Northwest industrial zone backed
Planning board approves change despite protests
A severe shortage of industrial land in the Grand Valley that developers and real estate agents say has hamstrung businesses looking to expand or move here could be alleviated in northwest Grand Junction.
But it will come at the expense of rural land and lifestyles, some residents lament.
The Grand Junction Planning Commission this week recommended approving a growth plan amendment for 100 acres at 860 21 Road that would change the land-use designation on 80 of the acres from rural, which allows one home every five to 35 acres, to commercial-industrial. The designation on the remaining 20 acres would change from rural to residential medium, which would allow four to eight homes per acre.
Planning commissioners also recommended zoning the 80 acres light industrial and the 20 acres residential with four homes an acre.
The City Council will make the final decision on the growth plan amendment and zoning.
The 100-acre parcel is owned by Northwest GJ LLC and the Irma J. Kapushion Revocable Trust.
Neighbors protested the land-use change, saying property to the south that is closer to U.S. Highway 6&50 and Interstate 70 should be developed for commercial and industrial purposes first.
Tom and Kelly Bowen, who live on two acres east of the 100-acre parcel, told planning commissioners they already hear large trucks and heavy equipment early in the morning.
They said an industrial operation would add more traffic to rural roads and decrease the value of their property.
“We’re not against development. We just want responsible development. We feel like this isn’t responsible development,” Tom Bowen said.
Dale Beede, a commercial real estate broker with Coldwell Banker, said there are only six industrial parcels for sale in the valley that are ready to be developed. He said the lack of industrial-zoned property has caused the price of industrial land to quadruple in six years.
Dan Wilson, an attorney representing the landowners, tried to ease neighbors’ concerns, saying modern industrial developments include buffering and restrictions to reduce impacts from noise and lighting.
Wilson said areas that could accommodate industrial businesses in the future, such as Whitewater and 29 Road north of I-70, won’t develop for years.