. The library serves less as a research center and more as a place for art display, continuing education center, social gathering and leisure space and any other use the public may have. A location that can provide this much to a community becomes a central piece in making a public place.

2040 Vision: The City provides and maintains quality facilities and programming for information resources, educational support and community interaction.

Public library services are based on relationships and interactions between staff and library users. Today’s library staff is one that instructs and interacts with customers to insure a library experience that is gratifying and relevant to the customer needs and expectations. Library staffing must be available to meet the needs of each age group, engage in community outreach, and to plan and coordinate the cultural and educational offerings of the library. In 2015, Library facilities in Maricopa are below that recommended by the Library Master Plan and the library facilities per capita based on the national average.

Goal H2.c.2: Implement Library resources and facilities necessary to maintain the industry standard level of service.
Objective 2.c.2.1: Update the Libraries Master Plan in conjunction with the PTOS Master Plan update and implement a plan to meet the recommendations for level of service standards for Library services in Maricopa, including a new Library.
Objective H2.c.2.2: Consider peer community levels of service when planning for Library facilities.
Objective H2.c.2.3: Expand library services to provide public access to communications and information technology.
Goal H2.c.1: Encourage the creation and expansion of a wide array of community-oriented services, and the ability of residents to share such services.
Objective H2.c.1.1: Identify and utilize strategic placement of library facilities (both new and existing public or private spaces) to encourage participation and partnerships i.e., near gathering centers and educational facilities.
Objective H2.c.1.2: Create and maintain strong partnerships with other libraries to build a supportive network of resources.
Objective H2.c.1.3: Identify and support opportunities to place and expand strong, reliable technologies for connectivity on a worldwide level.
Objective H2.c.1.4: Ensure quality staff training and education to support research assistance, at multiple levels, both privately and through business resource centers and partnerships.
Objective H2.c.1.5: Explore opportunities to enhance usage of facilities, including the availability of multi-media, interactive and artistic modes.
Objective H2.c.1.6: Maintain a strong community connection through programming designed towards social and intellectual interaction among community members.
Objective H2.c.1.7: Explore extended library services to underserved populations, such as book and media delivery to home-bound residents.
Objective H2.c.1.8: Preserve history and culture through public facilities and private partnerships in the form of a history museum, auditorium, cultural center, etc.

Parks

This division is responsible for community park facilities including fields, playgrounds, courts, trails, restroom buildings and ramadas.

Goal H2.c.3: Create and maintain a responsibly connected system of open spaces throughout the City.
Objective H2.c.3.1: Implement responsible landscaping that facilitates conservation of water and other resources.
Objective H2.c.3.2: Utilize landscaping and hardscaping to provide shade and strategically placed water availability to encourage broad use.
Objective H2.c.3.4: Conduct a study to evaluate and improve the levels of lighting throughout the City parks.

Recreation

Residents envision Maricopa providing areas of open space and facilities for parks, recreation and leisure that serve the population and its interests through flexible planning and responsiveness to the community. The Recreation Division helps deliver this vision by providing year-round programs that include coordinating adult sport leagues, youth sports, special events, instructional classes and programs for youth, teens, special needs and senior citizens.

In 2010, City leadership undertook community outreach and visioning exercises to capture the citizens desires to assist the planning and design of a variety of City facilities, including a Regional Park, Aquatics Center and a Multi-Generational Center. A result of the citizen outreach process was the 140 acre Regional Parks Master Plan, which includes a Multigenerational Center, Aquatic Center (now known as Copper Sky Regional Park and Multigenerational Center) with a Police Substation and an 18 acre mixed–use development.

The City opened the Copper Sky Recreation complex in 2014 and is the premier sporting, fitness, recreation and leisure destination in Maricopa. Comprised of the Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, Aquatic Center and the Copper Sky Regional Park, this expansive recreational development offers 98 acres of active recreation space, state-of-the-art equipment, grand green spaces and fantastic programs designed to enhance Maricopa residents’ quality of life. The aquatic facility provides an 8-lane competition pool and a recreation pool with a splash pad, lazy river, slide, diving well, rock climbing wall, with water volleyball, basketball and aerobics. The 52,000 sf Multigenerational Center includes a double-court gymnasium, dance studio, fitness center, walking track, multipurpose/mini-banquet rooms, catering kitchen, child watch, and restrooms/showers.

In addition to Copper Sky, the City opened the 28 acre Pacana Park and recreation facility in 2008, and the 13,000 square foot Lexington Park in 2013. The City also owns and operates three community center facilities. The Don Pearce Fire Station 575 was constructed within the Redevelopment Area and designed to include an 800 square foot community room and event space located within walking distance from Lexington Park. The Copa Center is a larger air conditioned public event space located at 44585 W. Honeycutt Road. Various City classes and programs are regularly held there and open hours are provided for social and recreational activities. The City also owns and maintains the VFW facility located at 44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

Goal H2.c.4: Create and maintain a system of recreational opportunities throughout the City.
Objective H2.c.4.1: Periodically evaluate the City’s park needs to be responsive to current interests.
Objective H2.c.4.2: Foster and maintain relationships with private and public entities to provide multi-use recreational facilities that promote fitness and activity.
Objective H2.c.4.3: Encourage green belts and natural areas to allow for flexible and multiple uses.
Objective H2.c.4.4: Assess needs and implement policies to provide special needs and ADA accessible recreation equipment for public and private amenity features.
Objective H2.c.4.5: Evaluate recreation facilities and programing in the PTOS Master Plan Update identified in the Open Space & Recreation Element Goals.

Events

The Events Division programs large and small scale events throughout the year to provide opportunities for local community members to enjoy cultural, social and educational activities. Maricopa has a long tradition of celebrations and partnerships. Stagecoach Days, Maricopa’s original celebration that started in the 1950’s, inspired other events such as Salsa Festival, Merry Copa, and the Great American Fourth. The enduring history of Maricopa traditions provides a thread that connects the past, present and future to the citizens of Maricopa.

