Construction has begun on Carefree Crossings, a new self-storage facility in Phoenix that once faced opposition due to its location on a flood plain and a scenic area. The 17.25-acre lot on the northeast corner of 7th Street and Carefree Highway is in the New River Desert Hills community and along the Carefree Highway Scenic Corridor. In addition, the Desert Lake Wash runs through it. The property is owned by Catherine, Jim and Pat Mahoney, according to the source.
The plans include constructing several single-story buildings that will contain 467 units total. The facility will also feature 82 vehicle-parking spaces, half of which will be covered, and a two-story office and manager’s residence.
An 8.9-acre portion of the property was rezoned in 2016 by the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Department. At the time, the New River Desert Hills Community Association (NRDHCA) opposed the development and filed an appeal. The association claimed the facility had safety issues and the development wasn’t in accordance with a study for the Carefree Scenic Corridor. Created by county officials and community members, the study and its resulting guidelines aim to enhance the area’s characteristics.
“Any new access on Carefree Highway would be a major safety hazard, especially since it is near a very major intersection,” the appeal stated. “Concern that ‘Existing Wash to be rerouted into new channel’ will not address concerns raised in the September 2004 Adobe Dann/Desert Hills Area Drainage Master Plan.”
Under the original plan, the wash would need to be rerouted through channelized drainage on the property’s north and east sides. A storm-water site plan would also need to be approved before building permits would be issued.
“The applicant does not seem to understand the Carefree Scenic Highway Study post-dates the 1999 New River Area Plan. Care was take to mention only those that would affect their application in a positive manner,” the appeal stated.
NRDHCA also objected to the 18-foot sign proposed for the facility, which it claimed wasn’t in accordance with corridor rules. The zoning board addressed the concerns from residents and the association, and drafted four versions of the special-use permit before it was unanimously approved. The final version contained several stipulations, such as addressing the drainage of the wash and reducing the signage by two feet.
“This will be a low-intensity, minimal traffic-generating, attractively designed low-height and well-screened facility that will serve the needs of the community,” county officials said.
The Foothills Focus, Self-Storage Facility Construction Begins in Desert Hills