On September 15, 2016 I received a Notice of Neighborhood Meeting for a Minor General Plan Amendment and Rezoning of a property located in the Yucca district from the law office of David Cisiewski  representing Los Olivos Office Partners, LLC., a Delaware corporation. This is slightly curious. Los Olivos Office Partners is a Delaware corporation that was registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission by yet another law firm who is their agent in Arizona. So who are the principals of Los Olivos? Local people? People out-of-state? A foreign firm?

 They are proposing a subdivision called “Orangewood Terrace.” The property’s location is south of Orangewood Avenue and just east of the West Glenn residential subdivision and just west of 79th Lane. Los Olivos is seeking: 1. a Minor General Plan Amendment to change the General Plan designation from Low Density Residential (LDR, 1-2.5 homes to the acre) to Medium Density Residential (MDR, 2.5 to 3.5 homes to the acre); 2. to rezone the property from R1-10 (10,000 square foot lots) to R1-8 (8,000 square foot lots); and 3. a Preliminary Plat for 55 single family homes.

What’s not to like? 8,000 square foot lots…great. Not so fast. In 2008 the city deliberately planned this property for 10,000 square foot lots with a definite purpose in mind. The property was to act as a buffer between West Glen Estates (a subdivision of 8,000 square foot lots, R1-8) located at the southeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Orangewood Avenue and 79th Lane on the south side of Orangewood Avenue which has about 30 large lot (17,000 square foot lot, SR-17) homes. All of the properties on the north side of Orangewood Avenue directly across from this proposed subdivision are SR-17 residences.

The property in question should remain as a 10,000 SF lot subdivision in order to preserve and to maintain the property values of the residents of West Glen Estates and the residents of 79th Lane. The only conceivable reason to reduce the size of the lots to 8,000 SF is to maximize the profit to be derived by Los Olivos Office Partners. That is not the city’s mission or purpose. Its purpose is to protect the interests of its residents, not developers.

I encourage the residents on the north side of Orangewood Avenue as well as the residents of West Glen Estates and 79th Lane to attend the Neighborhood Meeting:

October 3, 2016

6:00 PM

Hampton Inn & Suite Glendale-Westgate

6630 N. 95th Avenue

Glendale, AZ 85305

Now, chickens…

The next scheduled city meetings are: November 1, 2016 – Second City Council Workshop on the proposed Zoning Text Amendment and November 22, 2016 – City Council Public Hearing on the proposed Zoning Text Amendment.

The Zoning Text Amendment being considered would allow the keeping of contained hen chickens (only) in single family-zoned areas with a zoning district of A-1, RR-90, RR-45, SR-30, SR-17, SR-12, R1-10, R1-8, R1-6 and R1-4. However, per city code chickens are already allowed in these residential zoning districts: A-1, RR-90 (90,000 SF lots), RR-45 (45,000 SF lots), SR-30 (30,000 SF lots), SR-17 (17,000 SF lots) and SR-12 (12,000 SF lots). The text amendment would allow these 4 additional residential districts to have chickens: R1-10 (10,000 SF lots), R1-8 (8,000 SF lots), R1-6 (6,000 SF lots) and R1-4 (4,000 SF lots).

Chicken proponents have cited that other Valley cities allow them. Yes, they do but nearly all cities have restrictions.  Let’s look at Phoenix, the big dog in the Valley. In Chapter 8-7 it states, (a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, it is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep rodents or poultry within the City. No poultry or rodents shall be kept in an enclosure within eighty feet of any residence within the City. Poultry may be kept within eighty feet of a residence if written permission consenting to the keeping of poultry less than eighty feet from a residence is first obtained from each lawful occupant and each lawful owner of such residence. Poultry shall not be kept in the front yard area of any lot or parcel within the City. Poultry and rodents shall be kept in an enclosure so constructed as to prevent such poultry and rodents from wandering upon property belonging to others.

(b)    No more than twenty head of poultry nor more than twenty-five head of rodents nor more than twenty-five head comprising a combination of rodents and poultry shall be kept upon the first one-half acre or less. An additional one-half acre shall be required for each additional twenty head of poultry or for each additional twenty-five head of rodents or for each additional twenty-five head comprising a combination of poultry and rodents. For areas larger than two and one-half acres the number of poultry or rodents shall not be limited.” Their code goes on to say in Section 8-10, “(a)    Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal, as defined in section 8-1 of this chapter, within the City on any lot or parcel of land consisting of less than ten thousand square feet in area.

(b)    Poultry may be kept on a lot or parcel of land within the City consisting of an area less than ten thousand square feet if written permission consenting to the keeping of poultry on such lot or parcel is first obtained from all of the lawful occupants and the lawful owners of adjoining lots or parcels of land, as defined in section 8-1, which are located in the immediate vicinity of the property whereon the poultry is kept. In summary, the restrictions are that a resident may have up to 25 chickens, 80 feet away from any residence and if the homeowner’s lot is less than 10,000 SF permission must be obtained from all adjacent property owners.

Let’s look at Mesa. In Mesa, a resident can have 10 chickens on the first one-half acre or less provided any enclosure is at least 40 feet from any neighboring residence, any coop is at least 75 feet from any other residence.” Tempe allows, “5 hens and if the enclosure or coop is 200 sq ft or less AND 8′ or less tall, it must meet building code separation requirements (safety issues) and cannot be in the front yard setback; if either more than 200 sq ft OR 8′ height, it must meet all setbacks for the district.” Similar to Tempe, Gilbert will allow up to 5 chickens on the smallest lots size of 6,000 SF. Chandler and Scottsdale do not allow chickens on small, residential lots.

Some people would have you believe that Valley cities allow chickens carte blanche. That is not the case. I would urge all councilmembers to do their homework and to study exactly what other cities allow and do not allow. It is a no-brainer to realize that allowing chickens, if that is the majority position, must occur with restrictions. Let’s see what kind of restrictions city staff comes up on November 1, 2016 when it makes another presentation before city council. Will they have done their homework?

This remains a divisive issue. I am posting one of my informal polls to the left of this column to give my readers a chance to weigh in on the issue. Blog readers on both sides of this issue have offered reasoned comments. I urge you to take a moment to read them as you make up your mind on this issue.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        


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