Summer Schooling, Part 9: How Marana Manages Growth

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.45.23 PM.png

Development in and around the Town of Marana is really starting to pick up momentum. Everywhere I go in the northwest I see signs from all of the big homebuilders advertising new homes.  For sale signs are coming down on commercial properties and we have very few empty stores.  It is a great sign that our economy is getting stronger and the area of town we live in is desirable.  It is a great problem to have. However, the question becomes how do we manage the growth in a manner that is beneficial to everyone?

“Getting to Yes” is a great book about the art of negotiating.  It is an easy read that is applicable to everything from big business deals to convincing your brother to help you move.  I am bringing it up because it is something that is not stressed in my planning program at the U of A, but my experience here at the Town has shown it to be very important.  This is particularly important when it comes to new development and making sure we get everything that we need to grow efficiently and making sure it falls in line with our values and long term goals.

The south end of Marana, the areas from Orange Grove up to Cortaro, is pretty much built out.  The real growth lies in the areas from Twin Peaks all the way up to Marana Road and our northern Town limit.  There is definitely a vision and several plans for these areas that include everything from business corridors to recreational opportunities.  The details for much of these planned areas have yet to be worked out and that is where the negotiations are really important to our future. 

The Town has an obligation to existing and future residents to ensure we continue to have excellent infrastructure.  It is something that everyone takes very seriously and quite honestly the quality of our infrastructure is a source of pride around here.   In order to make sure we are not left with roads that are falling apart from overuse or ball fields with dead and dying grass, there is a fiduciary responsibility to procure these items as growth demands.

We are in need of more infrastructure, water and sewer lines in particular.  We need another park with lighted fields to accommodate our growing youth and adult sports programs.  There are roads that need widening and more roads need to be constructed.  Just like a growing family that needs a larger house or car to accommodate a new baby, we need larger parks, roads, and infrastructure to accommodate new population.  When you buy a new house or car there tends to be a lot of negotiation.  The same is true with development, only the Town does it on our behalf and in line with the values and interests of the community.  Marana has been extremely successful so far, and will continue to build upon its successes as development and growth continue.