Despite opposition from the cities of Goodyear and Litchfield Park, Luke Air Force Base and more than 100 residents, Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-2 May 28 to approve a military compatibility permit and development plan for a “cross-dock” facility at Falcon Golf Course.
Cowley Properties, the owner of Falcon Golf Course, and Kiernan West, which plans to purchase the golf course and turn it into a transportation facility, got the green light to move ahead to the June 24 Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting.
John Connolly, a Litchfield Park resident who is organizing a group that opposes the project, said the fight is not over.
“The focus has always been on the Board of Supervisors. We’ve just started,” Connolly said.
“The real work is ahead of us as Goodyear and Glendale have now littered the west side with new notices of rezoning.”
Kevin Kiernan of KW Projects told the West Valley View the project will have significant economic impacts, including 450 temporary jobs for construction of the property and 400 to 600 permanent jobs at the facility.
He said the company plans to break ground this fall on an approximately 170,000-square-foot cross-dock building.
Residents say it also will bring several thousand truck trips a day to West Camelback Road, according to a traffic impact study.
At the online May 28 meeting, the commission added language requiring trucks to travel west on Camelback to the Loop 303.
Though he voted for the project, Schlosser, a broker with Goodyear’s Southwest Land Associates, said he was moved by many of those protesting.
“Born and raised a Southwest Valley boy, I counted 24 people I’ve known and my family have known (who protested). My former dentist is one of the people in opposition. My former teacher from my high school. The pastor who did the service when my grandfather died was in opposition. It’s a tough decision for all of us,” Schlosser said.
“I echo everyone’s concerns.”
Francisca Montoya voted against the project.
“I grew up on the west side and understand the growth,” she said. “Although it may meet all the conditions, for me as a citizen and volunteer on this commission, we also have to take into account the concerns of the neighborhoods. … There’s a real issue of quality of life.”
Lucas Schlosser, chairman of the commission, not only voted for the project—he gave a zinging retort to the city of Goodyear’s opposition.
“As far as city of Goodyear is concerned, and having served there for six years (on the Planning and Zoning Commission), not to my recollection when I served there was a project ever denied,” Schlosser said.
“My question to the city is, if it was annexed into the city of Goodyear, would they be opposing it? That perplexes me. In my opinion, they would be all for it. … They would have press releases saying they landed FedEx.”
The vote was taken after scores of residents passionately voiced protests.
“Believe it or not, we really appreciate your concern,” Schlosser said.
Romy Martucci, who started an online protest that was signed by more than 2,000 people, was in the “not” group.
“It really felt like they already knew what they wanted to vote for and they didn’t hear anything we said,” Martucci said.
“They don’t care about the impact this would have to the lives of thousands of families. …
“They decided to favor the one applicant and be against thousands of residents whose lives will be disrupted.”