The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission has cleared the way for an additional 34 airplane hangars at Pegasus Airpark, a master planned airfield and neighborhood inside the Volare Estates neighborhood that allows people who live there to park their planes on their property and use central runway.
“We have gone through several iterations of what the hangars would look like,” said attorney Sean Lake, who presented details of the plan to the commission.
“We started with more of a residential feel, and in meeting with the neighbors and meeting with the developer, they wanted to go with more of a business park, high class look as opposed to a residential look. They didn’t want it to look like townhomes, they wanted it to look different,” he said.
The 7 acres at the corner of Ellsworth Road and Empire Boulevard were rezoned from residential to commercial because, according to Lake, developers originally planned for six residences in the area that will now house 34 hangars.
The hangars will measure 80’x80’ and will be “ready to park an airplane,” said Lake, adding that people who buy the hangars do not have to be residents of Volare and may choose to use the hangars seasonally.
“We envision somebody maybe flying their aircraft here and maybe spending the night or maybe they’re spending a couple of months here. There is no guarantee that any of them will be residential,” he said.
Private pilots are running out of space Valley-wide to park their planes.
In the Volare scenario, a customer can choose to buy a hangar and build a home or just buy a hangar and use it as they see fit and not as part of the community.
“We will be working with Town staff on the site plan and design review, as well,” Lake said.
The action on Pegasus was part of a larger suite of measures the commission passed at its recent meeting.
Among the most prominent was the rezoning of 1,600 acres of State Trust land bordered on the north by State Route 24, on the south by Germann Road, on the west by Kenworthy Road on the east by the Central Arizona Project canal, from “Neighborhoods and Urban” to “Urban Employment.”
“According to the state Land Department, this is necessary to eliminate the ability for future residential in this particular area, single family and multifamily development,” said Brett Burningham, development services director for Queen Creek. “They are proposing to eliminate that from the land use.”
“I realize that you say in your notes there that it is called ‘Urban Employment,’” said local resident Katrina Pint, who lives across the street from the land. “But if you look at what that breakdown is, ladies and gentlemen, that very definition is industrial use. It will allow factories. It will allow recycling.
“We have gone through a lot regarding the acreage that is directly across the street with the rezoning for the LG battery factory, and now we are looking at rezoning 1,600 acres of land just down the street, a short distance away. Once you change this zoning over … the fight is already lost,” Pint said.
The land would now be zoned for buildings that could be as high as 185 feet, though any structure that tall would be limited to equipment use or storage only.
“It wouldn’t be a 185-foot office building,” said David Gillette, chair of the commission. “And if those plans were presented to the commission, I’m sure we would have quite a few questions at that point.”
The commission also approved the rezoning of 32 acres for the Queen Creek Olive Mill Phase II, allowing it to make various aesthetic and structural additions to its Agritainment venue, and rezoned 11 acres at the northwest corner of Ironwood and Ocotillo Roads to make way for a 110-unit multi-family development.