2040 Vision: Maricopa is an attractive and appealing city; a great place to live, work and play. Maricopa works to highlight and enhance our amenities as a City, to promote a positive and professional image, and foster regional relationships.

Goal H2.c.5: Foster and sustain community events that maintain our heritage while engaging the citizens of Maricopa.
Objective H2.c.5.1: Identify the traditional events that are vital to sustaining the heritage of Maricopa.
Objective H2.c.5.2: Create opportunities to enhance citizen participation in community events.
Objective H2.c.5.3: Leverage these events to foster our relationships with our partners.
Objective H2.c.5.4: Explore, create and maintain opportunities to share Maricopa events with regional or greater audiences.
Objective H2.c.5.5: Identify venues such as resorts, hotels, convention facilities, and other public or private spaces to accommodate a variety of events, art education and exhibits, music institutions and opportunities for performing arts.

d. Human Services

Human Services facilitates the consideration of physical and mental health, and social well-being, within the land use planning process. It sets forth human values and principles which are to be taken into account as Maricopa grows. It provides the basis for assuring the social and health needs of all residents are met and there is an opportunity to provide services in appropriate settings to achieve the highest quality of life and productivity.

Inclusion of this element in the City of Maricopa General Plan represents an important policy advance. While the intent is to promote public convenience, consideration of the need for planned social and health infrastructure can be overlooked. There is a need for long-range comprehensive human services planning that places human service concerns on the same level as physical development in the planning process and based upon fundamental principles.

Human Services is broadly defined to include all of those community services which provide support and protection for individuals and families including services in the following areas: food and shelter, employment and training services, education services, financial services, physical and mental health care, dependent care, substance abuse services, protective and supportive services, legal and criminal justice services.

Planning to meet the needs of Maricopa’s residents requires understanding of human services assets and gaps as they currently exist as well as how the assets and needs of the residents will change with time. As the City embarks on implementing a comprehensive Human Services Plan, periodic data review and analysis of demographics as well as human service needs, usage and access will be necessary. Collaboration and information sharing with human service providers is necessary to project needs and promote placement of human services facilities as part of the planning process.

With the aforementioned information, a Human Services Plan will be able to identify if an appropriate amount of land and facilities are designated for human service usage. A Human Services Plan will also be able to indicate what types of services are most needed in particular with new growth areas.

Goal H2.d.2: Encourage the Integration of Human Services across all facets of the community.
Objective H2.d.2.1: Allow for and support the integration of multi-use human service functions within existing and future facilities such as churches, housing, retail and community centers.
Objective H2.d.2.2: Analyze use of existing facilities, co-location options and alternative facility configurations as a cooperative effort among human service agencies as a component of the overall facilities planning process.
Objective H2.d.2.3: Explore homecare service options, clinics, and programs to promote wellness and active aging.
Goal H2.d.1: Human Services shall be recognized as an integral part of the community and are physically accessible to all residents.
Objective H2.d.1.1: Encourage public and private partnerships to support quality public health, social services and health education, including domestic violence shelters and veterans’ needs.
Objective H2.d.1.2: Prepare, Implement, and periodically update a formal Human Services Needs Assessment and Plan which includes all segments of the population.
Objective H2.d.1.3:. New Human Services facilities shall be appropriately sited adjacent to existing or planned transportation corridors to enhance access to all segments through multiple mobility options.
Objective H2.d.1.4: Adequate infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, bicycle lanes) and appropriate design elements are incorporated during the planning and review of new human service facilities to improve connectivity and access.

Community wellness is a topic of increasing concern in communities across the nation. As the “baby boomer” population reaches retirement age, more facilities and services will be required to address the needs of an aging population. With aging, there is also an increase in the number of people with disabilities. The issues associated with this topic go beyond the location and services provided by public and private medical institutions. The overall health of a community depends on multiple factors, including the environment around them. A healthy and active environment reduces health risks and promotes better lifestyle choices.

Providing Maricopa’s senior residents with access to services and amenities is critical to retaining this rapidly growing demographic within the community. Never before has such an educated and accomplished workforce retired, and age-friendly policies are necessary to keeping this population engaged and active in the community.

2040 Vision: Maricopa is a community where residents can gain a true hometown feel; a place where citizens can work and play together and share experiences unique to our City. The City is dedicated to servicing all families, at all ages and stages of life, with professional services and a sense of togetherness.

Goal H2.d.4: Identify and implement effective methods of communication and media sources to inform and educate the Senior population.
Objective H2.d.4.1: Develop and implement an overall communications strategic plan to provide information about available services, events, and other opportunities to promote senior participation and engagement
Objective H2.d.4.2: Explore promotion of and access to the use of technology to connect aging residents to their community, friends and family.
Goal H2.d.3: Maricopa will be an “Age-Friendly City,” a community that connects people 60 years plus with people of all ages in order to improve social interaction and to increase access to services, social opportunities and recreation.
Objective H2.d.3.1: Travel within the City will be safe and affordable for travelers of all ages and abilities, particularly seniors, on all modes of transportation, public or private.
Objective H2.d.3.2: Create Walkable Neighborhoods including well-lit paths, sidewalks and crossings
Objective H2.d.3.3: Senior residents have multiple options to access goods and services in their neighborhood and across the city.
Objective H2.d.3.4: Provide on-going evaluation of transit needs to serve the Senior population, including expanded transit services and funding, such as the Federal Transit Administrations 5310 Program and the recommendation of the TMP.
Objective H2.d.3.5: Establish a non-profit senior center foundation to solicit available resources and funding for senior related programs
Objective H2.d.3.6: Consider the senior population in a city-wide housing needs assessment. Attract alternative housing choices, such as apartments, condominiums, patio homes, and senior living facilities (with independent and assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care) to offer options for aging-in place.
Objective H2.d.3.7: Implement programs to support and promote ethnic and cultural diversity, along with programs to encourage multigenerational interaction and dialogue.
Objective H2.d.3.8: Explore promotion of paid work and volunteer activities, training that connects available retiree workforce with existing needs / skill sets, and new entrepreneurial ventures for older residents.
Objective H2.d.3.9: Explore creation of a community-wide resource and asset “exchange” program. Develop public/private partnerships that could a) solicit / accept / distribute items of need, b) identify those in need of specific items, and c) act in an oversight / management capacity. Consider partners such as the Chamber of Commerce, For Our City, Veterans’ Service Organizations, and HOA’s.

