University Realty, LLC, is the property owner of Rancho del Prado (RDP), a proposed 203-acre residential neighborhood east of Prado and Crystal Ridge Lanes.
Founded to advance the mission of Arizona State University, our approach is defined by the University’s fundamental belief in inclusion and community. That commitment to public dialogue has not only helped shape our plan for Rancho del Prado, but also helped identify community concerns and possible solutions to issues impacting the Reche Canyon community today.
In that spirit, we welcome the concerns that have been made by residents during our outreach efforts. Indeed, we agree that the City’s final RDP Specific Plan must address residents’ concerns and look forward to doing so through the public review process. Most importantly, we feel our project represents the best opportunity to fund and complete these improvements that address many of the issues facing Reche Canyon. The following are responses to the specific concerns raised:
We agree that the location of the project requires a defense against wildfire.
This is important not only to the future residents of Rancho del Prado but also all of the Reche Canyon area. That is why our Specific Plan for Rancho del Prado includes:
- A 1.5M gallon reservoir
- Firefighting infrastructure, including a dip station and helipad for firefighting uses
- Potential locations for fire command posts and staging areas
- A substantial defensive fire buffer for the Prado Lane and Crystal Ridge communities created by Rancho del Prado’s focus on fuel modification zones (including fire-resistant landscaping) and other specific standards for increased protection
- A mechanism to enforce maintenance of fuel modification zones (including fire-resistant landscaping) and enforcement of other specific standards for increased protection
We agree that existing and future residents need a reliable domestic and emergency water system.
In addition to the 1.5M gallon reservoir that will be constructed, there will also be a looped transmission pipeline between Prado and Crystal Ridge Lanes. This looped system improves water pressure, redundancy, and firefighting capacity for the area, including to the Crystal Ridge development which would be provided consistent and reliable domestic and emergency service that does not depend on an emergency pump station. These upgrades will ensure better domestic water service to the residents of Crystal Ridge, Prado Lane, and Rancho del Prado.
We agree that development must adhere to seismic safety requirements.
We are well aware of the geology of the area and the presence of faults. Prior to drafting and submitting our Specific Plan for Rancho del Prado, we conducted fault zone geology studies. This was done to inform our site plan and tentative tract maps. The development within Rancho del Prado will be required to adhere to strict setbacks from the San Jacinto fault, and all homes would be built-in accordance with current California Building Code seismic safety requirements.
We agree something must be done to improve the safety and accessibility of Reche Canyon Road.
University Realty recently announced that it is collaborating with other developers to create a new connection between the canyon and Barton Road. The additional connection is intended to provide residents with secondary access, an additional evacuation route, and—along with the City’s planned extension of Hunts Lane—a traffic diversion to lessen the commuter impact on Reche Canyon.
In addition, we are also analyzing other potential road improvements that could be funded by our project, such as smart traffic technology controls which are intended to alleviate congestion and address issues such as traffic flow, speeding, policing, student safety, and car/burro collision.
We agree that density should be consistent with planning documents.
Rancho del Prado’s land is identified in the Reche Canyon Specific Plan as Planning Area 10. The Reche Canyon Specific Plan allows for two units per gross acre. The proposed Rancho del Prado plan would allow for a maximum of 350 single-family detached homes on 203 acres of land, yielding a density of approximately 1.72 dwelling units per gross acre—and a 13.7% reduction from the allowed number of units.
We agree that any development project should be required to undergo a thoughtful and detailed analysis so that the community and decision makers can make informed decisions.
State law requires that the entire RDP plan undergo a full public Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will include detailed studies that directly address the issues mentioned by residents (such as geology, traffic, noise, land use, etc.). The EIR process requires not just study, but provides for public review and comment. This multi-step planning process includes numerous opportunities for public consideration, input and formal public hearings.
University Realty is committed to working towards a plan and project that will result in a better Reche Canyon. The City’s processing of our proposed project and evaluation through a full environmental report is the most assured way to provide a complete picture for the community and its appointed and elected officials to reach an informed decision.
We invite you to continue to connect with us here on RecheCanyon411.com.