Industrial land rezoned for RV park, storage units

KINGMAN – Mohave County’s general plan was amended Monday to allow for an RV park, storage units, gas station and convenience store on the west side of U.S. Highway 95 near Heights Boulevard in the area of Lake Havasu City.

Supervisor Buster Johnson voted against changing the zoning from heavy industrial land use to general commercial, saying he wanted to preserve land for future industrial development.

“I have a problem with this,” Johnson said. “This is the only area available in that part of the county for (manufacturing), and if we change the zoning to general commercial for RV and storage, I think it’s going to cut us off from any industrial growth in that part of the county.”

Tim Walsh, director of Development Services, said the area is surrounded by BLM land, with limited private ownership. This would remove the heavy industrial use, and the new use would be “compatible” for that area, he said.

Supervisor Lois Wakimoto said she’s looking for development in the area but wanted to know if there was other heavy industrial in the area.

There is some warehousing near I-40 and U.S. 95, but as far as heavy industrial, this is the only piece available in that area, said Chris Ballard, Planning and Zoning division director.

Whether or not another piece of land could be changed to heavy industrial depends on the ability to create or extend infrastructure, Ballard said.

“This is an easy thing to do,” Johnson said. “Everybody has storage units. Havasu has become a storage unit capital of the world I think. Now there’s none available. You can’t rent one, you have to buy one for $125,000 I think is the cheapest one available. This is a perfect piece of property for heavy industrial. If we give that up and let somebody come in and put in a minimart and storage units, you’ve lost that future.”

Ballard said this particular item is on the general plan, so it’s not zoning, but land use designation and how the general plan defines that. The zoning ordinance does have a little leeway, she said. Typically, it does not allow for unfettered uses in heavy industrial zones.

Ryan Rodney of Riverbound Storage Management in Irvine, California, said he’s a “big believer” in this project.

“Ultimately, this is going to bring significant benefit economically to the county of Mohave. I think all of our goals are in alignment,” he said. “For my own personal use, I know that there is a shortage of storage availability so the concept here would be ultimately offsetting that.”

The conceptual plan includes amenities available to the public that will also create an economic benefit for the county, he added.

Supervisor Jean Bishop said there is heavy industrial use around Griffith Energy Park and the state prison in Golden Valley.

The last project that was actually built in the area was the prison, though there has been interest in that particular corridor, Ballard said. There were a couple of truck stops and a Walmart distribution center, but nothing ever came to fruition, she said.