DEVELOPMENT

Litchfield Park cross-dock terminal opposition stalls due to lack of funds

Posted 8/11/20

Goodyear and Litchfield Park residents’ fight against a FedEx cross-dock truck terminal approved July 22 by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors at 152nd Avenue and Camelback has stalled …

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DEVELOPMENT

Litchfield Park cross-dock terminal opposition stalls due to lack of funds

Posted

Goodyear and Litchfield Park residents’ fight against a FedEx cross-dock truck terminal approved July 22 by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors at 152nd Avenue and Camelback has stalled for lack of funds.

The homeowners association for Goodyear’s 4,000-home Palm Valley Phase V, the closest housing community to the truck terminal, had retained Phoenix attorney Larry Lazarus of Phoenix-based law firm Lazarus & Sylvin PC to represent the HOA in its opposition to the project planned on the site of the former Falcon Golf Club, which closed May 31.

The facility, to be built on the back half of 157 acres adjacent to the flight line at Luke Air Force Base, will add about 1,100 truck trips a day on Camelback Road between 152nd Avenue and Loop 303. The city of Glendale will have the option to annex the property, county staff said.

Residents told county Planning and Zoning commissioners and supervisors they are concerned about safety on the roadway as well as noise from the site, fearing both will impact their quality of life and drop home values.

The terminal will operate around the clock, with an estimated 585 large commercial FedEx trucks entering and leaving the property. In all, more than 400 residents wrote or spoke in opposition to the proposal by KW Developments.

HOA President Domenic Passio confirmed Monday, Aug. 10, the group dropped its request that the county Board of Adjustment review the Military Compatibility Permit approved by supervisors July 22. That permit paved the way for construction.

A GoFundMe account set up several months ago by Litchfield Park resident John Connolly, president of the Litchfield Greens HOA, to raise money for legal fees failed to reach its goal.

“Unfortunately, we are not able to continue the fight against the proposed facility,” Mr. Passio said via email. “We are currently exploring other options. So we have not given up.”

He did not say what those other options are, but opponents discussed in a Facebook group voicing their opposition to FedEx management via calls and emails.

The Board of Adjustment was scheduled to hear the matter Thursday, Aug. 13. In his filing with the BOA and in comments to supervisors July 22, Mr. Lazarus contended the county should have considered zoning ordinances in addition to the MCP in its decision-making process.

“Zoning ordinances and the zoning process protect citizens, neighbors and property owners from development that create incompatible uses to surrounding properties,” he told supervisors. “The process protects the rights of the public. It protects the rights of citizens that reside in the area. To take away those rights, those protections is to disenfranchise those citizens.”

While the military overlay is important, not considering the zoning would set “a horrible precedent,” Mr. Lazarus said. “In the future, if a member of the community lives near a property that is to be zoned within the military overlay, their issues don’t matter. They’re disenfranchised. That’s why we believe this case should be sent back to the planning commission for consideration as a zoning case along with a compatibility permit.”

The facility is expected to include a 194,685-square-foot overhead door service center, a 3,550-square-foot break room and 3,550-square-foot dispatch pod; 34,336-square-foot maintenance shop; 13,852-square-foot office; 2,757-square-foot fueling station/lube shed and 100-square-foot guard house.

Activities on the site will include shipment transfers between semi-trailers, as well as local pickup and delivery operations.

Jason Morris of Phoenix-based law firm Withey Morris PLC, who represents KW Projects, said in July the soonest construction could begin is next year. The developer expected to spend about six months preparing engineering and design documents for the facility, and working on Camelback Road improvements required by the county as part of 16 project stipulations, he said.

KW Developments agreed to pay for road improvements that include widening Camelback Road to mitigate area traffic impacts and moving a drainage ditch next to the road’s north side onto the property. The developer also will pay $300,000 to help Goodyear install a traffic signal at the intersection of Camelback and Sarival Avenue to help ease congestion in that area; traffic on Camelback can back up nearly a mile during morning and evening rush hours.

Other project stipulations include maximum building height of 65 feet, maximum light pole height of 45 feet, diverting FedEx trucks to the west so they don’t head east into incorporated Litchfield Park, and informing any new tenants of the requirement to comply with a city of Litchfield Park ordinance that prohibits commercial through-truck traffic within city limits.

Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at kosullivan@newszap.com or 760-963-1697.

 Related stories:

Supervisors OK cross dock Military Compatibility Permit
Supervisors to hear Litchfield Park cross dock request
Planning commission votes to recommend approval of Litchfield Park truck terminal

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