The developers of a gas station chain new to Southern Arizona are asking town officials that it be part of Marana.
The proposed annexation would increase the size of Marana by about 2 acres. Currently, town boundaries cover more than 120 square miles.
Besides the plot of land where the new QwikTrip gas station would go, residents of the adjacent lot also wished to become part of the town.
If all goes well, the council could vote on the annexation as soon at some point this month, depending on when the owners file the necessary paperwork, said Assistant Planning Director Lisa Shafer.
The station would be located on the southeast corner of Cortaro Farms Road and Cerius Stravenue, not far from Interstate 10.
Having property owners request to be part of the town is nothing new, said Town Manager Gilbert Davidson.
“There’s times then neighboring properties out of town limits want to be included within town boundaries,” Davidson said.
One of the most recent annexations was 400 acres from Pinal County in 2007 as part of the forthcoming Villages at Tortolita housing development.
Another annexation also occurred in 2007, that of the area surrounding the Marana Wastewater Treatment facility on the northwest side of town, but Marana and Pima County are arguing over the ownership of the system in court.
Having businesses in the town is attractive because it contributes to the sales tax Marana collects. In return, Marana provides services, such as police protection, something that won’t cost the town much extra in this case since Cortaro Farms Road is already patrolled, Davidson said.
Marana’s most high-profile annexation occurred 1993, with the inclusion of the so-called “golden triangle” area of Ina and Thornydale roads, which folded many existing businesses into the town.
As the proposed annexation includes only a small portion of the neighborhood at Cortato Farms and Cerius Stravenue, the effect on the residents who will remain in the county is being taken under consideration.
“The council wants to make sure the surrounding neighbors are comfortable with the project and annexation,” Davidson said.
QwikTrip, according to Real Estate Manager Jim Beilman, has been described as the In-N-Out Burger of gas stations.
“We’re widely regarded as one of the nicest,” he said.
Currently there are more than 500 stations nationwide, with 60 in the Phoenix area. The company is planning to enter the Tucson market soon with an undisclosed number of stations, but the Cortaro Farms location will be the only on for Marana, Beilman said,
The company thinks they will be able to set up shop faster if they were part of Marana, rather than Pima County.
“We feel we can get there quicker,” said Mike Marks, a land planner with MJM Consultants.
However, becoming part of the town does not automatically guarantee the station will be able to open, as the owners must first get the land rezoned from its current residential designation.
Notable Marana annexations
• Continental Ranch (1987): Many residents call this area home.
• Ina/Thornydale (1993): The so-called “golden triangle” this area brought many businesses into the town.
• State lands (2002): One of the largest annexations, this acquisition fills in the land between North Marana and Dove Mountain
• Villages at Tortolita (2007): The town’s first foray into Pinal County.
• Anza Park (2007): The site of the Marana Wastewater Treatment Facility, finalization of this annexation is currently in litigation.