COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A vacant residential property once deemed an eyesore will now be used as a commercial truck terminal, following approval by the Cochise County Planning & Zoning Commission.
The 11.87-acre parcel located at E. Merritt Avenue, in an unincorporated area of Douglas, will act as a storage area for trucks crossing the international border.
At its monthly meeting on February 14, the commission agreed with the Development Services Department's assessment that approval of a rezoning application would infill a large, undeveloped area, and help to revitalize a distressed property.
Planner Peter Gardner said the site had previously been a dilapidated mobile home park, but the owners, Maby Pena and Ricardo Andres Pena Cruz, are currently clearing it.
The commission also heard from Raul Enriquez, who has lived in the area for 75 years and was speaking on behalf of the owners, who were unable to attend the meeting, that the proposal would be positive for the region.
"It's being cleaned and there is no more dumping," he said. "This will be an asset to the community and a nice, clean business. I've known the family for 50 to 60 years and they will be creating work for the county."
Although there are three potential ways to reach the site, the owners have been granted their rezoning request, subject to final approval by the Board of Supervisors, on condition they designate a truck route directing traffic to exit Hwy. 80 onto N. Leslie Canyon Road, then E. Lawrence Avenue, and then south on N. Sulphur Springs Street.
This will divert trucks away from another route which requires crossing a bridge along N. Sulphur Springs Street. Development Services staff have concerns about the safety of the bridge and will be looking to place weight restriction signs, as well as carrying out a thorough evaluation.
The commission also unanimously approved the application on the condition that four mobile homes occupying the west side of the property be removed after the current residents have left.
The rezoning application is due to be presented for final approval by the Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting at 10 a.m. on February 27.