Today, June 1,2017, the Glendale Star ran my guest commnetary on Stonehaven. I want to thank Mr. Bill Toops who invited me to offer an opinion on Stonehaven’s proposed changes to their 2016 approved plan. It is below in its entirety and here is the link: http://www.glendalestar.com/opinion/article_2ab6660a-4549-11e7-8e53-eb73fa60f96f.html

Posted: Thursday, June 1, 2017 12:00 am

The responsibility of an elected official is to speak for the people he or she represents. It is a responsibility I cherish. I speak for the residents of the Yucca district. I speak loudly for those often ignored when a project is backed by power, money and privilege. I speak for the over 1,000 residents who have signed a petition opposing StoneHaven’s proposed changes. I speak for those in close proximity to the already approved StoneHaven project when those developers use code words like flexibility and diversity to mask their request for greater density in their quest for greater profitability. I speak for all Yucca residents still unaware of the implications of this project on their daily lives.

I speak for someone who, in opposition, after work every day, walked his neighborhood to get petition signatures in Camelback Park immediately adjacent to proposed StoneHaven. He is concerned about the tremendous impact this project will have on his local traffic. Even with a completed Bethany Home Road, daily traffic counts on surrounding streets will sky rocket by another 15,000 daily trips.

I speak for another who also collected signatures. He owns an acre adjacent to this proposed project. He recognizes the increased density of an additional 200 homes bringing the total to 1,392 homes will devalue his home and property.  He is thinking of selling.

I speak for a teacher concerned about the 1,000 students StoneHaven will produce. She knows the school districts said they can accommodate them, but she is in the trenches and knows that’s not really true. School districts receive developer dollars for additional students. Do those dollars influence their thinking?

I speak for the young mother out collecting signatures while pushing her baby in its stroller because StoneHaven developers have failed to provide the amenities included in other Valley cities where they also build. Instead, they expect the new residents to crowd the adjacent three-acre neighborhood Pasadena Park, the city-owned five-acre Sunset Ridge Park and the still unfinished after a 20-year wait, Heroes Park, with only 20 of its 88 acres developed … parks her family already uses.

I speak for voices not opposed to StoneHaven. They only ask that the original approved version be upheld and that the latest proposed changes of 4,000/4,500 square-foot lots be denied. They realize, as do all, this is a major prime parcel in Glendale. They know other residents will have to battle the precedent set by this proposal. They expect a development matching and enhancing the existing Yucca district development. They do not expect a development that cannibalizes the surrounding area.

StoneHaven is billed as an infill project and in the strictest sense of the word, it is. National studies have concluded that infill development results in nearby residents bearing all associated costs; increased traffic, congestion in local schools, etc., even though it may provide a touted tax benefit to a community as a whole.

It is their reasonable expectation that completion of Bethany Home Road not be used as the rationale for approval of draconian StoneHaven changes.

I speak for this and countless neighborhoods in Glendale that have tried to fend off unwanted development only to have their voices overridden by special interests; like this one with ample funds to erect costly billboards, but with no ties to the area.

This is not NIMBY. The first version of StoneHaven was an approved project with little pushback. I direct you to my recent blog post, called Upgrade Glendale, at www.joyceclarkunfiltered.com, where I make a case for not “settling” here, or in any other location in Glendale.

Lastly, I speak for all of the neighborhood voices that simply ask that Glendale’s elected officials listen to them and support them, rather than the outside moneyed interests who call this a beneficial economic development.

On June 27, who will your councilmembers speak for?