*refer to Section II. H2 i. Communications, for related objectives

Medical & Healthcare

The City of Maricopa is committed to building a healthcare community that can service the growing needs of its many young families and expanding retiree population. The first steps have already been taken with the opening of the Banner Health Center in May 2012 and Dignity Health’s recent expansion into the community. The first major medical facility in Maricopa, the center is the result of a public/private partnership between the City of Maricopa and Banner Health.

Banner Health plans to expand the 41,000-square-foot facility in the future as Maricopa’s population continues to grow and additional medical services are needed. Two more phases are envisioned, which could include expanding the facility and increasing staff.

Dignity Health Urgent Care opened in April 2013 and treats patients of all ages with non-life threatening illnesses or injuries that require immediate attention. The healthcare provider has also acquired 18.6 acres in the city with long-term plans for a 34,800 square foot emergency hospital.

Additionally, the Pinal County Public Health Department’s Maricopa Clinic provides both Community Health Nursing and Women Infant and Children (WIC) services. The Sun Life Family Health Center also provides healthcare for women. Expansion to existing medical facilities and additional healthcare and medical facilities are needed to serve Maricopa’s continuing growth and to effectively meet the goals and objectives of the 0Safety Element (Section II.D).

2040 Vision: Quality healthcare, human services, and facilities serve residents across their lifespan in the prevention, treatment and support of human health.

Goal H2.d.6: Stimulate the expansion of a variety of healthcare services
Objective H2.d.6.1: Facilitate strategic placement of complimentary health care service locations such as group medical buildings and plazas.
Objective H2.d.6.2: Facilitate, recognize and promote a variety of affordable professional medical services including family and general practice, primary care and dentistry.
Objective H2.d.6.3: Support the growth of advanced treatment specialties, psychological services, nutrition and dietetic support, chiropractic care and education.
Objective H2.d.6.4: Attract supportive services, such as urgent care facilities, medical laboratories, and hospice.
Goal H2.d.5: Encourage the development of an array of healthcare facilities
Objective H2.d.5.1: Attract and develop state- of-the art hospitals and full-service healthcare facilities including specialized medicine, emergency rooms, trauma centers, and air transport. Facilities should be located in close proximity to transit corridors and to the populations they serve for convenient access to services.
Objective H2.d.5.2: Encourage the creation and maintenance of facilities specializing in behavioral health, emergency and general psychiatric care.

e. Solid Waste Collection and Disposal

Residents located within the Maricopa planning area utilize privately owned services for solid waste removal. The City will eventually transition to a consolidated city-wide solid waste and recycling program where the City would take a greater coordination and oversight role. Maricopa’s growth will increase the quantities of both non-hazardous and hazardous solid wastes generated in the area. An effective and comprehensive long-range waste management plan for the planning area will ensure that storage, collection, disposal, and recycling of wastes occur in an environmentally and economically acceptable manner. Right Away Disposal (RAD) Maricopa is under contract by the City to operate a recycling and solid waste collection facility in Maricopa located at 46250 W McDavid Road. Limited household hazardous waste collection events are also offered. Additionally, Waste Management of AZ offers waste pickup, recycling services, dumpster rental, and other waste services to residential and business customers in Maricopa.

Goal H2.e.1: Establish a municipal solid waste and recycling program.
Objective H2.e.1.1: Explore the establishment of a City Recycling Program.
Objective H2.e.1.2: Conduct a feasibility study regarding establishment of a City Municipal Solid Waste collection program and transfer station.
Objective H2.e.1.3: Foster strategic regional partnerships beyond Pinal County.
Objective H2.e.1.4: Integrate with Smart Cities initiatives.

f. Flood Control

The City of Maricopa has certain floodplain areas shown on the FEMA (federal emergency management agency) floodplain maps. These areas are generally associated with the Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Washes. Other major drainage courses impact the planning area; most notably Vekol Wash to the west. In a 2014 survey, Maricopa residents were most critical of the services addressing flood management in the City. Additionally, the 2040 Vision identifies the need to expedite the removal of existing commercial properties and homes from the 100-Year floodplain to reduce flood insurance costs and stimulate economic development on otherwise shovel ready properties. A floodplain mitigation strategy is necessary to prioritize city resources in the most cost effective manner.

The Vekol Wash tributary impacts a number of existing residential and commercial properties along SR-347, the primary growth area of the City. Current community investment projects occurring in this area coupled with the City’s investments for economic development along this primary transportation corridor make this area a high priority for floodplain mitigation.

A major drainage channel has been completed in conjunction with new development along the Santa Rosa Wash. This channel cuts a wide corridor through Maricopa, creating a great opportunity for a community greenbelt. Other floodplain improvement projects are not as urgent, but will need to be remedied to accommodate future growth areas as existing developments build-out. Improvements to the Santa Cruz wash floodplain will be necessary to relieve planned communities that are anticipated to develop in the decades to come.

