Council OKs industrial zoning in northwest GJ

A decision by the Grand Junction City Council Wednesday night boosted the amount of vacant industrial land in the city by about 15 percent, a boon for businesses needing that sort of land to expand or move here.

Council members unanimously agreed to zone about 80 acres of a 100-acre parcel light industrial at 860 21 Road in the northwest part of the city. They rezoned the remaining 20 acres residential with four homes an acre.

The decision came after the council voted 6-1 to amend the city’s growth plan to change the future land-use designation of the property from rural to commercial-industrial and residential medium. Mayor Gregg Palmer cast the dissenting vote.

Palmer hesitated at the notion of placing industrial operations next to large, rural lots. But other council members said northwest Grand Junction will not remain rural much longer and that, even during the current economic downturn, there is still a strong demand for industrial land.

“We can’t expect businesses to come if we don’t work when times are slow to make these properties available,” Councilwoman Linda Romer Todd said.

City Senior Planner Lori Bowers noted that of the 535 acres of vacant industrial property in the city, more than half — 292 acres — is in the northwest area. She said industrial zoning for the 80-acre portion of the property fits because it abuts industrial-zoned land to the south and is close to U.S. Highway 6&50.

Dale Beede, a commercial real estate broker with Coldwell Banker, told council members the price of fully developed industrial land has quadrupled in the last four years.

He said a Texas businessman is ready to build an 80,000-square-foot distribution warehouse on the property now.

Residents who live in the area protested the zoning and growth plan amendment when the applications came before the Planning Commission in January. They claimed industrial businesses would add traffic to rural roads and decrease their property values.

No one, however, spoke against the applications on Wednesday.


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