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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

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.

As of this date Planning Staff has not informed me about the future plans of Mr. Froke’s project for 70 town houses on 5 acres zoned for Low Density Residential on the west side of 83rd Avenue. That is because there have been meetings between Mr. Froke and the Planning Department but no finalization of any plan. As you may recall, it was tabled by the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on April 28, 2002, with the applicant to decide when it will be reheard by the P&Z.

Recently I received an email from an old friend. This person lived in Glendale for 40 years and was extremely active in the community, having also served on many boards and commissions. This person read my previous blog on the Planning Commission meeting of April 28, 2022. The comments in the email really highlight one of the prime directives of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z): “I have just skimmed over the report you made of the planning commission’s meeting to address the 83rd Avenue proposal.  I completely agree with you that this is totally out of bounds.  While I didn’t read the whole transcript, I did enough to know that the commission members seem to have had no training on what their duties are. They are to uphold the general plan.  The people have voted on the general plan, and no one or two people are competent enough or have the authority to overturn the public’s desires.  The property owner cannot do whatever he/she wants with their property; they must be held to the zoning regulations and the general plan.”

What is a General Plan? The city states, “A General Plan provides vision and policies that determine how a city will grow and develop in the future. The City of Glendale’s General Plan is a long-range comprehensive plan that guides development in the City by addressing various elements such as land use, housing, growth areas, urban design, military and aviation, open space, circulation, fiscal public health, environmental planning, energy, etc.”

Arizona State Statues requires municipalities to adopt, update, and readopt their General Plans every ten years. The Glendale City Council adopted an updated General Plan on April 26, 2016 and it was approved by Glendale voters on August 30, 2016. It is called Envision Glendale 2040.

Envision Glendale 2040 states, “The General Plan is designed as a policy and reference document to guide future development, projects, and programs.  It is used to determine how and where growth should occur, ways to wisely invest capital improvements, and techniques for enhancing and sustaining Glendale’s quality of life. Using a holistic approach, this plan looks to achieve a citizens’ directive for moderate, well‐managed growth.”  It also states, “Locational placements for private and/or public development investment are coordinated on the Land Use Map.  It is not a zoning map, but it does reflect the types and intensities of current land uses as well as intended development massing with which future zoning decisions are expected to be consistent.”

The Plan offers guidance on General Plan Amendments, and I found this provision very interesting: A Major General Plan Amendment can be applicable for less than 20 acres when,

“The Planning Director may determine an amendment as “major” if it is less than the minimum areas (20 acres) in the above table but: 1) the infrastructure demands are not offset by private investment or privately‐constructed extensions or expansions to publicly‐provided systems: and/or 2) the change has a substantial impact on the neighborhood or on furthering the goals of the General Plan.”

When you look at item 2, “the change has a substantial impact on the neighborhood…” It seems that going from 1 to 2.5 units to an acre to 20 units to an acre within a specific area general planned as low density residential, would certainly have a substantial impact on the neighborhood and should have been considered a Major General Plan Amendment.

Major General Plan Amendments are more complicated and can only be considered by the city at two specific times per year. However, I wonder why this request was not considered by the city as a Major General Plan Amendment?

Perhaps the P&Z Commissioners need a refresher course on their duties and responsibilities. They should be reminded that it is their responsibility to uphold the General Plan…you know, that document approved by Glendale’s voters. Any request for a change must be made by the applicant showing that it offers no “substantial impact on the neighborhood.” Mr. Froke took every opportunity to avoid the issue of density and never made the case.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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.

This is another blog that is overdue. This topic is of special interest to me for many reasons. One of which occurred recently. On April 28, 2022, the Planning Commission took up GPA 22-01 and ZON 22-01. Well, what’s that? Mr. Jon Froke, representing the property owners, Dorothy Keith and Teresa Zaddack, for 5.3 acres located at 5136 N. 83rd Avenue in Glendale was seeking high density multifamily zoning.

Before I relate the events of that evening, it’s important to understand what zoning is and why it is important to a community. Zoning has been used by cities large and small, throughout the country since the 1930’s, nearly 100 years.

The purpose of zoning is to create a city plan that develops a balanced city. Zoning is how the local government regulates and develops land within its control. Zoning helps protect the local environment and keep property values stable. It is broken down into multiple categories to help balance a city to ensure proper land use and to provide value to citizens that own property.

Every city has multiple zoning categories, from residential to commercial to industrial to multifamily, to name a few. Usually, there are more zoning categories than you have fingers. Within each zoning category there are regulations and guidelines for the benefit of the property owner so that person knows exactly what is required.

By legal right a property owner can develop that property as it is currently zoned. For example, a property that is currently zoned for commercial can be developed as commercial after the property owner has had the plans approved. Approval would be required, among other standards, to ensure proper setbacks (distance) from a street and surrounding structures. That is not the only requirement. Usually, there is a list of items.

A property owner does not have the legal right to develop the property in a different zoning category without first presenting the plan to the Planning Department and seeking the approval of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council.

