development

Buckeye looks at plan to define highway land

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There are only two items on Tuesday’s meeting agenda for the Buckeye Planning and Zoning Commission, and both items could evolve into lengthy discussions.

The board, set to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers, 530 E. Monroe Ave. in downtown Buckeye, will hold two public hearings with no action taken.

A major general plan amendment is proposed for the State Route 85 corridor.

There are two components to the amendment. The first involves amending the city’s land-use map, changing the designation of about 2,650 acres from a combination of neighborhood and commercial zones to employment. The other component is to amend the text of the plan, revising the definition of the that employment land-use category.
City staff want to emphasize and strengthen expectations for industrial development — especially in proximity to existing or planned residential uses.

There are two noncontiguous regions of the State Route 85 corridor.
Staff has been working on this amendment for months. Public input was encouraged through mailings, published advertisements, sign postings, a page on the city’s website, and postings on various Buckeye social media accounts.

A neighborhood meeting was held virtually March 23. Significant feedback on the plan have been collected.

The other item on Tuesday’s agenda is a major plan amendment to convert 1,340 acres of neighborhood-zoned land to employment for owner/developers TGV Investments LLC, Resco Nexgen LLC and Rexco Trust.

A staff report says the property’s new employment designation will position Buckeye to compete regionally and nationally for a wider range of industrial and light manufacturing employers to help expand the city’s employment base.

That acreage is largely flat and is mostly used as farmland now. It stretches east from the northeast corner of Dean Road and MC85, across Verrado Way and just north of recently rebuilt Liberty Elementary School, to Jackrabbit Trail, about 4.5 miles south of I-10 and about one-quarter mile south of the Union Pacific Railroad.

A neighborhood meeting was held virtually March 30. While there doesn’t appear to be a large number of opponents of either plan amendment in the staff reports, there was a request made of NexGen for its property plans.

“My only concern with the proposed use plan is the reduction or elimination of residential housing north of the Liberty Elementary School,” a resident wrote. “The school was rebuilt based on information about planned use. This would adversely impact the enrollment at the school. Additionally, there could be concerns about what is built on the north side of Fremont with traffic and visibility ... Is it possible to maintain a portion of the property for residential purposes?”

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