Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

A red alert for all property owners! Senator Steve Kaiser (R), representing District 2, has been a busy guy since he was newly elected to the Arizona Senate and assumed office in January of 2023. From the many bills he has sponsored, his candidacy almost appears to be a “switch and bait.” Despite running as a Republican, many of his sponsored bills would make Democrats giddy.

One of the bills he introduced focuses on affordable housing. It should be noted that he received large contributions from many players in the housing industry including the Arizona Multifamily Association.  As a side note, interestingly he also received a $4,000 campaign contribution from the Alex Meruelo Living Trust. The very same Meruelo of the current Tempe/Coyotes fray about building an arena in Tempe.

There are three housing bills currently before the Arizona Legislature, HB2536, SB1161 and SB1163. Glendale and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns have been meeting regularly to evaluate the many housing proposals that aim to take away local control and community involvement when determining housing policy at the municipal level. Currently, all these bills, HB2536, SB1161 & SB1163 are on hold while negotiations continue. The latest I have heard, all of these bills may be morphed into one bill with some of the most onerous requirements having been deleted.

Shades of the Biden administration’s Federal Affordable Housing Act. Many of the requirements in these bills mirror federal legislation. The one fact that the bills’ sponsors continue to ignore is that not one of these bills guarantee to make housing more affordable.

Some of the worst provisions include:

Allow the placement of one accessory dwelling unit on a single-family residentially zoned lot. A municipality may condition approval of the accessory dwelling unit on compliance with local codes and permit requirements.”

‘Land splits’ means the division of improved or unimproved land whose area is two and one-half acres or less into two or three tracts or parcels of land for the purpose of sale or lease.

  1. Not later than July 1, 2024, a municipality with a population of more than seventy-five thousand persons shall demonstrate at least three of the following strategies to incentivize permanent affordable housing:
  2. Allowing the construction of a single-family residence on a residential lot of six thousand square fee or less with reduced setbacks if the lot is dedicated to permanent affordable housing.
  3. Offering higher residential density for a proposed residential housing development that is located on a residential lot within one-quarter mile of commercial and mixed-use zoning districts or designated major investment corridors, but only if the lot is dedicated to permanent affordable housing and the proposed residential housing development complies with all other development standards of the municipality.
  4. Maintaining zoning districts that allow for single-room occupancy in existing residential housing developments.
  5. Allow municipal property that is eligible for development to be used to meet the critical housing needs of the community, which may include:

             (a) homeless shelters.

             (b) transitional housing.

             (c) supportive housing.

             (d) veteran housing.

              (e) affordable housing.

  1. Allowing the use of modular homes or prefabricated homes in a single-family residential zoning district subject to the development standards of the zoning district.
  2. Allowing duplexes and triplexes in a single-family residential zoning district subject to the development standards of the municipality.
  3. Facilitating the rehabilitation of property into permanent affordable housing or using a voluntary deed restriction program to maintain and sustain permanent affordable housing.”

According to these proposed provisions, you could build a second dwelling unit on a six thousand square foot lot and believe me, Glendale has a tremendous number of them, as does nearly every city in the Valley. It seems as long as it’s labeled as affordable housing, the property owner will be able to do whatever he or she wants. For example, there are many, many lots in the newly built Stonehaven that would be qualified to build a second residential unit. Instead of 1,365 homes, there could be 2,000 or more. That’s absolutely crazy.

Slowly but surely, ‘feel good’ legislation has the potential to destroy your property values and quality of life.”

© Joyce Clark, 2023     


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.