The City is taking a lead role in coordinating future improvements to the Santa Cruz Wash in order to assure unity in design and construction projects. Improvements will be funded through developer contributions and impact fees. A Community Facilities District (CFD) may be utilized to cover maintenance and operations. The Santa Cruz will be channelized, creating a second major drainage corridor in the City. Regional flood control is managed by Pinal County Flood Control District. Refer to Environmental Planning and Economic Development elements for additional policy discussion.

Goal H2.f.1: Expedite removal of Maricopa from the FEMA 100-Year floodplain.
Objective H2.f.1.1: Create a City of Maricopa Flood Control/Drainage Master Plan, and integrate it with surrounding jurisdictional plans.
Objective H2.f.1.2: Implement a floodplain improvement strategy aligned with the present economic development priorities, and to facilitate the timely development of future growth areas.
Objective H2.f.1.3: Engage regional partners and update the Multi-Jurisdictional Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Objective H2.f.1.4: Remove the SR-347 corridor and Southern Maricopa from the Vekol Wash floodplain.
Objective H2.f.1.5: Complete the design of the North Santa Cruz Wash for the surrounding developments.
Objective H2.f.1.6: Apply for grants and create partnerships to reduce the impact of floodwaters within the City.
Objective H2.f.1.7: Become the City’s floodplain administrator.
Objective H2.f.1.8: Take control of the Maricopa Flood Control District.
Objective H2.f.1.9: Review prior approved development plans, which have not been constructed, for adequate floodway facility design and potential downstream issues.

g. Education Facilities

The education element provides for not only a higher standard for elementary and secondary education, but continuing education in the form of trade schools, colleges, and universities, as well as lifelong education within the community. Although school districts are separate political jurisdictions, the actions of the City can have a profound impact on the ability of the schools to provide a quality educational environment. Unless coupled with cooperative planning between the school districts and the City, a high rate of residential growth could lead to over-crowding at existing school sites. Generally, the City of Maricopa is served by the Maricopa Unified School District, however southeastern segments are served by the Casa Grande Elementary and Union High School Districts. The greater planning area is presently served by Maricopa Unified, Stanfield Elementary, Casa Grande Elementary, and Casa Grande Union High School Districts (see Figure 11). In addition to the school districts, Maricopa has four charter schools that provide alternate educational opportunities.

The once small Maricopa Unified School District has exploded with growth. The District currently operates six elementary, two middle and a high school with enrollment totaling over 6,400 students.

The District is engaged in long-range planning to meet future needs. Conservative estimates have district enrollment increasing to 8,900 students by the year 2020, 12,150 by 2030, and 16,740 by the year 2040. In addition to preparing demographic and enrollment projections, the District has adopted policies and resolutions that address rapid development. The District works with developers to obtain a combination of school site donations and voluntary impact fees. Presently the District has 22 elementary and five middle school sites reserved for future development. A future high school site is being studied by the District.

The Stanfield Elementary District was also projected to be heavily impacted by planned development, but projections have since declined. The District’s Capital Plan includes five new schools, however all plans for expansion have been delayed due to the drastic slow-down in growth. The District works with developers to address impacts through school site donations and “rooftop” fees or donations.

Charter Schools within the City of Maricopa are at full capacity and serve approximately 2,700 students. The City anticipates the need to expand the availability of land for Charter Schools in addition to that planned by the public school districts.

Central Arizona College (CAC)Central Arizona College (CAC) provides local higher educational opportunities for planning area residents. In 2006, Central Arizona College established a small education center in the City. Since that time, Central Arizona College decided to close the small center and build a brand new campus to accommodate the local community. Central Arizona College’s new 217 acre campus in the City of Maricopa opened for business in January 2013 with an array of classes. Many classes that meet the general education requirements for degrees are now offered at the Maricopa Campus and associates degrees can be completed entirely at the Maricopa Campus.

Goal H2.g.2: Actively coordinate with local school districts, charter schools and institutions of higher learning in the planning, construction and rehabilitation of facilities.
Objective H2.g.2.1: Ensure effective communication between the City, developers and schools districts.
Objective H2.g.2.2: Promote shared facilities and efficiencies in public-funded improvements including the co-location of parks with schools including opportunities for aquatic centers and illuminated athletic fields.
Objective H2.g.2.3: Assist schools with locating new sites and design considerations to provide greater access to schools from adjacent neighborhoods.
Objective H2.g.2.4: Update and implement recommendations of the Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan.
Goal H2.g.1: Expand the educational opportunities within the City to meet the needs of a diverse and growing population and to create a climate of rich educational opportunities at all levels.
Objective H2.g.1.1: Create a joint committee with representatives of local and regional educational institutions and City staff or public officials to support the City’s education related Goals and Objectives.
Objective H2.g.1.1: Identify and work to reserve suitable sites for higher education campuses and facilities, including a site where a cluster or group facilities can be master planned, within the City limits and the planning area.
Objective H2.g.1.2: Use the Smart Cities initiatives and processes to guide the City’s decision making and to attract technology–oriented educational facilities.
Objective H2.g.1.3: Partner with education institutions at all levels to develop competency-based academic programs tied to current and projected industry needs.
Objective H2.g.1.4: Collaborate with education institutions and the business community to offer experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, job shadowing, mentoring, service learning, etc.
Objective H2.g.1.5: Develop programs within the education system designed to assist innovative and entrepreneurial community members in launching and growing their businesses.
Objective H2.g.1.6: Recruit universities, colleges, post-secondary educational institutions, advanced education campuses, and technical trade schools to the community to broaden the educational choices for workers seeking professional advancement.
Objective H2.g.1.7: Establish flexible learning pathways from elementary school through college to build skills and knowledge relevant to job and career fields.
Objective H2.g.1.8: Support local schools in their efforts to improve elementary and secondary education quality and program offerings.

h. Information Technology

The Information Technology Department coordinates the use of information technology across the various departments of the City of Maricopa to ensure that accurate and timely information is provided to citizens, elected officials, management, and staff. The Information Technology Department plays an integral role in the managed city growth, focusing on the establishment of efficient system architectures that enhance productivity.