This is important: by legal right a property owner can develop property within the zoning category identified for the property. There is no legal right for a property owner to develop outside of that identified zoning category. The property owner is legally required to seek approval from the city for any change in zoning. It is up to the property owner to make the case that a change in zoning is not detrimental to the city or surrounding property owners. Only if the case is made will the property owner be granted the right, by the city, to develop in a different zoning category.

That brings us to the night of April 28th and the hearing held for the property at 5136 N. 83rd Avenue. This segment, about an hour and a half, was a clown show. Once again, the Planning Commission (P&Z) demonstrated that it doesn’t understand its role as a citizen advisory body.

I took the time to transcribe this portion of the P&Z meeting. I reviewed it for accuracy and to remove typos, but I am sure that I missed some typos. So, please forgive them. I am providing the link here: Transcript Planning Commission Ap 28 2022

Before I comment on the meeting, let me explain exactly what Mr. Froke was requesting. a minor amendment to the Glendale General Plan from LDR-2.5 (Low Density Residential – 2.5 units/acre) to HDR-20 (High Density Residential – 20 units/acre); and for a rezoning from SR-17 (Suburban Residential 17,000 square foot minimum lot size) to R-3 (Multiple Family Residential) for 5.03 acres.

Some context is required. There are only two areas within Glendale that have large swaths of land zoned as SR-17 (Suburban residential, lot size of 17,000 square feet). One is comprised of 500+ acres south of Union Hills and around 67th. This land has already been developed at 1 to 4 lots to the acre. Those lots appear to be around 4 homes to the acre with lot sizes in the 8,000 to 10,000 SF range. Was the development a deviation from the SR-17 zoning? Yes, but it was decided to be appropriate as it was single family residential to another single family residential category with a reasonable modification as to the lot sizes (or density). It appears as if the lot sizes went from 17,000 SF down to 8,000 SF, a jump in density by 2 zoning categories. The applicant(s) made their case that rezoning would not be detrimental to the city or surrounding neighborhoods.

The other large swath, about 200 acres, is along 83rd from Glendale to Northern. Much of the land has already been developed as single family residential on large lots. The property in question is within this sea of large lot development along 83rd and the applicant is requesting to go from single family residential to multifamily residential by placing 20 units to the acre. The applicant is seeking a jump in density by 6 zoning categories from SR-17; SR-12; R 1-10; R 1-8; R 1-6; R 1-4; R 2 to R3. That, in and of itself is excessive.

There were several things about this particular P&Z agenda item that were concerning and by reading the transcript, I think you will agree. The first was the P&Z philosophy seems to be that by right, the property owner should be granted the right to rezone the property to any zoning category and P&Z was there to ensure that it happened. Not so. The applicant comes before the P&Z to make the case that it should receive greater, more dense zoning. In my estimation, the applicant did not make the case. Mr. Froke said this property would be a transition between the commercial development to its immediate south and the large lot, single family residential to its immediate north. However, across the street there is commercial directly to the south of and abutting large, single family lots of an acre or more (where our Mayor lives). It has been like this for 20 years or more and there have been no issues between the commercial and the large lot residences.

Another area of concern was the belief of Chairperson Vernon Crow that it is the responsibility of the P&Z to facilitate consensus in allowing this type of development at that location and to do so, to broker a meeting between the applicant and the surrounding neighborhoods. That is not the role of nor the responsibility of the P&Z.

Yet another area of concern was Commissioner Tom Cole’s request that the Planning Department has an obligation to provide both sides of the request. Excuse me, the Planning Department’s obligation is to present the facts of the application and to present the facts regarding its recommendation. In this case, it was a recommendation of denial. It did that and is under no obligation to present the case for the applicant. That is the applicant’s responsibility.

I believe Commissioner Gary Hirsch was out of order. As the Interim Planning Director, Tabitha Perry, was summarizing the reasons for the department’s recommendation of denial, Commissioner Hirsch interrupted her and accused her of “selling” the recommendation of denial. He was rude and his comments were inappropriate.

I also was not impressed by the city’s senior planner, George Gehlert. His job was the present the facts and to support the department’s recommendation of denial. In my estimation, he failed to do so.

What was the result? The first motion, made by Commissioner Hirsch was for approval and failed for lack of a second. The second motion, made by Commissioner Nowakowski was for denial and failed due to a tie vote with Commissioners John Crow (no relation to Vernon Crow), Martin Nowakowski and John Guers supporting denial and Commissioners Vernon Crow, Tom Cole and Gary Hirsh not supporting denial. The final motion, made by Commissioner John Crow, was to table with the applicant deciding when it would be brought back before the Commission. All Commissioners supported the motion except for Commissioner Gary Hirsch.

My greatest concern is that if approved, this decision becomes precedent setting for the entire city. It opens the door to any large lot, residential property owner within all of Glendale to seek similar zoning. There are many single family, large lot properties throughout Glendale that would then have the potential to develop a property as dense, multifamily. If this action is approved, it is going to be extremely difficult to deny a similar zoning request to any other large lot property owner.

