Planning Assumptions & Principles

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The General Plan includes analyses of current conditions and direction for future land use decisions. There are a few fundamental understandings, planning assumptions, which assist in organizing Maricopa’s General Plan principles. City development policies coincide with these basic directions.


  • The 2040 Vision Strategic Plan was adopted May 5, 2015, and is designed to “…challenge and stretch the community’s imagination and commitment to creating a “best, great and exciting,” rather than a “good enough” future.” The plan stands as a blueprint for positive change and progress derived through a community based definition of key issues and recommendations for the future. The plan also provides guidance for the development of other more specific plans focused on achieving more narrowly defined goals and objectives. A key aspect of the plan is the adoption of the “Smart City” initiative, which refers to the application of technology to create a more efficient and higher performing infrastructure that will effectively contribute to community well being, reduced costs, and resource conservation.
  • The population of Maricopa’s Municipal Planning Area is expected to increase steadily with a projected population of approximately 105,000 by the year 2030. Modeled on recent, local growth rates – the growth increment is a highly supportable assumption. Maricopa’s projected population for the Planning Area at buildout is 633,880.
    1Source: 2014 MAG Socioeconomic Data
  • Agriculture and construction may not be sustainable as the principal economic activities of the community. Community energy is focused on construction, infrastructure development, and economic diversification as the area has transformed from farms and cattle operations to suburban development.
  • Adopted plans – the Area Transportation Plan and Regional Connectivity Plan– are considered current and function in support of the General Plan. The Redevelopment Area Plan (Heritage District) and the Parks, Trails and Open Space Master Plan require updating to reflect accomplishments and changes that have occurred over time, and to support the goals and strategies of the 2040 Vision Strategic Plan. These adopted “Plans” serve to implement the General Plan, are meant to be consistent and provide supporting policy and direction.
  • Traffic will increase on SR-347 along with safety and access concerns. As Maricopa continues to grow along with Pinal and Maricopa Counties, average daily traffic on John Wayne Parkway in Maricopa will dramatically increase. Developing as a “transit ready” community with multiple modes of transportation will serve the health and well-being of the community and afford more efficient use of land and resources.
  • Neighborhoods and a strong sense of community are a foundation of the General Plan. Neighborhoods in Maricopa constitute the framework for practicing citizenship. General Plan strategies keep neighborhoods in mind. Neighborhood groups have roles in Plan monitoring and performance measurement. They are looked to for acceptable standards of security, convenience, appearance and amenity at the grassroots level.
  • Economic development should emphasize job creation, business retention and expansion, and municipal revenue generation. The City plans to attract more jobs and businesses and assist local business growth. Providing available commercial retail, office and flexible light industrial space is critical to this effort. New firms that contribute higher-wage occupations are, also, specifically targeted.
  • Development proposals are expected to coordinate with and participate in costs of infrastructure and services. A fair-share approach is preferred with new development expected to construct or fund the infrastructure, including major off-site participation, needed to support its residents.
  • Revitalization within the Heritage District helps project Maricopa’s positive image. Revitalization is an opportunity to capitalize on Maricopa’s rich history through implementation of the Redevelopment Area Plan and the Heritage District Design Guidelines that make Maricopa unique. The Heritage District should be a point of pride for City residents.
  • Annexation: As a thriving community, Maricopa understands that growth is inevitable. Maricopa pledges to work with all landowners to support annexations that facilitate logical expansion of our boundaries in order to advance quality development.

Based on these assumptions, principles were developed to guide planning policy toward Maricopa’s desired vision.


Maricopa’s comprehensive planning approach establishes basic principles that assist in translating Assumptions and Element Goals into progressive community action.

1There will be explosive population growth in the municipal planning area, an estimated 30% increase from 2015 estimates to 73,000 residents by the end of 2020, and approximately 138,000 in the planning area by 2040. The majority of the increment is projected to occur inside the current City limits. Nearly 27,000 dwelling units could be constructed to accommodate population growth through 2040. Job forecasts add employment of 32,946 over the next 25 years. Commercial and institutional development is projected to increase — more than 6 million square feet by 2030, with the greatest concentrations expected along John Wayne Highway, the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and SR 238.

-2014 MAG Socioeconomic Data