Goodyear and Litchfield Park

Some residents and the cities of Goodyear and Litchfield Park are raising questions about a proposal to turn Falcon Golf Club into an industrial transportation facility.

Romina Martucci moved to northwest Goodyear 10 years ago for the quiet life.

Surrounded by farm fields, she enjoys the tranquility of living, even with housing developments coming to the area.

“We moved to Goodyear because it was quieter and had more of a relaxed atmosphere,” Martucci said. “Now they’re making it worse than all of the other areas.”

An industrial project Martucci fears will shatter the area’s tranquility is on the radar. 

Though the developer says the project would bring hundreds of jobs and is “sensitive to area residents,” Martucci fears turning Falcon Golf Course into a transportation hub could bring the roar of hundreds of semitrucks to West Camelback Road.

By April 20, 1,500 signed Martucci’s change.org petition asking the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to deny a new development proposal.

The cities of Goodyear and Litchfield Park have raised concerns about the project, which is on unincorporated county land between the cities and Luke Air Force Base.

Since last year, Kiernan-West Development has worked with the county to rezone and develop the 160-acre Falcon Golf Club course—across the street from Martucci’s quiet community. 

The Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission has a hearing for the “KW Cross Dock” project scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hearing on the project is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. May 6.

Information on viewing the online meeting and how to submit questions and comments may be found at maricopa.gov/797.

Bill Stephens, Litchfield Park’s city manager, sent a letter Feb. 24 to Jen Pokorski, the director of the County Planning and Development Department, asking the county to deny the proposal for the facility. 

On April 13, Goodyear City Council held a special meeting to discuss the KW project.

Christopher Baker, Goodyear Development Services director, told council phase one of the project would build a cross-dock facility to operate as a transportation hub for palletized cargo. 

A traffic impact study estimated that more than 4,000 additional vehicle trips —most by commercial trucks—would be made between the proposed facility and the Loop 303.  

“That is a huge spike in traffic that that portion of Camelback cannot accommodate,” Goodyear resident Claudine Pease-Wingenter said in an email to the West Valley View.

Councilman Bill Stipp said City Council should take a stand and recommend the county deny the proposal.

“I’ve lived here for almost 20 years, and I don’t know that I would’ve envisioned (Falcon Golf Course) turning into an industrial park,” Stipp said. 

Others on the council expressed concerns.

“Like everybody else, I’m completely empathetic to the residents of the area,” Councilwoman Laura Kaino said. “It’s a huge transition.”

At the end of the special meeting, a consensus was reached to recommend  that the county deny the proposed facility. Tammy Vo, a Goodyear spokeswoman, said the city sent a letter to Maricopa County “encouraging them to deny the special zoning request for this property.”

 Kevin Kiernan, owner of developer KW Projects, defended the project.

 “Club operators have indicated they intend to cease operation in the coming weeks—with or without the property’s sale,” Kiernan told the West Valley View.

He said he plans to issue a long-term lease for the operation of the facility to “a U.S.-based, Fortune 500 corporation highly sought for investment by communities across the country.” Kiernan would not provide the company’s name.

Kiernan said the project will have significant economic impacts, including 450 temporary jobs for construction of the property and 400 to 600 permanent jobs at the facility.

The company plans to break ground this fall on an approximately 170,000-square-foot cross-dock building.

Kiernan said traffic impact won’t interfere with neighborhoods and any traffic from the facility will primarily use the road directly leading to Loop 303.

“We’re taking great pains to ensure this project is sensitive to area residents, and anticipate minimal impact on adjacent neighborhoods,” Kiernan said. 

At press time, Falcon Golf Club had not returned calls for comment.