Goal H2.h.1: Establish Maricopa as a “Top Tier” Smart City.
Objective H2.h.1.1: Encourage the use of technology wherever possible to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the ability for citizens to participate and contribute.
Objective H2.h.1.2: Leverage the knowledge of citizens and their connections within the technology industry to enhance support and funding.
Objective H2.h.1.3: Partner with companies currently engaged in Smart Cities initiatives.
Objective H2.h.1.4: Leverage regionally available resources such as the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University.
Objective H2.h.1.5: Use the Smart Cities initiatives and processes to guide the City’s decision making and to attract technology-oriented employers and educational facilities. (cross reference with Educational Facilities)

Smart Cities Initiatives

The citizens of Maricopa envision a City that integrates digital technologies to enhance performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to engage more effectively and actively with the citizens. Maricopa is poised for growth with intelligent infrastructure systems due to a very short history of urbanized growth and development. The growth and development that has occurred in Maricopa is relatively modern as compared to peer communities and offers the potential for a City served almost entirely of modern technology infrastructure. In many cases little to no barriers exist in Maricopa due to the minimal existing infrastructure and fast growth rate relative to older developed communities in the market area. Most homes have been built since 2002 and utilize higher performing construction methods than were unavailable a decade earlier.

The City has begun to build momentum as a Smart City by implementing the first fully integrated land use, permitting, and property database system accessible to the public on a web based platform. The system integrates GIS with a paperless application process and public records database for building permits, business licenses, and development entitlement and CIP’s for all public and private projects, from review approvals to on-going asset maintenance. Additionally, Public Safety has launched a mobile application to give residents instant access to the police and other protective services.

Goal H2.h.2: Establish a Smart Cities Initiative Strategic Plan and Task Force to provide guidance for implementation.
Objective H2.h.2.1: Develop a City-wide Smart Cities Strategic plan
Objective H2.h.2.2: Update the CIP to incorporate recommendations and a system to provide on-going monitoring and evaluation of the impacts to the various City operations.
Objective H2.h.2.3: Leverage knowledge of citizen’s experience and networks within the technology industry to enhance support and funding.
Objective H2.h.2.4: Create partnerships with companies and organizations who promote the advancement of Smart City initiatives
Objective H2.h.2.5: Leverage regionally available resources such as the Center for Urban Innovation at ASU.

To implement the 2040 Vision, “priority recommendations” have been identified to move Smart City initiatives forward in support of the fundamental needs of Maricopa. Among those recommendations are to develop strategic plans for Fiber Optic Infrastructure and rebuilding a Geographic Information System (GIS) Division for the City.

Fiber Optic Infrastructure

Fiber Optic Infrastructure today is essential technology with multiple benefits that impact economic development, city services, safety, public education, and Maricopa residents’ and visitors’ quality of life. Going forward, installing fiber optic will be part of a standard set of utilities installed within strategic locations in the Public Utility Easement (PUE) or Rights-of-Way. As of August 4, 2015, the City has taken the first step of passing Resolution 15-44 to pursue a strategic plan for a fiber optic network that will guide fiber optic installation as part of any City project.

Goal H2.h.3: Establish a Strategic Plan to guide the fiber optic network in the City that coordinates with various Master Plans, including but not limited to plans for Area Transportation, Public Safety, Community Services, Information Technology, and Economic Development.
Objective H2.h.3.1: Develop a Fiber Optic Network Strategic Plan.
Objective H2.h.3.1: Evaluate the impacts to the CIP process.

Geographic Information Systems Division

Technologies using computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) drastically improve the capabilities to track, map, and analyze essential data for City functions and analysis used in strategic planning and decision-making support. Without a system to manage the vast amounts of data a City is responsible for tracking, analytic options are quite limited. The impetus on the City to re-launch a GIS Division is critical for moving into the 21st Century and providing unparalleled intelligence support to City administrators, advisory bodies, the general public, and the City Council.

Goal H2.h.4: Establish a Strategic Plan to guide the creation of a Geographic Information Systems for the City that coordinates with various technologies that already utilize geographic data.
Objective H2.h.4.1: Consult the appropriate expertise to develop a long range GIS Strategic Plan and CIP.
Objective H2.h.4.2: Evaluate costs, best practices, benefits, and scaled implementation approaches to best position for Smart City initiatives.

i. Communications

The citizens of Maricopa have expressed a desire to have a better awareness of information and programs that are available to them. Maricopa has a strong community culture and residents prefer a broad variety of opportunities to share their diverse strengths for the benefit of the entire community. Communications and media sources are pertinent to informing residents of the vast community offerings and critical information in the event of an emergency, as well as receiving information and input from the community at large. The City shall employ a number of different and effective methods of communication and the dissemination of information reflective of a diverse population and an age-friendly community. It is the City’s intent to provide a high level of effective communication and access to information, services, and programs. One such program includes the utilization of NIXLE as an effective method of mass communication via text message, email, and telecommunication in the event of an emergency.

Goal H2.i.1: Encourage community involvement by developing and maintaining a wide range of opportunities that benefit the citizens of Maricopa.
Objective H2.i.1.1: Evaluate the community needs and develop versatile solutions for citizen involvement.
Objective H2.i.1.2: Develop marketing and communication strategies to educate and inform residents about opportunities in which they can become involved.
Objective H2.i.1.3: Create a communication plan that incorporates methods accessible to all residents. Provide a central location for access to printed information, materials and resources.
Objective H2.i.1.4: Create and empower citizen-led committees to address identified community needs.
Objective H2.i.1.5: Support and recognize community involvement and volunteerism through Council action.

