The Yuma Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 12 held the first of two public hearings on a request to change the land use designation of 19.3 acres located east of the southeast corner of the Avenue 8½ E and 40th Street from rural density residential to low density residential.

Edais Engineering, on behalf of Riedel Construction Company, made the request for the General Plan amendment. Riedel intends to develop a single-family residential subdivision with a low density residential zoning designation.

The hearing drew no comments from the public, and Jennifer Albers, a city principal planner, said no citizens showed up to speak at a July 10 neighborhood meeting.

However, several agencies submitted comments. Javier Barraza, a senior planner with the Yuma County Development Services, noted that the property is already surrounded by the proposed low density land use, “and the current land use appears to be an oversight,” he said.

Commissioner Greg Counts questioned the comment, and Albers explained that years ago, the land use designation of the surrounding state land had been changed because the state plans to market the land in the future.

Mary Ellen Finch, community liaison specialist with the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, pointed out that the property is located about 1.78 miles from the boundary of the Barry M. Goldwater Range “and as such will experience noise, interference or vibrations due to aviation operations that may occur during BMGR Range Operations.”

Finch asked that range disclosure statements be included with the sale of lots and homes built on the property due to this proximity.

Tyler Williford, habitat specialist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, noted that the area is potential habitat for the flat-tailed horned lizard, which is listed as a “species of greatest conservation need” in Arizona. According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, any species considered vulnerable is listed as a “species of greatest conservation need.”

The current land use designation allows from four to nine homes to be constructed on the 19.4 acres. The requested designation would allow from 19 to 94 dwelling units to be constructed in a single-family development.

The second public hearing will be held on Aug. 26.

In other action, the commission accepted the withdrawal of a request by Chris Delgado, on behalf of BelHeights LLC, to rezone 4.99 acres feet from agriculture to the Recreation Vehicle Subdivision District, for the property located at 925 S. George Belle Ave.

In addition, the commission agreed to continue consideration of a request by Martin Guzman, on behalf of Francisco and Irene Guzman, for a conditional use permit to allow multiple mobile food vendors on one commercial property in the General Commercial/Aesthetic Overlay District, for the property located at 1744 S. Pacific Ave.

The case was continued to Sept. 23.

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