DEVELOPMENT

Buckeye P & Z passes light-industrial plan

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BUCKEYE — City of Buckeye planner Bart Wingard introduced a project called Ten/85 Tuesday by calling it “very exciting.”

Looking at the logistics and office or light industrial space in the proposed project, unanimously recommended for rezoning approval Tuesday by the Buckeye Planning and Zoning Commission, it’s easy to see why city staff would appreciate a detailed use planning for highway-adjacent land.

The commission recommended to the city council rezoning to “employment” for 265 acres along State Route 85. The north-south rectangular property runs along the east side of the divided highway, from Baseline Road to Southern Avenue.

It’s about 2 miles south of Interstate 10, just north of where NextGen plans to break ground soon on its lithium battery plant.

The applicant, known as Buckeye 270 LLC, is requesting a rezoning to “employment.”

Currently, all 265 acres carry obsolete zoning designations. The northern 149 acres is zoned commercial center, or CC, and the southern 116 acres is zoned rural with one dwelling unit per acre, or RU-43.

The rezoning is meant to accommodate four new “office-flex” buildings and associated site improvements.

The northern 149 acres of the site is already within the city’s jurisdiction and has a general plan land use designation of “neighborhood.” The southern 116 acres is currently within Maricopa County’s jurisdiction and its comprehensive land use plan designation is employment.

At its June 7 meeting, the Buckeye City Council approved a major general plan amendment that both created two employment zones along State Route 85 and amended code to initiate employment zoning.

The southern portion will need to be annexed into the city as analogous single-family rural residential, according to a staff report, and then rezoned to light industrial. A site plan also is being submitted and annexation of non-city acreage is a process that doesn’t involve the commission.

The property is within the city of Buckeye’s water service area. An attorney who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting said the city, taking advantage of state law on water well spacing, drilled four test wells on the property, with the owner’s permission, with results pending.

Light industrial is defined as final processing or repackaging, such as a vehicle assembly plant, while heavy industrial involves turning raw materials into compounds, such as a rubber or plastics plant or an oil refinery.

Not only is the acreage along State Route 85 and near I-10, but it’s also not far from the proposed Interstate 11 north-south freeway that would run along the western edge of Buckeye. Staff said to expect other similar area proposals for land use in the area in the future.

There is 22% open space in the site plan, a staff report states.
There were no other hearings or action items on Tuesday’s commission agenda.

Development, Buckeye, affordable housing, industrial space, light industrial, State Route 85, employment zoning, Wingard, planning and zoning, planning commission, I-10, I-11

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