Glendale’s Planning Commission approved a 55-acre expansion and granted a five-year extension of sand and gravel mining operations near the Glendale Airport with an expiration date of 2038.
Phoenix Cement has been operating a sand and gravel mine southeast of 115th and Glendale avenues since late 2013. The property is just north of where the Agua Fria River and New River meet, which causes silty soil that is bad to build on because it makes for an unstable foundation. Phoenix Cement plans to mine gravel and dirt and refill the hole with more solid materials so future development will be possible.
“The whole idea behind the sand and gravel excavation is that we come in behind, and we reclaim the property after we do the excavation. And that reclamation makes the future development of the business park possible. So that happens 20 years or so into the future — whenever we’re done,” said Stephen W. Anderson, a lawyer with Gammage and Burnham representing Phoenix Cement.
Phoenix Cement has been operating on a 160-acre site but recently purchased that site plus an additional 55 acres to the north from its former landlord. In part of the zoning changes approved by Glendale’s Planning Commission, the 55 acres was added to the mine’s Special Use District, but Mr. Anderson said that though the mine’s footprint is growing, its activity level will remain the same.
After Phoenix Cement completes its mining of the site, the site will become a landfill for inert waste, which is waste that will not decompose or only very slowly. Materials that will be accepted at the site include concrete, asphaltic pavement, brick, rock, gravel, sand and soil. By placing this waste in the landfill, the plan is to make the ground more stable and more primed for development than when it was silty soil. Materials that will not be allowed include special waste, hazardous waste or listed hazardous waste, glass, metals materials, asbestos, municipal solid waste, liquid waste, radioactive waste and household hazardous waste.
In the company’s original contract with Glendale, plans were for the sand and gravel extraction to take 15 years, ending in 2028. That period was extended five years in 2017 and is being extended another five years now, to 2038.