Maricopa County planning and development officials have unfolded their Chandler Heights map to pencil in new street names and numbers, following an incident in which firefighters arrived too late to save a burning home because of a confusing address.
The county assigned 29 new addresses Friday, adding street names to unnamed private roads when needed, said Maricopa County development services specialist David Francetic.
He announced the change in front of a packed audience of Chandler Heights residents at a special meeting Thursday. An additional 31 addresses will change next week, he said, followed by waves of reassignments until the problem has been corrected.
The county has been researching the area for about a year in anticipation of the changes, Francetic said. Property owners will receive a letter notifying them of their new address, which will take effect a month later, he added.
Francetic said although the old addresses "made sense to us at the time," some have become a problem as the area grows, because too many homes sit on unmarked private drives and have addresses that are difficult to locate. Only addresses identified as problematic will be changed, he said.
In March, a 5,000-squarefoot Chandler Heights home burned to the ground because Rural/Metro firefighters had difficulty finding a way onto the property, said Hal Carrington, Rural/Metro developer relations official. The new addresses should make it easier for Rural/Metro employees responding to fires and medical emergencies to find their way in unincorporated areas.
Francetic said county workers will install signs on private drives to correspond with the new street names. County officials will continue to assign new addresses by researching deeds, looking at easements and studying aerial maps, he said.
"We’re taking it alignment by alignment by alignment," Francetic said.
Residents at the meeting asked several questions about details of the changeover but were generally in favor of the new addresses.