It makes the city’s zoning plan irrelevant. Why would a zoning plan be needed if the intent is to ignore it? It creates the ‘Wild West’ in development of the city. If current zoning is to be ignored then there is no rationale to adhere to it or keep it.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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.

The good news for Glendale just keeps coming and I wanted to share the news with you. On Friday, March 18th, the Mayor, I and city councilmembers welcomed Senator Mark Kelly to our Oasis Water Treatment Plant to recognize and thank him for his successes in acquiring federal funding for Glendale-specific projects. He lobbied and secured $2 million in federal funding for the city’s water interconnect project which will provide water from Peoria and Phoenix should there be an emergency and we have to shut down the Pyramid Peak Water Treatment Plant.

Senator Kelly was also successful in securing $710,000 in federal funding to replace Glendale’s 20+ years old, public safety mobile command center. Thank you, Senator Kelly. Each of these is a critical project for Glendale and we are pleased that each of these projects can now be realized.

Two more blockbuster developments are coming to Glendale’s “New Frontier” in the area of the Loop 303. On March 9th, Nestle announced that it would invest $675 million to build a manufacturing facility expected to open in 2024. It will create over 350 jobs, primarily for Glendale residents, with salaries that begin at $60,000 using professional staff, production and manufacturing leaders, technical staff, engineers and more.

Today, March 23rd, Williams-Sonoma, the world’s largest digital-first, design-led and sustainable home furnishings retailer announced it has leased 1.25 million SF facility to be developed as manufacturing at The Cubes in Glendale. This facility is also in the “New Frontier.” It is expected to open in the fall of 2022 and will create over 2,400 jobs by 2027 at an average salary of $50,000.

All of this once again, signals Glendale’s tremendous growth and showcases our ideal location for national and international businesses. Think about some of the facilities that are already in Glendale with Red Bull, White Claw and Rausch in the “New Frontier.” Add the soon-to-be-open Crystal Lagoon Island Resort, Pop Stroke and Chicken ‘n’ Pickle joining the Gila River Arena, State Farm Stadium and Camelback Ranch in the Westgate/Zanjero area. Next year Glendale will host the Super Bowl followed by the NCAA Final Four. Then add national companies, such as Humana and Bechtel to our lineup. The recent locates of several luxury car dealerships, such as BMW and the Tesla Service Center are part of Glendale’s line up. Last, but certainly not the least, Glendale is the proud home of Luke Air Force base, a training center for the F-35 fighter jet.

Nearly 4,000 residential units, both single family and multifamily, will be completed this year or next adding over 13,000 new residents in the Yucca district alone. All of Glendale’s districts – Cholla, Sahuaro, Barrell, Cactus and Ocotillo – are welcoming new developments as well.

If you are not impressed, you should be. Glendale has come of age with the impressive Bell Road Corridor of retail as well as the equally impressive Westgate/Zanjero entertainment and retail district and the explosion of manufacturing and distribution development in the “New Frontier” at the Loop 303. Cities, to remain healthy, must grow or they die. Glendale has no intention of dying.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

 

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.

In my last blog I shared a proposed development project along 83rd Avenue where 70 rental town houses are proposed surrounded by Suburban Residential (SR-17), large lot properties. It is simply a bad proposal and needs to be rejected.

Here’s another further update on 83rd Avenue, at the southeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Glendale Avenue. The same Jon Froke who is representing the property owners asking for the 70 town houses was initially involved with this parcel as well. In fact, he was successful in getting this parcel zoned Planned Area Development (PAD).

The current proposed plan for this southeast corner is seeking yet another multifamily apartment complex and a Quik Trip gas station. There are many things wrong with this proposal but the most disturbing is the Quik Trip.

There is some history regarding the intersection of 83rd and Glendale. Mr. Sam Senato owns the property at the northwest corner. To date, he has refused to sell. Currently there is a vacant bar, Ella’s, on that corner. There is also a food truck that seems to have taken up permanent residence and has installed a permanent canopy for its patrons. I asked our Code Department to investigate this situation and apparently Mr. Senato has given the food truck operator his permission to conduct their business on his property. By the way, Mr. Senato is an absentee landlord. Apparently, as long as they have Mr. Senato’s permission, they can operate there.

On the southwest corner is a Walgreen’s and a Circle K convenience store/gas station. On the northeast corner there is an abandoned Texaco station that has been that way for over 15 years. I, and many residents, were relieved when we learned that a 7-11 was acquiring this site. I met with representatives of the prospective owners and reviewed their plans and it seemed everything was good to go.

Then, everything fell apart and the site is once again for sale. What caused 7-11 to leave? The property owner of the southeast corner has proposed a Quik Trip on their site along with a multifamily complex. When 7-11 learned of the Quik Trip, they abandoned their plan to develop the site.

