The Town of Marana continues to combat the poor economy, first by showing a 2 percent growth in its projected 2012-2013 fiscal year budget, and now by planning future annexations of a county island in the Twin Peaks Interchange and north into Pinal County, to include the Pinal County Airpark.
The Twin Peaks Interchange experiences a high volume of traffic, and the annexation of the county island would give Marana complete control of commercial sales taxes from developing businesses in the area.
“This is a prime location for a lot of commercial development,” said Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “It’s a new interchange that connects major portions of our community. Right around the interchange, you’re going to see gas stations, hotels, and restaurants. Also, on the Marana Spectrum, which is a large commercial master plan, there will be a lot of commercial retail.”
One of the commercial projects rumored to be in the works is a large shopping mall near the area, which would become the largest mall in Southern Arizona.
The town will also complement the Twin Peaks Interchange with Cascada, a 2,500-home master-planned community already in early development stages.
“This area has been platted and is ready to go,” said Davidson. “There are a lot of neat things that are going to take place around Twin Peaks.”
Davidson said in regards to annexing areas of Pinal County, including Pinal Air Park, the town is being cautious when considering zoning code.
“We obviously don’t want any residential zoning in that area, which would impact the ability for the airport to succeed,” he said. “Plus, you don’t want to put residencies next to an air park, simply because of noise.”
Marana Mayor Ed Honea said the expansion into Southern Pinal County is aimed mainly at creating jobs for the airpark and aerospace industry.
“It’s just good for us,” he said. It will help Marana out, it will help Southern Pinal and Northern Pinal County, and even Casa Grande.”
Davidson said the annexation process is still in a preliminary stage for each of the proposed areas, as the town is currently working on pre-annexation agreements with property owners in the area, some of which have expressed unique needs or requests.
Davidson added that there is no rush to complete the annexations.
“There is a lot of getting things lined up out there. There is no time pressure,” he said. “It’s not like we need things done by a certain time frame. We’re moving ahead at a steady pace. Meetings are occurring, and there are a lot of good things taking place.”
Oro Valley is also working to annex a 107-acre lot northwest of Ina and Oracle Road. The town is currently in the process of collecting signatures of property owners in the area.
Oro Valley has one year to finish the process.