3. Utility Services

The provision of infrastructure, utilities, and services, both public and private, is key to the continuing success of Maricopa. Water, wastewater, stormwater, solid and hazardous waste, energy, and telecommunications systems must be expanded to meet current and new development needs as well as the creation of sustainable villages in the future. In the process of expanding these systems, it is the city’s desire to make the systems as efficient, environmentally friendly, and visually unobtrusive as possible. To achieve this it will be necessary to work with private providers to plan for the needs of future technology.

2040 Vision: The public utilities infrastructure of the City ensures that economic development remains robust and citizens are served in the best and most reliable ways.

Efficient Utility Planning

Efficient utility planning is an important component of becoming a sustainable community. Well planned utility facilities can provide high quality service at affordable rates, lower construction costs, and reduced maintenance problems. The City has outlined a Village Center land use pattern to aid in planning for effective utility coverage with minimal infrastructure. As with any service being provided by the City, it is important to analyze all the factors involved in providing the service and ensuring it is sustainable over time. Many of the services have the same initial factors; cost of construction, timing, demand for service, etc. Utility provision also considers a density to cost ratio to determine if there will be enough users to justify the expansion or construction of a new utility. In some cases, the density of population may be correct for the area but the provision of utilities may be too costly to provide to residents of the area without special consideration.

Sixty-eight percent of survey participants in 2014 considered utility rates to be a “major concern”. The City is actively taking steps to address the citizens’ concerns and to ensure public and private utilities do not become an impediment to growth and economic development. Right of way control over other utilities enables the City to maintain a competitive utility environment and facilitate new technologies and utility distribution for the public good, and compatible with the Smart Cities Initiative.

Goal H3.1: Establish greater Right-Of-Way (ROW) control over other utilities within the City.
Objective H3.1.1: Establish ROW and Public Utility Easements for dedicated conduit along all arterial roadways enabling efficient installation and maintenance of current and future utility solutions.
Objective H3.1.2: Renegotiate franchise agreements with all public utilities to greater protect the public’s interest.
Objective H3.1.3: Optimize availability of all other utilities, including natural gas, to all citizens.
Objective H3.1.4: Integrate planning and execution with Smart Cities initiatives.

Density to Cost Ratio

Provision of services to more customers with less actual infrastructure makes a more efficient utility service. This is displayed by a density to cost ratio. Each service ratio will be different depending on costs associated to the service but the effect on all utilities is the same. As a neighborhood increases in density, more people will require a utility. With the customers living closer to each other, or in a single building, utilities may need to provide fewer feet of cable, pipes, or wires although it may be at a larger size. This reduction in footage of installed utility combined with the number of customers makes the cost of providing a utility lower at higher densities. For public entities, the savings is a direct benefit to the public through better use of tax dollars. With private industries, their bottom lines are affected, which makes a more profitable company and may affect their service rates.

The Land Use and Growth Area Elements encourage a more efficient land use pattern to maximize utility efficiencies, all the while instituting more desirable and higher quality development.

a. Water Services

The cost and quality of the water and utilities are major considerations of residents and economic development within the community. Maricopa’s citizens desire to improve the quality of water and utilities while controlling costs and providing a level of service competitive with other communities in the market area. Domestic water service is managed and served by two water providers. Within the Pinal Active Management Area (AMA), the majority of water services in and around Maricopa are provided by the Santa Cruz Water Company, a subsidiary of Global Water Resources. The older neighborhoods (prior to 1998) are being served or managed by the Maricopa Domestic Water Improvement District (MDWID). Reference the Water Resource Element for water supply and conservation policy.

Table 10—Projected Water Demand

Year Population Needed Capacity(in million gallons per day)
2015 48,000 5
2020 73,000w 8.1
2030 105,000 11.6
2040 138,700 15.5

*Data provided by Global Water Resources.

Santa Cruz Water Company (SCWC)

SCWC has master planned and installed the majority of infrastructure to serve Maricopa’s expansive growth. In total, SCWC has CC&N’s covering approximately 30 square miles of property within Maricopa’s city limits, of which, approximately 12 square miles has been developed. In accordance with a regional master water infrastructure plan, they have constructed a substantial potable water system to support this area.

Maricopa Domestic Water Improvement District

The Maricopa Domestic Water Improvement District (MDWID) is led by a locally elected board and is the original water company to serve Maricopa. Small by today’s standards, MDWID has about 200 customers primarily in the Heritage District and Seven Ranches areas. The District does not presently hold a 100 year assured water supply certificate as required by the Arizona revised Statutes or the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Additionally, some portions of the service area may not meet the Fire Department’s water pressure requirements for commercial sprinkler systems. These infrastructure deficits limit the viability for redevelopment in the some older areas of the community. Recent improvements of MDWID include a water line extension and fire hydrants along SR-347 south of the UPRR, and a new water tank to increase water pressure to meet minimum fire flow requirements for properties in the Heritage District and the Seven Ranches area.

Goal H3.a.1: Improve the quality of the water and utilities while controlling costs.
Objective H3.a.1.1: Increase the Cities influence over water and wastewater utilities.
Objective H3.a.1.2: Conduct a feasibility study of the City’s acquisition and operation of water systems and utilities.
Objective H3.a.1.3: Become a Designated Management Agency (DMA) through Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
Objective H3.a.1.4: Pursue Federal grants and public-private partnerships in an effort to improve quality and reduce costs of water and wastewater utilities.
Objective H3.a.1.5: Develop contingency capabilities for water supply and treatment.
Objective H3.a.1.6: Integrate with Smart Cities initiatives.

b. Wastewater Service

Palo Verde Utilities Company (PVUC), a subsidiary of Global Water Resources, Inc. provides sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment services to the citizens and businesses within Maricopa (excluding a very small customer base in older neighborhoods that continue to utilize septic tank systems). In accordance with a regional master plan, Global Water has constructed a substantial wastewater system including gravity and force mains, lift stations, a water reclamation facility, and an extensive recycled water distribution (purple pipe). Refer to Water Resource Element for wastewater and conservation policy.

