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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.

I publish a weekly ENews letter every Thursday. It contains a lot of great information. Learn about upcoming events in Glendale or find out which streets in the Yucca district are scheduled for pavement management. Each week there is something new.

Click on this link to subscribe or copy and paste into your browser. It will show up in your email every Thursday.

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There are great things happening in Glendale and my Enews is a great way to learn about them. Once you subscribe you will receive my weekly bulleting chock full of information. For example, every week I post which streets in the district are scheduled for pavement management.

Give it a try. If you don’t like it you can always opt out.

© 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.

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 blog is for the CEO of every grocery chain operating in Arizona:

  • Aldi
  • Whole Foods
  • Kroger (Frys)
  • Trader Joes
  • Sprouts
  • Albertsons
  • Safeway
  • Bashas
  • Winco Foods

I have been on and off city council since 1992 and to date have served 22 years on Glendale’s City Council as the Yucca District Councilmember. Over the past 22 years a grocery store has never located within the Yucca District. Within the past 5 years a minimum of a dozen multifamily complexes have been constructed or will be completed this year within this geographic area. Each complex has a minimum of 200 units. That’s 2,400 units at 2.3 persons per unit or 5,520 new arrivals in the Yucca district. Add new residential construction of a minimum of another 2,000 units and you can add another 5,000 persons. The residential subdivision of Stonehaven alone will have 1,635 new homes. New construction, both multifamily and single family residential, has added an estimated 10,000 people to the district.

The Yucca District base population before all this new construction is 40,000 persons. In other words, with the addition of the new residential, this district has a population of 50,000 persons with no place to do our weekly grocery shopping. There is a Super Walmart within the district, but a majority of the residents don’t use it. Instead, we are forced to use the closest Safeway in Phoenix or the closest Fry’s in Peoria, both of which are in neighboring cities, some miles away. A typical resident spends between $200 and $300 a week for food and household items.

The most common request I receive from Yucca district residents is for that of a traditional grocery store. Any grocery store that does a one-mile or five-mile demographic study will discover that there are sufficient rooftops and sufficient income to support a grocery store in this area.

I am personally sending this blog to every CEO with a request to do demographic research of this area. You will find that it not only meets your criteria but exceeds it. Better yet, I encourage you to contact Glendale’s Economic Development Department’s Director, Brian Friedman (623-930-2984; bfriedman@glendaleaz.com) or the Department’s Assistant Director, Jessi Pederson (623-930-2996; jpederson@glendaleaz.com) . They can provide the economic data that you seek. This is a community that wants you and will patronize you regularly.

I know my district and I know my residents. This is a community that not only wants you but needs you. I suspect that were you to locate in the Yucca District, your revenue projections will be greater than your best financial forecast. Please consider locating in the Yucca District. You won’t be disappointed.

© 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.

I’ve wanted to write this blog for several weeks but as city council work becomes more complex and time consuming, it leaves very little time for writing.

There were a flurry of press releases issued several weeks ago as well as discussion about the development at Tuesday’s, April 26th City Council workshop meeting. In case you missed it, here is what is happening to Crystal Lagoon.

The location of the development is at the southwest corner of 95th Avenue and Cardinals Way. It is just south of the State Farm Stadium. When the project was first announced and approved by council in June of 2020, as Crystal Lagoons Island Resort a 600-room hotel was envisioned with a lake area with white sand beaches, office, and retail space, a 100’ tall Aero Bar and a 400’ tethered balloon and a Mattel Amusement Park.

Two of the principles, Glen Bilbo, and Tommy Fisher, were involved in the project from the beginning. Tommy Fisher, a long-time resident in the Valley, has now taken over the entire project. Mr. Fisher is well respected in the development community.

Mr. Fisher and his son, Grant, reevaluated the project concept and in fact, have reimagined and upgraded it. The project is now called VAI and the VAI hotel has grown from the original concept of 600 rooms to 1200 rooms, making it the largest resort hotel in the state. I asked Mr. Fisher if their intent is to develop a 5-star hotel and he affirmed it that it is.

