Managed Growth Throughout the West Valley
Protection of Luke’s mission is a paramount principle that is considered in all of the Glendale City Council’s planning decisions. It is also consistent with the goal of an active partnership with Luke AFB that is one of the seven strategic goals adopted by the City Council.
Glendale’s Municipal Airport Master Plan was originally adopted in 1998. A key objective of the 1998 plan, and one that is maintained in the 2008 update, is to assure that development at the city’s airport will not negatively impact the mission of Luke Air Force Base. This is consistent with the city’s longstanding land use policy in the area.
In the area directly west and north of Luke AFB, 6,549 acres in Glendale’s Municipal Planning Area have either recently been annexed or are pending annexation requests. Approximately 4,400 (68%) of the 6,549 acres are in the 65 noise contours. If all 6,549 acres are annexed, approximately 2,700 acres of county land (4.5 sq miles) would remain within Glendale’s MPA in 65 noise contours. These annexation requests would remove nearly 63% of Glendale’s MPA land in the 65 noise contours from county oversight.
A Luke Air Force Base representative actively participated on Glendale’s Planning Advisory Committee for master plan updates.
The West Valley cities activity advocated for HB 2134, which restricted El Paso Natural Gas Corporation’s ability to store 9.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas in three underground salt-caverns near Luke Air Force Base. The storage facility, known as the Copper Eagle Project, would have been located near the northeast corner of Glendale Avenue and Dysart Road, across the street from Luke Elementary School, base housing, and within 1.5 miles of the base hospital and the northern end of the base airport runway. The bill restricting the underground storage was signed in to law in 2004
In 2003, Goodyear obligated $3.5 million to buy land that by zoning could have been developed by private interests and thereby encroach upon the mission of Luke AFB. At the time of obligation, this amount of funding comprised approximately 10% of Goodyear’s annual operating and maintenance budget.
The city has become known as “The Protector of Luke’s Southern Departure Corridor.” El Mirage has claimed that their city “which sits directly at the northern end of the base’s runway, currently has the most Luke Air Force Base flyovers of any community in the West Valley.” (El Mirage clarifies stand on Luke, AZ Republic, 10-01-09) In reality, the city of Goodyear has just as many flights since pilots take off to the north and land from the south or vice versa. Seldom do pilots takeoff and land from the same direction.
In 2001, the city council approved zoning to remove all residential lots from Rancho Gabriela in the 1988 JLUS Noise Contours Line.
In 2004, the federal government gave the Air Force $27.3 million: $6 million to buy land around the munitions storage area south of the base and to expand the base to encompass the storage area, and $21.3 million to buy permanent land easements that prevent residential encroachment around the base.