If you would like to submit an opinion piece on Stonehaven please send your article to clarkjv@aol.com. Word limit in 650 words or less. Please include your contact information.

The following opinion piece in its entirety is by Karen Aborne and was published this past week in the Glendale Star and the Glendale Republic. Ms. Aborne rightly points out that one must pay attention to the central issue…not that Stonehaven should be denied for it is already approved. Rather it is important to pay attention to the central issue and that is the changes requested for the approved Stonehaven. Those changes ask for greater density by reducing the lot sizes on 44% of the entire site to 4,000 SF and 4,500 SF and increasing the number of homes allowed from approximately 1,100 homes to 1,362 homes.

StoneHaven Opinion by Karen Aborne, Yucca district resident and Glendale Library Advisory Board member

“Last year the Glendale City Council approved the Final Plat for StoneHaven, a Master Planned Community by John F. Long Properties LLLP.                                                                                                                                                                               

“I attended the Citizen Participation meetings, read pros and cons on the proposal, spoke with my Councilmember and the Planning Department Director, evaluated information provided by the City and Applicant and watched videos of Hearings and Council meetings which I could not attend.

“A third proposed builder, second legal counsel, and now a high profile public relations firm have joined the team.  They invited me to a “Super Saturday Market” for “Free Food and updates on the Good News with StoneHaven – a new Master-Planned Community and Retail coming to Glendale!”

“I could not attend, but visited their website which included a petition asking City Council to ‘please vote yes on StoneHaven.’  Already approved…last year.

“The newest builder, Pulte Homes, is requesting that John F. Long Properties LLLP apply for an Amendment to the plan that was approved last year which would include lots as small as 4,000 square feet.

“On June 27, 2017, City Council will vote on the Amendment proposal.  More than 1,000 signatures have been collected in neighborhoods surrounding the Project requesting that the Amendment be denied.  The online petition that the Applicant has posted addresses support for the entire project with No reference to the proposed Amendment.

“Apples and Oranges.

“As a small business owner, I evaluate the language and presentation of promotions cautiously.  Shortly before the Planning Commission Hearing for the Amendment proposal, The Glendale Republic and The Glendale Star published full page ads promoting Pulte Homes’ desire to invest in Glendale.  The tagline (GlendaleMomentum.com) took me to a nebulous website with a lot of ‘old news’ hype.

“At the May 18, 2017 Planning Commission Hearing, the Applicant’s representative managed to slip ‘momentum’ into her presentation.  The June 7, 2017 Glendale Republic included a My Turn by the president and CEO of Glendale Chamber of Commerce touting the same bullet points presented at the Hearing.  But most telling in this opinion piece was the headline, ‘Projects such as StoneHaven help Glendale regain momentum.’  Shades of SNL Weekend Update’s ‘Mr. Subliminal???’

“Pulte Homes wants higher density, adding 204 more homes to the Project which was approved a year ago.  (See, I can use the subliminal card too)!

“Pizza and promos for a Master-planned Community are misleading.  Sending a flyer that says ‘Glendale staff and others are supporting this plan – we hope you will too!’ does not identify which plan is at issue now.  Glendale’s Planning Department staff is supporting the higher density Amendment.  ‘Supporting the plan’ is so last year; and incidentally, on May 18, 2017  the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of the proposal.

“Neighbors of the Project oppose the higher density Amendment because it will lower property values; increase noise and traffic; could promote spec. home purchases; will impact schools (don’t get me started there), and could replace the dreaded Apartments with Z lot parcels.

“Building support by obfuscating the facts is a disservice to our Community.

“While the Applicant is promoting support for the entire project, the City Council has already approved StoneHaven.  Support-the-project petitions and hype are moot.

“The higher density Amendment is the Issue, and the PR blitz is ignoring that.

“But wait, there’s more!  Today I received two invitations for free ice cream at Westgate to ‘celebrate the possibilities.’ 

“Thank goodness our City Council is wise enough to see through the PR gimmicks and hopefully will stand by their original decision.  The StoneHaven team can keep looking for a builder that will go forward with City Council’s carefully vetted original Final Plat for Stonehaven.”

© Joyce Clark, 2017              

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