In essence, the office space and a substantial portion of the retail has been removed to make way for the larger hotel. There will be the main hotel and in essence, two annexes. All will look the same and offer the same level of service. There will be about 13 upscale restaurants on site as well as a “knock your socks off” wedding chapel. There will also be meeting and convention space.

The major emphasis will be on presenting live, musical events with plans for more than 100 events each year with well-known performing artists. Those who book rooms will be able to see the live concerts from the hotel where they will be performed on an island that faces the hotel. The live musical theater on the island will be able to rotate 360 degrees.

VAI Resort Hotel

One interesting feature will be a tunnel system able to accommodate service carts that will be used by employees to get from one structure to another. There will be some parking on site in the form of a parking garage for hotel visitors and overflow parking will be available on the city’s black lot on the east side of 95th Avenue.

The Aero Bar and tethered balloon concepts remain as does the Mattel Amusement Park under the management of Glen Bilbo. The Amusement Park, however, has nearly doubled in size.

All of the changes have affected the timeline for the project. The goal was to have the hotel open in time for the Super Bowl but with its expansion, the more realistic timeline has the hotel opening sometime between March and May of next year.

In summary the VAI Resort will include:

  • A 7-acre water way with sandy white beaches.
  • A 52,000-square foot man-made island.
  • A 360-degree, rotating concert stage.
  • More than 1,200 hotel rooms.
  • 170 stage-facing hotel rooms.
  • A 20,000-square foot spa and wellness center.
  • A wedding chapel.
  • A massive helium balloon that will take visitors nearly 400 feet into the air for an aerial view of the Phoenix area.
  • Aerophile’s Aerobar, a space that will offer food and drinks at 130 feet in the air, giving customers a high-up view of the Valley.
  • A 4D theater and a “fly theater,” similar to the “Soarin’ Around the World” ride in Disney’s California Adventure theme park.
  • Luxury retail shops.

In essence, many of the original deck chair concepts are still there. They have just been rearranged. The original principals involved in the project are still there as well. Their areas of responsibility have been rearranged too.

Make no mistake. This is an ungraded development that will still market itself to families to attend the Mattel Amusement Park but now it has branded itself beyond that concept. The live musical entertainment 100 days a year at a 5-star resort offering unique restaurant and retail concepts has taken the development to a whole new level.

This development enhances the Westgate area as it offers yet another recreational opportunity for Glendale’s premier experiential retail site. Music, sports and entertainment…the Westgate area has it all. There is no other area in the state quite like the Westgate area.

I continue to say that this is the most impactful project not just for Glendale, the state or the southwest but internationally. International visitors will be eager to enjoy a new destination/entertainment experience that offers something for everyone. As the development’s greatest cheerleader, I am eagerly awaiting its opening as well as everyone’s reaction to this blockbuster project.

© 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.

On March 29, 2022, I had the distinct pleasure of a site tour hosted by the gentleman responsible for the entire project, Tommy Fisher. He is responsible for all construction as well as securing the funding. On a previous visit I had the pleasure of meeting his son, Grant Fisher, and John Keenan. Grant is responsible for everything else having to do with the project and John is Chief Marketing Director. I also met the gentleman in charge of all the electrical work and the gentleman responsible for furnishing the entire complex including each hotel suite. All of these people are an amazing team.

When you use the live, remote camera for the site: https://app.truelook.cloud/dashboard/553/923/live?code=15hm7ev0xey9jmgpfyf2jd9e0&fbclid=IwAR2VhkoN56nBnnmqMouCzAWFM9BHxtvSmNlj83REtd_D2fuA3g9vdeZ-SAY  one gets a rather static view because the camera is pointed in one direction and does not move.

Hotel construction

On this visit I was able to view the entire site and took some photos. The main hotel and its two satellite hotels comprising nearly 1,000 rooms, will all have the same feel and the same features and furnishings. So if a guest is in the main hotel or one of the two satellites, the experience and ambiance will be identical. From the seventh floor you can look in any direction and see incredible views of mountains in the distance. Looking east, you can see the downtown Phoenix skyline and Camelback Mountain.

Looking south 

 

The hotels are well underway, and the southeast wing of the main hotel is in the lead and has had the most work done with electrical and plumbing now being constructed in each suite.

