Pima looks to create industrial zone to bring in manufacturing businesses

The town of Pima is looking to rezone this area by the Vard Lines Memorial Roping Arena and ballfields into an industrial zone to attract manufacturing businesses.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

PIMA – Building on its success with the Optimal Health Centre, the town of Pima is considering creating an industrial zone south and west of the Pima Cemetery on town land to bring in more businesses to the area. 

While the town purchased the land for the Optimal Health Centre and built the building, the proposed zoning change would be on land already owned by the town and any business would be required to build their own facilities. 

This aerial photograph shows the area south of the Pima Cemetery, where manufacturing businesses want to set up shop and the area west near the water tanks, where storage yards could be placed.

Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis brought the proposition to the attention of the Pima Town Council at its Tuesday night meeting and said multiple manufacturing businesses have already expressed an interest in relocating to Pima. Among them are a paper bailing business, one that does steel fabrication, and a parts manufacturer – all industries that operate completely indoor. 

The area in question is town-owned land south and west of the Pima Cemetery, and the rezone would include the Vard Lines Roping Arena, baseball, and soccer fields, however, nothing would change at those venues. Lewis said a couple of businesses are very interested in setting up shop in an area south of the cemetery with frontage along 1200 South.

“That is land that we’ve had for way longer than any of us have been around here and it’s never been used for anything,” Lewis said. “So, to me, if we could use i for some type of positive development – bring in employees and businesses here – I think that works well.”

Currently, the lane is zoned residential/agriculture. Lewis said he has also had discussions with businesses in creating a storage yard near the water tanks in an area where residences cannot be built due to the clay content in the ground. He said one could go out there and dig up clay and make a pot if they wanted to the clay was in such abundance there. 

The town of Pima does not have any designated industrial areas and the only current place such a manufacturing business could be located is along U.S. Highway 70 in the town’s commercial zone, which is something Lewis and the manufacturing businesses are not keen to do. 

“If they buy up property on the highway in the commercial zone, then that’s going to limit what we’re going to have in the future for retail stores and things of that nature,” Lewis said. “On top of that, they don’t require any retail, so they don’t need to be on the highway in the commercial zone or even really have much desire to do that.”

Lewis also advised that creating industrial zoning was part of the town’s updated 5-year plan and that since the land is all owned by the town it would still decide what would go where and that the zoning change will not affect any currently planned expansion of the cemetery.

The council unanimously voted for Lewis to move forward with the rezoning process, which will now go to the Pima Planning and Zoning Board for discussion and recommendation. If it moves forward after that, there will be a public hearing on the proposed zoning change prior to its enactment.  

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