The city should not accept a new gas station, Quik Trip, when there is a gas station site, vacant for 15 years that should be developed. If that Quik Trip is allowed to proceed, it will guarantee that the abandoned Texaco site will remain the ugly eyesore it is for another 15 years. Am I the only one that believes this to be short sighted and dumb?

I have noted of late that there is a stampede to build not only more gas stations but car washes as well. We do not need a gas station and car wash on every corner of our city. I have asked our City Attorney to suggest a way that I can propose a 6-month moratorium of both uses. I believe this is an issue our City Council should address by the development of new guidelines regulating the development of both types of uses within our city. I do not know if I will be successful but I want to give it a try.

I am hosting a meeting on Monday, March 7th at 6PM at the northernmost ramada adjoining Heroes Lake at 83rd and Bethany. If you live anywhere in this area, please plan to attend. We will be discussing both the 70 town houses and the Quik Trip. It is time for you to voice your objections to both of these ill-advised proposals. Please join me that evening.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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.

There is a 4.58 acre property located at 5136 N. 83rd Avenue. For years the family raised Mastiffs. The parents are elderly now and the daughter is selling the property. So far, that sounds OK and it is but not at the expense of their neighbors and the surrounding area.

Jon Froke was the city’s planning director for many years and back in the day, he assisted in

Georgia Avenue

preserving the 83rd Avenue corridor for large, residential lot development. Now, he owns Froke Urban Planning, LLC. and is representing the property owners of this acreage. Apparently, preserving the 83rd Ave. corridor for large lot development is no longer on his agenda. This is the only area in west Glendale where prospective owners can find lots that are 8,000 SF, 10,000 SF, a half-acre, an acre or even larger.

Mr. Froke, representing the property owners, is seeking a General Plan Amendment from Low Density Residential (LDR2.5) to High Density Residential 20 (HDR 20, 20 units to the acre) and a Rezoning from Suburban Residence (SR-17) to Multifamily Residence (R-3). At the nationally recognized average 2.3 persons per unit that adds another 161 residents. In terms of traffic that could add about 300 trips (coming and going) per day. It will certainly impact traffic in this area.

It should also be noted that these large  residential properties are selling for a minimum of $600,000 to over a million dollars. Many of these properties are irrigated and the SRP yearly cost to water many of them is $200.00. Almost all have horse privileges.

This proposed development is not compatible with the surrounding area. The only necessary buffer is an 8 Ft. wall on the south side of the 4.5 acre property with heavy landscaping.

Montebello Ave

On both the northeast corner and the northwest corner of 83rd Ave. and Camelback Road there is commercial. On the northeast corner there is a small commercial center that includes a convenience store/gas station and an Arby’s, among others. On the northwest corner is Dignity Emergency Center and an EOS Fitness Center. The property owner and Mr. Froke claim the 70 town houses will be a buffer for the existent large lot properties to the north and west of this property. But wait a minute, there is no buffer between the commercial on the northeast corner and the acre properties abutting to the north side and east side of the commercial parcel. They have co-existed for 20 years or better without an issue.

So the claim that the 70 town houses are needed as a buffer for adjacent large properties to the north and west is not historically supported by existent development.

To give you a sense of what the area contains here is a map of the area:

As you can see there is a sea of green (SR-17) surrounding both commercial corners. The yellow portions are R 1-8 (8,000 SF lots); the cream portions are R 1-10 (10,000 SF lots). The gold portions are around 75th Avenue and are typical R 1-6 (6,000 SF lots). The red, purple and light blue portions on the corners of 83rd Avenue and Camelback Road are General Office, Commercial or Planned Area Development (PAD) and are lighter commercial.

If you live in this area, along 83rd Avenue, please check my Facebook page, Joyce Clark, as I

Missouri Estates

plan to call a meeting in the very near future of any residents who oppose this high density proposal. Action will be required by citizens to let the Planning Commission and the Mayor and City Council know that this is not compatible with the residential properties in this area.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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.

Tuesday afternoon, February 8, 2022, I received word that HB 2476 had been pulled from consideration by the House Commerce Committee by one of its sponsors, Representative Cesar Chavez. I think it is safe to say the bill is dead and buried.

I want to thank all who responded by emailing or calling Representatives. You did you job and your actions worked. This was an example of true democracy working. Again, thanks to all who made their voice heard.

Here is Representative Chavez’ press release on the matter:

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.

If you remember I authored several blogs on the Biden administration’s efforts to mandate more affordable housing throughout the country. I said that the Feds under the Biden Administration have espoused major zoning changes encouraging more dense housing and the construction of more affordable apartments complexes everywhere. A bill currently before the Arizona State Legislature is HB 2674 Municipal Zoning: By Right Housing is designed to accomplish these objectives and I guarantee you won’t like it, if it is passed. I will summarize the worst parts of this bill but if you want to read it, please go to this link: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/2R/bills/hb2674p.pdf .

