Plans are underway to build 1,200 single family homes due west of the Tonto Verde community despite water being such a fragile commodity in the area northeast of Scottsdale.
The Toll Brothers and Shea Homes are planing construction of the development called West Thirty-six to begin in spring 2026, with full build out taking an expected seven to 10 years to complete.
The project was originally planned for 500 homes and a 36-hole golf course, but the golf course was scrapped for water concerns, said Kyle Moyer, an attorney representing the project. However, despite water use being such a concern, the developers are planning an additional 600 homes.
The change has to be approved by the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission though. The 492-acre site is currently only zoned for 500 homes.
The developers filed a re-zoning application in April, which will likely come down to water, Moyer said.
The developers have done a hydro study, which shows the development has a 100 year water supply. They will be getting it form private water utility EPCOR, which will in turn get the water from wells in the area, the Rio Verde River and exchange credits, which allows them to pump water from other areas in the state and withdraw it from the system in the West Thirty-six area.
The developers applied for a certificate of assured water supply from the Arizona Department of Water Resources in September.
“We feel confident that we will have the water supply,” Moyer said.
The developers are also taking steps to conserve water, such as using low flow toilets, putting in no turf and using a xeriscape landscaping.
But homeowners of the parched Rio Verde Foothills area, northwest of the proposed community, find the project frustrating when they are battling to get water to their homes, said Rio Verde Foothills area resident Karen Nabity.
“They’re building like crazy in Scottsdale,” she said. “They’re building like crazy (southwest of Rio Verde Foothills).”
Rio Verde Foothills has been in crisis since January when Scottsdale turned off water to a standpipe that was servicing about 700 homes in the area as part of its drought management plan.
Original article written by J. Graber | Daily Independent