Gilbert Town Council approves rezoning for Heritage District north anchor project

Gilbert Town Council
Gilbert Town Council listens to a presentation on the Heritage North rezoning proposal. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Town Council listens to a presentation on the Heritage North rezoning proposal. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Town Council approved on Jan. 11 a rezoning of the designated north anchor to the Heritage District, clearing the way for the development to begin design review.

The mixed-use project, known as Heritage North, will feature nine buildings, including a hotel, office space, a multifamily residential building, restaurant and retail spaces, and a parking garage. The 11.97-acre site is located on the west side of Gilbert Road between Juniper Avenue and the Western Powerline Trail.

Also included in the project are public amenities: an open space for gathering and events called the Commons and the northern portion of a pedestrian and bike path that will be known as the Paseo. Some improvements to the Western Powerline Trail are included.

The rezoning addressed issues like parking and usage but also included exceptions to design standards for building heights.

Heritage Village Zoning restricts the buildings to run between a minimum height of 35 feet and a maximum of 55 feet. Council approved variances that will allow some of the buildings to be as low as 20 feet and others above the maximum up to 78 feet, 10 inches.

The area originally was sold by the town to project developers Heritage North Partners in May 2019 and has been delayed by COVID-19, applicant Charles Huellmantel said.

Council members praised the work done on the project by the developers and town staff.

“I believe this is not just going to be the north anchor to the Heritage District, but also it’s going to be an economic anchor,” Council Member Scott September said. “It’s going to be a jobs anchor.”

Other items

  • Council unanimously voted Aimee Yentes to be vice mayor for 2022, replacing Yung Koprowski, who served just over a year.

  • Council unanimously approved posting a notice to increase system development fees, which the town charges to developers for infrastructure addition and improvements when growth projects are done. Budget Director Kelly Pfost said the cost of infrastructure is going up so the fees must do so. Council will consider approving the fees Feb. 22.

  • Council unanimously approved the town’s shade and streetscape master plan.

By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.