Cities and towns have always had their own local building requirements. In Glendale, a developer must submit an application and is required to meet all of Glendale’s General Plan requirements as well as to hold at least one neighborhood meeting. The proposed residential project must receive approval from our Planning Commission and City Council. It then must go through final design review and receive approval from our city’s Development Department to ensure that it meets Glendale’s specific standards including design elements, the height, the density of the project and specific, mandated setbacks. The city’s General Plan is its blueprint for where our community wants to see different kinds of residential and commercial development.

All of this will be gone…legislatively, in one single bill introduced this week at the legislature. This bill removes ALL authority from cities and towns to regulate and direct where single family and multifamily residential can be placed in our city.

I am listing some of the worst provisions of this bill.

“L. IN EXERCISING ITS DELEGATED LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY, A MUNICIPALITY SHALL ENSURE THAT IT PROVIDES AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF HOUSING THROUGHOUT THE MUNICIPALITY BY COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 9-462.09.” In other words, an adequate supply of housing (which is very subjective) in real speak means affordable housing.

The bill goes on to say, “HOUSING SUPPLY AND AFFORDABILITY ARE MATTERS OF STATEWIDE CONCERN. ALL LOCAL LAWS, ORDINANCES AND CHARTER PROVISIONS THAT ARE CONTRARY TO, INCONSISTENT WITH OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THIS SECTION ARE PREEMPTED, AND A MUNICIPALITY MAY NOT BY LAW, ORDINANCE OR CHARTER PROVISION REGULATE, RESTRICT OR LIMIT RESIDENTIAL ZONING, RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION OR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS…” This means all cities’ laws more restrictive than what is in this bill are preempted by the state legislature and cannot be used.

“NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, INCLUDING ANY ORDINANCE OR CHARTER PROVISION, ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2023, A MUNICIPALITY SHALL ALLOW THE FOLLOWING BY RIGHT:

  1. ON ANY LAND LOCATED IN ANY EXISTING AGRICULTURAL OR SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT OR ON ANY LAND DESIGNATED BY THE MUNICIPALITY’S MOST RECENT GENERAL PLAN AS SUPPORTING SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLINGS, THE CONSTRUCTION OF EIGHT SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING UNITS PER ACRE OR TWELVE TWO-FAMILY DWELLING UNITS PER ACRE.” For example, I live on a street of 30 custom built homes, each on an irrigated acre. Under this bill my neighbor could sell his land to a developer that could put 8 single family homes or 12 two-family units on that acre. Is there a vacant parcel of land that is an acre or more in your neighborhood? That land could have the same fate. There goes your property values.

“2. IN ANY EXISTING AGRICULTURAL OR MULTIFAMILY RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT OR ANY LAND DESIGNATED BY THE MUNICIPALITY’S MOST RECENT GENERAL PLAN AS SUPPORTING MULTIFAMILY CONSTRUCTION, THE CONSTRUCTION OF MULTIFAMILY DWELLING UNITS WITH THE FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS:

      (a) THE GREATER OF THE HIGHEST ALLOWED HEIGHT FOR THE SITE OF THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, THE HIGHEST ALLOWED HEIGHT FOR A COMMERCIAL OR RESIDENTIAL USE WITHIN ONE MILE OF THE SITE OF THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT OR FIFTY-FIVE FEET. IF THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IS LOCATED WITHIN ONE-HALF MILE OF A RAIL STOP, BUS STOP, FREEWAY OR MAJOR ARTERIAL ROADWAY, THE MAXIMUM HEIGHT LIMITATION MAY NOT BE LESS THAN SEVENTY-FIVE FEET.

     (b) THE DENSITY LIMIT APPLICABLE TO THE MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT SHALL BE THE GREATEST ALLOWED DENSITY FOR A MIXED USE OR RESIDENTIAL USE WITHIN ONE MILE OF THE SITE OF THE MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT, OR, IF THERE IS NOT A MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT WITHIN ONE MILE OF THE SITE, THE NEAREST MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT.

     (c) THE MUNICIPALITY MAY NOT REQUIRE A GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT, USE PERMIT OR REVIEW BY A BOARD OR COMMISSION FOR AN APPLICANT TO CONSTRUCT BY RIGHT HOUSING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.” To add insult to injury, these dense apartment units can be 55’ or 75’ feet tall. Most homes are 30’ feet in height or less. A city will no longer have the right to regulate height or density. Projects will be exempt from review by the Planning Commission.

“A. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, A MUNICIPALITY MAY NOT ADOPT OR ENFORCE ANY ORDINANCE, CODE, STANDARD, REGULATION, GUIDELINE, AGREEMENT, STIPULATION OR OTHER LEGAL REQUIREMENT, INCLUDING A ZONING ORDINANCE ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 9-462.01, RELATED TO OR REGULATING RESIDENTIAL HOUSING DESIGN ELEMENTS. A MUNICIPALITY MAY NOT WITHHOLD A BUILDING PERMIT OR OTHER APPROVAL NECESSARY AS A CONDITION OF CONSTRUCTING RESIDENTIAL HOUSING FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY ORDINANCE, CODE, STANDARD, REGULATION, GUIDELINE, STIPULATION OR OTHER LEGAL REQUIREMENT, INCLUDING A ZONING ORDINANCE ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 9-462.01, RELATED TO OR REGULATING RESIDENTIAL HOUSING DESIGN ELEMENTS.” This provision prevents a city from imposing any kind of design standard on these multifamily complexes. It mandates that a city cannot withhold approval or stop such a project.

