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City aims to create marketable business site

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The city plans to rezone three tracts in south Roswell near West Brasher Road and South Sunset Avenue to make them ready for business development. Part of the land includes this portion directly to the south of the city’s fire training center. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The city of Roswell is planning for commercial growth on the south side of Roswell.

In actions to be discussed with the Roswell City Council Infrastructure Committee Monday afternoon, the city’s Planning and Zoning Department is seeking to annex property for the first time in 10 years, as well as rezone other properties to make parcels more suitable for business development.

Some of the rezoning will create a “certified site,” or a parcel or several parcels that can be marketed to businesses as “shovel-ready” for construction.

“In today’s world of fast-paced real estate ventures, properties which have done everything possible to make a site more developable and do so quickly” have better chances of being purchased, said Bill Morris, community development manager with the city of Roswell.

The proposed certified site involves three city-owned tracts of about 103 acres near the intersection of West Brasher Road and South Sunset Avenue collectively known by the city as the Southwest Properties.

Now zoned residential, the tracts would be rezoned as light industrial (I-1) and industrial heavy (I-2) so that businesses would be able to operate in an area that now includes agricultural lands, a church, a city fire training center and a mobile home park.

A few blocks further west on Brasher Road, across from the city landfill, the city wants to annex portions of two parcels owned by JHTC Investments LLC and leased to Jim Mitchell for a concrete plant. The city intends also to rezone the 56.5 acres to industrial heavy for a future concrete batch plant and is planning to partner with a developer for the parcels to extend city water lines to the property.

According to state records, JHTC Investments is based in Albuquerque.

The city wants to annex a 1.5-acre narrow strip of land alongside railroad tracks between Country Club and Mescalero roads. City documents indicate the land now functions as a drainage area.

“The intent is to eliminate this long enclave and to practice annexations since it has been over 10 years since the City has completed an annexation,” city documents state.

The land is near a Chaves County road, or right-of-way, off of Mescalero Road that was the subject of a dispute between neighboring landowners last year. One property owner wanted the county to vacate, or close, the right-of-way. At that time, the city noted its objections, saying it had an interest in continued access to its nearby land. County officials voted against the closure request, keeping the right-of-way under county ownership.

The proposed land actions have been or will be reviewed by the city’s legal staff and are intended to be heard by the City of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission. Annexations also would require Roswell City Council approval.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.