Judge Holding Document At Desk

Glendale continues to grow, using annexations to expand its boundaries.

At its April 28 meeting, Glendale City Council members approved three pre-annexation development agreements with land near the Loop 303.

Allsup 303 Industrial Park development, Park 303 and Glendale 303 Holdings were approved to move forward in the annexation process.

As agenda material noted, the city has approved multiple annexation and pre-annexation agreements in the Loop 303 area of west Glendale.

One of the most notable ones is Cotton Properties, 161 acres between Glendale Avenue and Bethany Home Road that was unincorporated Maricopa County—until Glendale annexed the property in January.

Residents of Waddell and Litchfield Park have protested a Love’s Travel Center that is part of the Cotton Properties development plan.

The Cotton Properties land is currently a large farm and was zoned for agriculture by the county.

A rezoning request by Mahdi Sadek of Epsilon Engineering, representing property owner Cotton Bethany/303 Cotton, which was previously delayed, has been delayed again. It was moved from the May 7 Planning Commission agenda to June 4.

The Cotton Properties request is “to allow land uses such as retail commercial, support commercial/offices and industrial as the most viable use.”

On April 28, council also approved an in-lieu agreement with a second Glendale 303 Holdings lot on Cotton Lane. This allows the property owner to develop a residential property prior to a planned annexation in 2025.

This is the only one of the recent annexation or pre-annexation agreements that involves a residential development.

Lisa Collins, interim director of Development Services, said the city policy has been to not annex residential properties into the city. She said the agreement will pay Glendale fees of $694,176 for the 336-unit development.

“This would develop in the county, and the city would not have any development authority over this; however, we would still get these fees,” she said. 

She said the fees would reimburse Glendale for transportation improvements.

Councilman Bart Turner wondered why the city would not be able to also receive fees in sales tax, residential sales tax and property taxes. 

“It concerns me that we’re giving that up,” he said. “I know that we are agreeing not to move forward in an attempt to annex this property for five years, but it also seems to me that five years from now, this property will have one owner and if they don’t want to annex in in five years, there will be little we can do to make that happen.” 

The annexation of Allen Ranches, which also includes residential development, is scheduled for the May 12 city council meeting.

Allen Ranches spreads from West Bethany Road to West Camelback Road, along Citrus Road west of the Loop 303. It is one of the largest properties being considered for annexation.

During the April 28 public comments of the meeting, Chuck Jarrett asked for a police station near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Michael Queen challenged the city’s policy not to allow the public to attend meetings during COVID-19 restrictions. 

“The Arizona Attorney General said holding city council meetings on the web does not violate the open meeting law, but I disagree,” Queen said in his email comment. “Some people don’t have access to the internet and thus can’t attend the internet meeting.”

The next Glendale City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 12.  

Tom Scanlon contributed to this story.