There is more but I think you get the idea. This bill would be disastrous for every community within the State of Arizona. Just imagine a 55’ to 75” tall apartment complex with 5 feet between it and another property, along with no design regulations…in Strawberry, Prescott, or Paradise Valley.

What can we do about it? KILL THE BILL. This bill, if passed, will do irreparable harm to your city.I beg you to contact your state legislators and let them know you do not support this bill. Numbers do work. If a lot of constituents (you) email Representatives, they have no choice but to listen. I am providing a list of Glendale’s legislators in the House of Representatives because that it where the bill was introduced. Let them know by using their email addresses, in no uncertain terms that you do not support HB 2674. Here is the list for Glendale:

If you do not live in Glendale, here is the link to the entire list of Arizona state legislators and their email addresses: https://www.azleg.gov/memberroster/ .This bill is a disaster for every single community in the state. We must, in no uncertain terms, let our legislators know that we do not want or support this intrusive bill.

© Joyce Clark, 2022      

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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.

There’s a saying, “As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation.” Let’s hope California’s influence has waned and this is no longer true.

The American Dream is under assault across the country, but nowhere is it more evident than in California where social justice activists and Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom are invading single-family home neighborhoods with plans to replace them with multi-unit properties. Expect to see similar action occurring in many other blue states as they rush to fulfill the Biden mandate to build more affordable, multi-family housing.

Recently Governor Gavin Newson signed Senate Bill 9. S.B. 9 effectively ended single-family zoning in a state with a population of 40 million. The bill legalizes duplexes statewide and allows people to subdivide single-family lots. California’s cities have lost the power to prevent the building of backyard units. Within the bill, state legislators mandated the reduction of development fees, requires cities to issue permits within a few weeks, and prohibits the requirement of dedicated parking spots.

In San Diego, its city council allowed bonuses for up to 6 units per lot no matter the lot size if some of the new multi-family units are dedicated to low to moderate income households. As a result of S.B 9 and expanded laws in many counties, slightly over ten percent of the state’s new housing (about 13,000 permits) consisting of multi-family units are being built in backyards throughout the state. In Southern California, four-unit multi-family buildings are surging in backyards. One can drive down a street and see a cute little bungalow with a 4-unit apartment complex in its backyard.

There are, of course, unintended consequences. Single family properties are becoming even more unaffordable for purchase by the average homeowner. By allowing these small apartment complexes in backyards, the value of single-family properties has sky rocketed and what was once marginally affordable is now completely unaffordable. Instead, developers are buying up single family lots and adding apartment complexes on the lots.

Add to the mix the plethora of Anti-Discrimination laws in the state. A developer who purchased a single-family lot and then added a 4-unit multi-family apartment complex is, in essence, an absentee landlord. Their reputation proceeds them as they do not care about the quality of the tenancy as long as the rent is paid (by somebody…the state? The feds?). The propensity to increase crime in the neighborhood is always a looming possibility.

Make no mistake. Biden’s ultimate goal is to urbanize the suburbs resulting in all of the things people originally moved away from. The American Dream of a home with a backyard in which the kids can play and the opportunity to become part of a small community is under threat of disappearing. America, as we have always known it and loved it, is slowly being taken away from us.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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.

Glendale’s Planning Commission has always been one of the most revered of all of Glendale’s volunteer boards and commissions. This commission has gravitas. The professionalism of its citizen volunteers was extraordinary.

While we may not have agreed with all of their recommendations (I certainly haven’t), we respected their decisions. It pains me to offer that people are beginning to say that this commission may be straying into areas outside their mandate.

The purpose of the Planning Commission, per Section 3.102 of the City’s General Code states, The Planning Commission provides analysis and recommendations to The City Council related to the City’s General Plan, for zoning, ordinance amendments, subdivisions, conditional use permits, and other matters affecting land use, and development within the city.” The city’s website says, “To analyze, review and made recommendations to the City Council regarding land use and development related issues. Holds public hearings regarding these issues.”

The public’s general perception is that the Planning Commission hears proposed development proposals and either recommends approval or disapproval to the City Council. Typically, the City Council accepts the Planning Commission’s recommendations but occasionally it doesn’t. In those cases, the City Council may have further exculpatory information or may consider factors that will bear directly on the proposed development.

