PHOENIX-City of Mesa officials are pushing for a portion of the 5,000-acre General Motors Proving Grounds to be rezoned for business use, rather than entirely residential.

General Motors plans to shut down the 5,000-acre proving ground in two years, selling the land off to the highest bidders. The parcel, which is just north of Williams Gateway Airport and adjacent to Mesa in the East Valley, is in Maricopa County and outside city control. The land is zoned for one house per acre.

Mesa officials want eight-square-miles of the parcel to be set aside for commercial use. The land Mesa wants to set aside for business development is just east of the proving ground.

General Motors representatives began meeting last week with officials from Mesa and Maricopa County.Maricopa County postponed a rezoning case that would have allowed 1,700 homes to be built on 560 acres east of the proving grounds.

Mesa wants the additional commercial land, but also doesn’t want residential housing to dampen the full potential of the Williams Gateway Airport, Mesa officials say.

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