BUCKEYE — By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the City of Buckeye became 54 acres bigger.
The Buckeye City Council approved an annexation of 54 acres owned by a group that hopes to develop farmland for light industrial use.
A single parcel is located on the southeast corner of Rainbow Road and Southern Avenue. It’s north of both the Union Pacific Railroad and Buckeye Canal Road. Its preliminary annexation hearing was held at a council meeting in July.
Council member Michelle Hess asked Matt Jones, a senior planner with Tiffany & Bosco, about when a rezoning application for the 54-acre parcel will be submitted. Jones said an I-1 (light industrial) rezoning application will be coming in about two to three weeks.
Mayor Eric Orsborn clarified with Jones and with city development staff that I-1 means light industrial, which is typically logistics-type businesses and light manufacturing of finished products, rather than heavy industrial, which often involves manufacture of compounds.
Senior planner Andrea Marquez pointed out that Prout’s proposed development includes two buildings — one about 316,000 square feet and the second about 525,000 square feet — with adjacent truck docks and parking as well as trailer-parking stalls. However, the final site plan hasn’t been submitted yet.
“Right now, we’re debating if we’re going to submit a site plan along with the (rezoning application),” Jones said. “The site plan might be changing; it originally showed two large buildings. We’ll know more as we get closer to submitting.”
The land owner, Kerry Prout of Buckeye 54, LLC, requested annexation, as all owners of potentially annexed municipal land must do. As annexed unincorporated county land must enter a city’s system at equivalent Maricopa County zoning.
It has not been determined if the project would be built in phases.
The narrative in a staff report leaves it open for Prout to change his design plan considerably, prior to site plan review, depending on how the market responds to this location.
Vice Mayor Craig Huestis asked if the Union Pacific Railroad, located along the edge of the property, would be utilized by any potential tenants of the industrial development. Marquez said she’s not aware of any rail spurs in the area or plans to construct one but more would be determined once a site plan is submitted.