 

The current Commission members are:

  • Tom Cole representing the Barrell District
  • Vern Crow living in the Sahuaro District and appointed to represent the Cactus District
  • John Crow (not related to Vern Crow) appointed by the Mayor to fill the At-Large position
  • Daniel Heath representing the Sahuaro District
  • Martin Nowakowski representing the Yucca District
  • Edwin Nyberg representing the Cholla District
  • Warren Wilfong representing the Ocotillo District

Hearing concerns about the Planning Commission’s recent performance, I made it a point to watch the Planning Commission meetings of August 5, 2021, and September 2, 2021. For those of you who are unaware, it is quite easy to do. If you go to the city’s website and click on the City Clerk’s page link a menu appears. Click on ‘city council meetings and agendas’. Once there you can pull up just about any city public meeting and click on the video link.

On August 5, 2021, the Planning Commission heard Ambra Residential Minor General Plan Amendment GPA 21-03 and Rezoning Application ZON 21-07. This proposed subdivision is comprised of 45-foot-wide lots. After a period of discussion the proposal was recommended for approval by the Commission. However, some of the Planning Commission members’ comments were questionable.

Commissioner Wilfong characterized those who move into 45-foot-wide lot communities as “transient residents.” He claimed that those who move into these communities do not stay for more than a few years and then move up and away. He suggested that 45-foot-wide lot proposals before the Commission should be “put aside for a while.” Planning Commission Chairperson Vernon Crow stated, “this commission is right on the limit of accepting these very, very small lots.”

Perception is reality and it could be inferred from these Commissioners’ comments that this body would not approve any future developments comprised of 45-foot-wide lots. If that was their intent, it was inappropriate.

At its September 2, 2021, meeting the Planning Commission heard the Hopewell Rezoning Application, ZON 21-16. This proposal is for several industrial buildings in the Loop 303 area. Commissioners discussed everything but the rezoning application. The applicant presented a conceptual plan for the site. It was by no means the final plat as the applicant had not gone through plan review with the Development Department.

They questioned the number of driveways exiting to Alsup Road. They wanted to see the city’s Transportation Department’s and MDOT’s traffic studies. They wanted to see the applicant’s plan for stormwater retention. They wanted to see the height clearance letter from LAFB. None of these items were germane to the applicant’s rezoning request. They were advised by the Interim Planning Director Tabitha Perry that all these issues would be handled during the plan review process and that the conceptual plan presented was not the final plat.

Still not satisfied, Commissioner Nyberg motioned to table the Rezoning Application until October 7, 2021, while requesting all the material the commissioners discussed (and not relevant to the Rezoning request) be provided to the Commissioners. It passed unanimously.

These recent events led me to recall the Planning Commission’s unanimous recommendation of denial for the Rezoning and Major General Plan Amendment for Glen Lakes. Please note not all the current Commissioners were on the Commission in August 2020. It was their right to recommend denial because they felt the project was too dense.

However, part of their discussion centered on the city’s sale price of the land. Again, it was inappropriate to the deliberation of a rezoning and general plan amendment. It appeared as if some Commissioners, unhappy with the sale price, considered that factor, in part, in making their recommendation to the City Council. By the way, this was one of those rare occasions when a majority of City Council did not accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation and approved the rezoning and general plan amendment.

These situations are indicators of a Planning Commission that may have lost its way. Have its members forgotten, or perhaps do not know, their role and responsibilities or what findings are appropriate to consider in granting approval or disapproval? It may be appropriate to have a refresher workshop to review those items. Let’s hope the ‘powers that be’ host just such a workshop. I want to feel confident about our Planning Commission again.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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

Recently Tucker Carlson had a segment on affordable housing and its impact on Buckhead, Georgia. More about this later in this article. It reminded me of the blog I posted this February about the federal government’s push to create more affordable housing throughout the country.

The Progressives in the Biden administration are working overtime to require more affordable housing everywhere. Under the HOME Act in a strategy to increase affordable housing stock, CDBG grantees, such as Glendale, requires “Each grantee receiving assistance under this title shall—

 ‘‘(A) include in the consolidated plan required under part 91 of title 24, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor thereto) a strategy to support new inclusive zoning policies, programs, or regulatory initiatives that create a more affordable, elastic, and diverse housing supply and thereby increase economic growth and access to jobs and housing;

and‘‘(B) include in the annual performance report submitted under section 91.520 of title 24, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor thereto) the progress and implementation of the strategy…”

Measures to increase the amount of affordable housing include:

  • “Increasing both the percentage and absolute number of affordable units
  • “Authorizing high-density and multifamily zoning
  • “Eliminating off-street parking requirements
  • “Establishment of density bonuses
  • “Streamlining or shortening permitting processes and timelines
  • “Removing height limitations
  • “Establishing by-right development
  • “Using property tax abatements
  • “Relaxing lot size restrictions
  • “Prohibiting source of income discrimination
  • “Taxing vacant land or donating vacant land to nonprofit developers
  • “Allowing accessory dwelling units
  • “Establishing development tax or value capture incentives
  • “Prohibiting landlords from asking prospective tenants for their criminal history
  • “Provide that affordable housing units should, to the maximum extent practicable—be designated as affordable for not less than 30 years; comprise not less than 20 percent of the new housing stock in the community; and be accessible to the population served by the program established under this title”