Based on projected growth, the demand for wastewater capacity is summarized in Table 9. Similar water reclamation facilities are planned to be constructed within the City’s planning area as growth demands.

Table 11—Projected Wastewater Demand*

Year Population Needed Capacity (in million gallons per day)
2015 48,000 2.5
2020 73,000 5.2
2030 105,000 7.5
2040 138,700 10.4

*Data provided by Global Water Resources.

The Heritage District area of Maricopa and other rural enclaves are not served by sanitary sewers. Intended improvements include extending sewer service to those areas currently on aging septic systems. The City is evaluating options to provide sewer service to these areas. When new septic systems are requested, Pinal County Department of Environmental Health reviews and approves applications.

Goal H3.b.2: Adopt standards and require effluent recharge piping (purple piping) in all new development and new public infrastructure.
Goal H3.b.1: Establish a sewer system in the Heritage District to serve properties not currently on a sewer system.

c. Electric Service

The majority of the electrical requirements for the City of Maricopa planning area have been served since 1926 by Electrical District No. 3 of Pinal County (ED3). ED3 has been working with the City of Maricopa to develop a long-term transmission plan that meets the reliability and cost effective requirements to serve the projected loads under the City’s General Plan.

New transmission facilities (lines and substations) will be required to meet the growth currently anticipated for the Maricopa planning area. The City and ED3 will continue to work together to develop common corridors (along major transportation and multi-use paths for example) for their new facilities, as well as other public services. ED3 has also pledged to work with the City to minimize the visual impacts that the new facilities have on the community. The desire to have new transmission lines built underground has been expressed by the community. Feasibility, including financing for the additional costs to construct underground, is being studied by both ED3 and the City.

ED3 has contract relationships and interconnections with the three largest transmission providers in Arizona to provide capacity and reliability to service at ED3 delivery points to existing and new residential, commercial and industrial customers. They are a project participant with partial ownership in the 500 KV Southeast Valley Transmission project that was placed in commercial operation in 2014. This project provides additional long-term capacity and was planned to allow expansion as needed. ED3 Has the ability to serve electricity to meet the needs of most any large scale business or operation, and annually updates a five (5) year strategic capital plan to ensure a reliable power supply.

ED3 has implemented renewable energy programs that include establishing application, review and approval processes for small and large scale renewable energy producing and related projects, such as solar and wind farms. The ED3 electric system utilizes 13% of its power supply from hydro and has 6% (8.8 megawatts of solar generation) of its residential customers interconnected with roof top solar distributed generation systems based on available information. This is the highest percentage of solar customers of the Arizona Utilities. There is also some small commercial solar distributed generation in the community. The solar program interconnection continues to grow each month. The 500 KV Southeast Valley Transmission project allows ED3 to purchase power supply contracts that are generated from a blend of all current generation fuels. These fuels include large scale renewable generation projects such as solar and wind generation.

ED3 is a nonprofit utility that evaluates new technologies on an annual basis and has an aggressive strategy of implementing these technologies to provide safe, reliable and cost effective electric service to the customer within the City of Maricopa planning area. They regularly evaluate short and long term power supply contracts that may include company owned generation, load management and peak-shaving technologies to achieve the lowest cost electric service.

ED3 has a discounted Home Energy Audit program that is approved by Energy Star. ED3 will evaluate this and other new energy conservation programs annually to ensure their effectiveness. ED3 also offers free Energy Workshops to customers interested in learning to reduce their household energy consumption. Additionally, multiple rate plans are available and include two Time of Use plans that allow customers to manage their energy usage.

d. Natural Gas & Biofuels

Southwest Gas maintains lines within Maricopa and offers service to subdivisions with natural gas. Kinder Morgan maintains a high-pressure gas transmission line that crosses the southwestern portion of the planning area. Refer to Energy Element for renewable energy and conservation policy.

Alternatively, Maricopa is very fortunate to have one of the few alternative fuel producers in the State. Pinal Energy LLC, a privately held company, is the first ethanol production facility to be built in Arizona. The facility began production in July 2007. The plant plays an important role in improving Arizona’s air quality and makes a local source of ethanol available. Pinal Energy’s annual ethanol production rate is 50 million gallons from roughly 18 million bushels of grain acquired from both local producers as well as from the Midwest. The fuel-grade ethanol is used in blending with gasoline components to produce E10, a 10% ethanol blend. The ethanol produced at the plant is also used for the blending of E85, a clean-burning blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline for use in flex fuel vehicles. Production of ethanol results in two other commercially viable by-products: distiller’s grain and CO2. Distiller’s grain is a feed utilized by dairies and feedlots. The CO2 produced is captured and recycled for use in the Arizona soft drink, dry ice, and hydroponics industries.

e. Telephone and High Speed Data

A robust telecommunications infrastructure enhances the City’s ability to manage the quality of the water treatment, power/grid management and transportation. Orbitel and Century-Link provide basic telephone, cable service, and high-speed data links. Improvements are continuing to be made for cellular phone service in the Maricopa area.

Orbitel plans to continue to grow with the City of Maricopa and the planning area. They are pursuing implementation of “Smart Home” technology and currently have the internet speeds to sustain such a subscriber option. Orbitel supports the Maricopa vision to be a leading Smart City and are a part of the discussion to help provide services to residents, commerce, and institutions. They are continuing to increase internet speeds throughout the service area and have the ability to provide high volume data speeds to support large facilities such as Central Arizona College, Harrah’s Ak-Chin, and City operations.

