WASHINGTON CITY — A process that would begin the annexation of over 800 acres into Washington City as a potential site for future industry was approved by city officials Wednesday night.
The Washington City Council unanimously approved an application to annex the 836 acres located east of the St. George Regional Airport.
The area, collectively referred to as the “Airport South Block,” consists of property owned by the city and private citizens, Washington City’s economic development director Matt Loo previously told St. George News.
Loo spoke to St. George News earlier this month about various sites within the city being eyed for future economic development.
“We have been working with the private property owners there to start the annexation process,” he said.
The area is considered potentially “primed for industry,” which could include aviation-related industry or manufacturing or be a candidate for special economic development zones that offer tax incentives to recruit companies to the city.
Loo said the site could also interest the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, a nonprofit that works with state and local government and private industry to attract and grow competitive, high-value companies and spur the expansion of local Utah businesses, according to its website.
Other locations within Washington City that are drawing attention for continuing economic development include the area around Exit 13, Loo said.
While a number of businesses and projects like the Grapevine Crossing Development and Ovation senior living campus are taking root on the east side of the interchange, Loo said there are also plans for the western side of the interchange.
The Airport South Block will be the latest annexation within the last year, City Recorder Danice Bulloch told the City Council Wednesday.
“We are growing,” Bulloch said, “and this is just part of the growing pains.”
One of the more recent annexations brought over 1,500 acres of Warner Valley into the city in November. Developers told the City Council they plan to build a master development with over 200 building lots and a $7.5 million clubhouse.
Wednesday’s vote only begins the annexation process, which includes notifying property owners in and around the target area about the potential action, as well as a pending public hearing on the matter.
“This is just for (the city staff) to know if you guys are interested in the city pursuing this,” Bulloch told the council.
After requirements for annexation are met, the City Council will vote to bring the area into the city. That would happen in another month, Bulloch said.
The annexation application was put forth by property owner Scott Peterson, according to the council meeting’s agenda. However, he did not not appear to be at the meeting as Bulloch presented the application to the council.
Under state law, a group that owns over a third of the area proposed for annexation may submit an application for a larger area.
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