Piggy bank with gold coins

Anthem’s wide variety of amenities like its dog park, pickleball courts, trails, parks, community center and skatepark are reasons why many decide to become a resident of the master-planned community. 

An Anthem Community Council (ACC) policy allows those who reside outside of the community’s limits to enjoy the private amenities as well, however, fees and policies aren’t universally enforced and collected, which has led to gaps in its system. 

The Anthem Community Council Board of Directors voted unanimously to authorize the formation of a subcommittee to research and report back with recommendations on potential ways of refining its process to create a more uniform system.

The board approved the motion as requested by staff during a March 24 open session Zoom meeting.

This comes during a significant growth period in the North Valley, as there are a couple of new proposed residential developments in Anthem’s vicinity being considered by the city of Phoenix. 

This was mentioned in a written statement from Kristi Northcutt, ACC’s senior director of community relations.

Her statement added while this rapid growth isn’t “necessarily the driving factor for the timing of this subcommittee being formed, it’s certainly an opportune time for us to examine the full scope of our amenities and how they’re being accessed.”

There is no clear timeline or details established on when the subcommittee will form or proceed, she said. Public input is encouraged and will be solicited to help the board make its decision. 

The memorandum describes the current situation, stating nonresidents are granted access to Anthem’s amenities after they pay the associated guest fees. 

However, “this guest policy is only enforced at the community center due to access and available resources to collect guest fees,” it explains. 

The tennis and pickleball courts are also mentioned, which allow the collection of guest fees upon reservations, but not for open play. 

A decision must also be made in the next two months on how skateboarders, scooter riders, BMX bikers and roller skaters will access the final product of the skatepark expansion project — the fourth and final element of the Anthem’s master facilities plan.

The completion of the Anthem Dog Park in November 2019 was also part of the master facilities plan, along with the creation of the pickleball courts in January 2019 and the remodel of the Anthem Community Center in May 2018.

The renovated and expanded skatepark is expected to be open by the end of this year, and the board must also make a decision on “any associated fees that the ACC board may wish to build into that amenity,” it adds.

The subcommittee will explore potential ways of regulating amenity use among residents and guests.

The scope of its research will evaluate the feasibility of restricting access at various amenities in which a fob key would be required for entry, it states. This fob-key system would be similar to the one used at the Anthem Dog park, it adds.

A recommendation will also be made to the board on what the access fees should be for residents vs. nonresidents in the case that the subcommittee recommends restricting access to certain amenities, it adds. 

It will also study ways of not restricting access and regulating amenity access points for residents and guests instead.

Terry Mullarkey, ACC’s executive director, drafted the memorandum and stated that more information will be released as it takes shape. 

—Staff writer Sarah Donahue can be reached at sdonahue@timespublications.com