Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Glendale, Peoria land trade goes smoothly

Note: This column appears in the 1/21 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/22 issue of the Peoria Times

Have you ever found yourself looking at a map of Glendale or Peoria only to be completely disgusted and put off by the jaggedness of their respective boundary lines?

I know. Me neither. Nevertheless, this problem is in the process of, thankfully, being resolved. As reported here last week, both cities are planning on swapping land located along the New River.

Now, I know what you’re saying: We have a river? And: Is it a lazy river? Because I would like to float down it. Yes, we do. And yes, it is. More importantly, this river has, for years, contributed to the jaggedness of each cities imaginary boundary lines.

The current situation, as far as claimed land is concerned, has a Glendale area of land on the side of the river closest to Peoria, and Peoria’s parcel of land on the side of the river closest to Glendale. Crazy, right? The problem occurred when the original inhabitants of the land -– the Pilgrims? –- got drunk on moonshine before etching maps of the newly discovered area on rocks.

Anyway, the cities have finally decided to resolve this mess. Glendale will receive a 4.6-acre parcel of land near 81st Ave and Utopia Road, and Peoria will receive an 18.6-acre lot near Beardsley. The negotiations went as follows:

Peoria: We’ll give you 4.6 acres for 18.6 acres.

Glendale: Deal.

It should be noted that Peoria also threw in an Albert Pujols rookie card. Nevertheless, this deal will, as the Arizona Republic additionally notes, “smooth out both cities’ jagged boundaries.” No more will we needlessly endure the eyesore of squiggly lines on our maps of Glendale and Peoria, which we look at all the time, because we live here. That’s the good news. The bad news is that now we need all new maps. The project to create new maps will cost a proposed $8 million.

The discrepancy in exchanged acreage is not as dramatic when considering that “the amount of developable land on the sites is roughly the same.” So…surprise! This land will be developed on. What will be done with the undevelopable land remains to be seen, though may I suggest: trade it to New Mexico. For cash, because we will need that money to pay for the development of this developable land because, well…we have no money and development of other areas throughout both cities has either halted or slowed to a crawl. And even though we cannot actually drive on the New River, I will nevertheless expect delays on the 101 as a result.

Speaking of hypothetical cash, Glendale will save $1 million it would have had to pay to build power lines along the river. So that’s nice. Also, there will be power lines along the river. Sounds dangerous. And beautiful.

But before we all get too excited, it should be noted that this is not yet official. This agreement needs to be approved by both respective city councils. When will that happen? Sayeth the Republic: “in a few months.” Or, in layman’s terms: Who knows. But when it does, we can all enjoy our smoother maps and anxiously await the construction of new retail outlets and self-storage units. Which is what, I think, the Pilgrims had envisioned.

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