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Commercial development regions growing in rural Arizona


A new industrial park recently gained certification by the Arizona Commerce Authority. The certification will help the new commerce center attract additional businesses to join in the commercial development.


The ACA's mission is to recruit quality companies while expanding current establishments, in order to advance Arizona's economy. It began the site certification program to assist companies in identifying shovel-ready areas in rural Arizona. Arizona Gold Certification is only awarded when specific land or buildings meet the state's highest criteria for completing all pre-development work, meeting permit requirements, having utilities available, and being ready for employment-users immediately. Designation as a certified site helps highlight locations for companies to relocate to or expand in quickly. The Santa Cruz Commerce Center, an Ak-Chin Indian Community industrial park, recently received this recognition. At-Chin Indian Community is the first Native American tribe in Arizona to have done so. The certification will help bring in new developments on the 45 acres of leasable land.

Similar to the ACA's vision of converting rural Arizona lands to corporate use, land use regulations have been branching out from city areas and begun including statewide assessments to create a master plan. Before any development agreements can be entered into, plans for the subdivisions must be submitted to verify they are in accordance with the comprehensive plan. The redevelopment of a piece of land must fall within parameters set by the region's zoning regulations. As long as a regulation is reasonable, relates to public health or welfare, and its means are reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose, a regulation will be upheld. Challenging a zoning regulation is possible and boards of zoning appeals have been set up in many jurisdictions. The zoning law is complex, however, and difficult for many landowners to maneuver themselves.

When a landowner commits to investing in preparing an area for commercial development, such as the Ak-Chin Indian Community did, it is important to first check the local regulations applicable to the property. An experienced real estate attorney can help research any land restrictions and fight against unreasonable regulations in order to ensure the success of a business development.

Source: inMaricopa.com, "Ak-Chin Industrial Park certified as Arizona Gold shovel-ready site," October 23, 2014

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