The Public Services and Facilities map indicates locations for selected existing and future public, institutional and utility facilities throughout Maricopa.

2040 Vision: Maricopa has a robust telecommunications infrastructure and is at the forefront of Smart Cities initiatives.


4. Functional Plans

In order to understand the magnitude and timing of needed services and facilities, Maricopa will continue to prepare, update, and implement functional plans that relate to specific public facilities and services. The plans should include Master Plans or Strategic Plans for Economic Development, Emergency Services (police, fire, EMS), Wastewater, Floodplain, Water and Reclaimed Water, Information Technologies, Smart City & Infrastructure, Transportation, Libraries, Park, Trail and Open Space Systems. Each of these plans will provide information on existing facilities, assessments for current and projected needs based on desired levels of service, and make recommendations for future public and private actions.

In addition, the City’s pending Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) defines the capital projects that will be funded over the next five years. The CIP is updated annually to address the community’s most urgent needs. Maricopa’s CIP proposes fast track infrastructure improvement schedules that demonstrate the City’s intention to keep up with its growth rate.


5. Cost of Development Element

For the City of Maricopa to be fiscally sustainable over time it will become necessary to review revenue and expenditures, maintenance and repair issues, and secondary costs to new development and redevelopment efforts. These functions are directly influenced by the City’s anticipated Level of Services (LOS’s) to the community. The ability to sustain facilities and services to the community are affected by the method of growth and the balance of growth between residential and non-residential uses. For example, if the City employs a method of orderly and systematic growth for infrastructure by developing within or directly adjacent to existing developed areas, the overall cost-benefit from the new development should have a minimal impact to, or even enhance City services to the community as a whole. If a leapfrog development pattern occurs, the cost to extend and maintain limited-use infrastructure and city services is generally disproportionate and imposes a greater financial impact on the City and Utilities to maintain the established level of service. However, not all land uses have the same impacts. For instance, revenue generating uses or employment uses may meet the goals of this General Plan and offer other quantifiable benefits to the community that should be considered.

The City of Maricopa expects development to pay for itself by providing the necessary infrastructure, including parks, school sites, streets, and all utility facilities. Even though development may pay for the cost of new or expanded infrastructure, the long term operation and maintenance costs fall largely on taxpayers, except when the improvements are solely private.

Costs need to be equitably apportioned and assessed to new growth. The City has developed guidelines by which development pays for itself. Three basic steps include:

  1. Establish service and facility standards to help identify needed future capacities and facilities based on growth projections from new development.
  2. Recognize impacts resulting from new development on public services and facilities.
  3. Where applicable and to the extent possible, require growth to pay for itself.

These steps reflect City policy and are consistent with the requirements embodied within the Growing Smarter legislation with respect to assessing the costs of development. Accordingly, the Cost of Development Element is designed to:

  • Identify various mechanisms that are allowed by law and that can be used to fund additional public services necessary to serve the development.
  • Identify policies to ensure that any mechanisms that are adopted by the City under this element result in a beneficial use to the development, bear a reasonable relationship to the burden imposed on the City to provide additional services to the development and otherwise are imposed according to law.

Development Impact Fees

The City began collecting development fees in November 2005 for roads, police, traffic control, parks, recreation and open space and general government at the time a building permit is issued. Since 2005, the City also began collecting impact fees for libraries and fire protection. Development impact fees may be only used to pay for construction, acquisition or expansion of public facilities that are necessary public services. They may also be used to pay principal and interest on the portion of the bonds, notes, or other debt service obligations issued to finance construction of the facility. The City continues to evaluate the Development Impact Fee study on an annual basis.

Impact fees are capital specific and provide resources to construct facilities and improvements based upon the types and levels of facilities already in the community. The Development Impact Fees are appropriated to fund specific projects and improvements included in City’s Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. Both, the Impact Fees and CIP should be reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary to keep pace with growth and account for the most current costs of development.

Other Sources of Funding and Financing Options

There are several mechanisms that can be utilized to pay for capital expenditures. Paying for improvements is generally desirable but often not feasible, so it is critical that the City weigh all options when determining the appropriate financing vehicle. The City utilizes a number of funding strategies for new infrastructure, equipment and facilities necessitated by growth. Other mechanisms available to the City for funding expansion of services include but are not limited to:

  • Primary and secondary property taxes
  • Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax
  • Specialty Industry Tax
  • Improvement Districts
  • Community Facilities Districts (CFDs)
  • User Fees
  • Voter approved bonds (General Obligation)
  • Municipal Property Corporation Bonds
  • Payback Agreements
Goal 5.1: Ensure new development provides the resources to establish the infrastructure and services needed to serve that development.
Objective 5.1: Enhance the programs, policies and fees that put infrastructure in place, in a timely manner, to meet the demands of new residents and visitors in Maricopa.
Objective 5.2: Ensure that development impact fees (DIF) and other funding mechanisms are comprehensive, up to date, and designed to require new growth to pay for itself.
Objective 5.2: Future DIF studies should clearly define vehicles, equipment, operations costs and level of service (LOS) standards. The City budget should closely coincide with the established LOS.
Objective 5.4: The City of Maricopa seeks to facilitate productive cooperation between the school districts, fire district, utility providers, special districts, tribal communities, county and state agencies and the development community for the betterment of our citizens. It is imperative that growth be prevented from penalizing the quality of life of existing and future residents. Developers should ensure that the expansion of public facilities is adequate to maintain quality service levels, with appropriate exceptions when in the public interest. A lack of adequate fire facilities, police services, school facilities, roadway, utility infrastructure, drainage capacity, wash enhancements or open space could preclude development in certain areas of the city.