Parker Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer has issued a press release regarding the proposed hemp processing facility in Parker South. Dated Jan. 6, it states the Town is looking forward and is excited to working with the La Paz Economic Development Corporation to bring this facility to Parker. However, she said that, as of Jan. 6, 2020, the Town had not received the necessary information needed to move forward with the facility.
The plant was announced at the Dec. 17 Parker Town Council by Skip Becker of the La Paz EDC. He said it would be run by the Calyxar group and would be on the site of the former Liquid Titan trans-mix plant. The CEO of Calyxar is John Knight, the former head of Liquid Titan. Becker and Knight said this would be a $25 million investment, and would provide 99 jobs at an average salary of $65,000 per year.
Becker stated the plant already has the approval of the Arizona Department of Agriculture and has strong support from State Sen. Sonny Borrelli.
Becker said all they wanted from the Town was to expedite the building permits.
The property is currently zoned for industry. Wedemeyer quoted the Town Code (10-8-2-(8)), which states agribusiness is allowed in industrial zoning, but it must be within a completely closed building or under a roof structure that is screened from adjacent properties and public view.
In the press release, Wedemeyer said they needed more information from Calyxar before they could proceed with the process through the Community Development Department.
“The Town of Parker wants the public to know we are anxious to work on this project, but, as of Jan. 6, we have yet to receive any necessary information,” Wedemeyer said. She went on to say the Community Development Department had not received any information that could help them to assist with this project.
Wedemeyer said the Community Development Department reviews all proposals for developments. This is to ensure conformance with the Town’s General Plan and compliance with zoning issues. She added that developments that require discretionary permits are subject to a public hearing process.
“The Town of Parker does not want anyone to think the Town is interfering with the progress of this project,” Wedemeyer said. “However, we, the Town, must also show environmental protection and compliancy with authorities like Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Arizona Department of Water Resources prior to issuing licenses and/or permits.”
Wedemeyer said the Town is hoping to hear soon from the La Paz EDC and Calyxar about proof of environmental approval and a timeline of progress to proceed.
Wedemeyer said that, if anyone has any questions or concerns about this project, they should call her at 928-669-9265.