Let’s take a snapshot of Glendale. There are 82,810 housing units (homes and apartments). Of those, 2,629 are affordable apartments in 25 low income complexes in Glendale. This represents 3% of the current housing stock as affordable and a far cry from the 20% required under the soon-to-be enacted federal HOME Act. Here are the 25 apartment complexes:

  • Vista Alegre

6549 W Maryland Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Income Based 1 BR Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Landmark Senior Housing

8232 N 59th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Income Based 1 BR 62+

  • Brook Creek Apartments

4937 W. Myrtle Avenue Glendale, AZ 85301

Glendale, Arizona

$475-600 1-2 BR

  • Good Shepherd West

6113 N. 60th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Call For Rent Studio BR Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Kachina Place Apartments

6238 N 63rd Avenue

Glendale, Arizona

Call For Rent Studio-1 BR Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Casa Bill Soltero

6001 W Missouri Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Valley of the Sun School 6

5239 W Tonto Rd

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized Accessible Accessible Disabled Supportive Housing

  • Bethany Glen Apartments

4788 W Bethany Home Rd

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized

  • Waymark Gardens

5325 W Butler Dr

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Glencroft Towers

8620 N 65th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Manistee Manor

7987 N 53rd Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • John’s Manor

7229 N 51st Avenue

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • San Remo Apartments

5755 N 59th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Valley of the Sun School 5

4649 W Haywood

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized Accessible Accessible Disabled Supportive Housing

  • Tanner Terrace

7138 N 45th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Subsidized 62+ Accessible Elderly Supportive Housing

  • Palms at Glendale

6112 N 67th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Desert Eagle

6917 N 71st Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Faith House a L a Prospect Park Apartments

8581 N 61st Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Villas Solanas

6755 N 83rd Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Glendale Homes

6617 N 52nd Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • San Martin Apartments

6802 N 67th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Town Square

5136 W Glenn Dr

Glendale, Arizona

  • Glendale Enterprise

6839 N 63rd Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Los Vecinos Housing Development, Inc

7131 N 54th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

  • Shadow Creek II

10854 N 60th Ave

Glendale, Arizona

Ten of these complexes are for elderly housing and two complexes are for disabled housing. Thirteen are non-restrictive subsidized housing. Note that almost all are in the Ocotillo District—an unhealthy situation for that district at best.

Obviously, Glendale as a federal recipient of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Surface Transportation Block Grants (STBG) would be subject to this federal law or become ineligible to receive either of these block grants. Practically, Glendale in its annual report, would have to show that it is using any or all of the measurements listed above to achieve a goal of 20% of its housing units as affordable and that they would remain so for 30 years (for a generation).

How does this situation apply to Buckhead, Georgia? Buckhead, unlike Glendale, is not an incorporated city but rather a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Therefore, it is subject to whatever zoning code amendments are enacted by the Atlanta City Council and its Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms. Much of what is in the federal HOME Act is suggested for use in Buckhead as well as other communities considered to be the suburbs of Atlanta proper.

In March of this year, Atlanta issued a report, Atlanta City Design Housing. It says, “The first step toward making Atlanta a more inclusive place to live should be to end exclusive single-family zoning by allowing an additional dwelling unit in all existing single-family zoned areas in the city.” Other ideas promoted in this report include reducing minimum lot sizes, allowing small apartment buildings in some neighborhoods currently limited to single-family homes, and mandating those wealthy neighborhoods have their per-capita share of ‘affordable housing’.“ Yet other strategies include: creating basement apartments, converting garages, allowing accessory dwelling units on the same lot; elimination of parking minimums for apartments complexes; elimination of low density housing; reduction of minimum lot size requirements; distribute affordable housing throughout the city including wealthy neighborhoods; creation of overlay affordability districts; and the use of city owned vacant land for affordable units.

There is also the creation of an Atlanta Housing Affordability Tracker which “provides a snapshot of progress made in reaching the goals of (1) creating or preserving 20,000 affordable homes by 2026 and increase overall supply and (2) investing $500 million from City-controlled public sources in the production and preservation of affordable housing as part of the larger goal of investing $1 billion (the other $500 million coming from private and philanthropic sources).”

In the name of diversity or equality what is happening in this country? When, not if, this amendment to the HOME Act becomes law, the incentive to work hard and become successful will be disincentivized. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white or brown. The most important and meaningful purchase of anyone’s life will have been diminished. It smacks of reverse discrimination not based on skin color but rather on one’s ability to be financially successful in life.

We live on an acre of land in a 3,000 SF home. For 30 years our family lived in a typical R1-6 residential subdivision. Twenty years ago, we were fortunate and found our current home and large lot property. We worked hard all our lives to have the necessary funds to buy. If the HOME Act amendment becomes federal law, our opportunity to live on a large lot today would evaporate.

I suspect that the residents of Buckhead and other Atlanta suburbs have the same attitude, and it will not surprise me in the least if they take Atlanta’s zoning amendments to court—perhaps even the Supreme Court. It is clearly a “takings” issue.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

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