CASA GRANDE — The Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously and enthusiastically approved a site plan request and a conditional-use permit for a block wall for Lucid Motors Thursday evening.

“Absolutely, yes,” Commissioner Tammy Anderson said during the roll call vote on the plan.

Lucid Motors, a luxury electric vehicle company, announced plans to build a manufacturing plant on the west side of Casa Grande in November 2016. The $700 million plant is expected to employ about 745 people in its first phase and up to 2,000 workers when it is completely built out. The plant is expected to manufacture about 130,000 vehicles a year, once the plant is completely finished, with a sticker price of about $100,000, the company has said.

The only questions for city staff and Lucid Motors officials were about a wastewater treatment facility on the site and which side of a screening wall trees would be planted on.

Commissioner David Snider asked city planners why there was a wastewater treatment plant listed on the site plan when he thought Lucid had agreed to tap into the city’s sewer system.

City Planner Joseph Horn explained that the Lucid treatment plant was designed to prescreen water coming off the site before it entered the city’s sewer system.

Certain types of particulates in the manufacturing process cannot be handled by the city’s sewer system, he said. Lucid’s wastewater plant will remove those particulates before they enter the city’s system.

The plant also plans to recycle some of the water it uses, said Peter Hochholdinger, Lucid’s vice president of manufacturing.

Commissioner Mikel McBride asked about the landscaping for a 10-foot fence that will be used to screen three residential homes at the edge of Lucid’s 500-acre property.

“Have you asked the homeowners which side of the fence they want the trees planted on?” McBride asked city staff.

He pointed out that if the trees were planted on the Lucid side of the fence then the homeowners would be greeted with a high and possibly ugly brick wall surrounding their property.

Horn said homeowners were notified but staff had not heard anything from them about the wall.

Hocholdinger said Lucid was willing to plant the trees and landscaping on whatever side of the wall the homeowners or city thought was appropriate.

The commission also approved:

  • A site plan for a 99-unit gated manufactured home community on North Thornton Road. Some residents of a manufactured home community across the street from the new community requested that the city look into the problem of speeding cars on that section of Thornton Road.
  • A preliminary replat of Arroyo Grande to reduce the number of home lots from 312 to 307 to accommodate more stormwater retention areas.
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