Company seeks permission to store explosives near Apache Junction homes

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

An industrial company is seeking permission from the City of Apache Junction to store explosives yards away from retirement communities and a facility serving the developmentally disabled.

Desert Mesa Holdings LLC has applied for a conditional use permit to store explosives at Western Industrial near Cactus Road and Baseline Avenue.  According to the permit application, the explosives would be stored in an above-ground container surrounded by a concrete wall.

The Central Arizona Council on Developmental Disabilities (CACDD) is next door and serves up to 80 vulnerable adults at its facility daily.

“If there’s an accident there’s going to be some serious damage and probably some loss of life,” says Executive Director Douglas Bacon. “That's not a risk we feel like we want to take.”

Bacon is also concerned nearby explosives stores will bring down property values which would make it hard to sell the facility, Bacon says, if the Department of Economic Services tells him it’s no longer safe to operate there. 

“Our bunch isn't so mobile, so if there is some kind of disaster we're not very well prepared to get these folks moved quickly,” says Bacon.

Reps at the nearby retirement communities echo similar concerns. Some of their residents have mobility issues and may also have difficulty selling their homes to move to an area they feel safe.

A representative with Western Industrial would not answer questions Wednesday about the type of explosives that would be stored at their site and the size of a potential blast zone.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a second meeting on the issue Jan. 9 where they hope to learn more information about Western Industrial’s proposal.

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