I learned about the red cabling added to a floor before the concrete pour and learned that this is

Flexible strengtheners under concrete flooring

a flexible strengthening element for each floor. I also learned that the main hotel is actually 3 separate buildings although that will not be discernable when construction is complete. The reasoning is that if there ever should be a failure of some sort in one of the three, it will not affect the other two.

Concrete batch plant

Did you know that the project has its own concrete batch making facility? Because of the extensive use of concrete, it became more cost effective to provide their own concrete on the site and cuts the time delay of waiting for multiple deliveries per day.

The last feature that will be constructed is the water feature. That’s understandable when you realize that every element of the site is being used by construction vehicles or for storage of construction materials.

Right now, there are about 1,000 construction workers on the site. If you view the on-site camera, it doesn’t seem so but most of them are working within the interiors of the buildings. When fully built out, this complex will employ about 2,000 people. These statistics should give you some idea of the size of this project. It is complex and vast in scope. Just imagine building a small village in a year.

Ramp to one of the underground parking areas

I also learned that the entire project will have a tunnel system beneath it for employees and service workers to get from one place to another, large enough to accommodate service vehicles. There is also underground parking on site for hotel visitors. Single daytime or nighttime visitors will be able to park in the city’s “black parking lot” directly east across 95th Avenue.

They are also working on a possible gondola system, cooperatively run by this project and the major stakeholders in Westgate and Zanjero…perhaps with a connection to the Desert Diamond Casino. This concept has not been solidified yet and all parties are in the talking stage. Imagine being able to be transported by a skyway gondola from Crystal Lagoon to Tanger Outlets to the Gila River Arena, the State Farm Stadium or over to the casino. Amazing if it becomes a reality and somehow or another, I bet that it does.

Just imagine a ‘stay-cation’ for several days or a week. You can use the water by day, shop and dine at exclusive retailers and restaurants or take your children to the Mattel Amusement area and that night from your suite view a headline musical performance at the theater island facing the hotel. You might attend an NFL game or play the slots at the Desert Diamond Casino. There will certainly be a variety of ways to spend several days recreating, dining, or enjoying a variety of entertainment venues.

I do have breaking news. On April 12th, Tommy Fisher and his team will be making a major announcement about this project. I know about it but if I told you now, they would shoot me.  It will be exciting news and I will share the good news as soon as I am able to do so.

As I have said repeatedly, this will be the most impactful experiential retail and entertainment destination not just for Glendale and the State of Arizona but for the entire southwest region of the country. I expect we will see visitors not just from other parts of this country but visitors from all over the world. This project solidifies Glendale as a premier vacation destination as it is unique in so many ways.

I am excited to be the Councilmember representing this area, the Yucca District, and to welcome Crystal Lagoon Island Resort and I think you will as well once you see and experience the site when completed. I know this sounds trite…but it’s gonna knock your socks off!

Stay tuned for Mr. Fisher’s announcement in about 2 weeks sharing his exciting news about this truly unique project. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

© 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.

Every elected official receives hate mail. Usually, it’s because of a hot topic. Sometimes it’s just because a citizen is obsessed and really hates the official. I don’t receive hate mail. I do sometimes receive nasty phone calls and in 22 years I have received probably 3 or 4 nasty letters. In the exchange below there is someone who has become obsessed with me and once a month sends me his/her version of love on postcards. I am not bothered. It comes with the territory, but this latest string is actually sad and shows how ill-informed someone can be. So here goes along with my editorial comments in red.

  • #1 “Joyce, Your twitter is like cat litter.  (I think cat litter is very useful and aren’t we all glad someone invented it) Cut the crap  (BTW, Twitter is OK but Gettr is Bettr) and start serving the people of Glendale. Please retire soon.”  (Just to aggravate my admirer I may run for another term)
  • #2 “Thank you Joyce for spreading misinformation that you’ve gathered from right wing OAN?…NEWSMAX?…Fox?…(I admit to watching all three. Doesn’t all media lie?) and not getting a Covid booster shot! Maybe someone who desparately (sic) would like to have it, can have yours!  (I’m sure someone out there did) We hope you don’t get Covid, or, (I know this will disappoint, but I have not had Covid) If you do, don’t have long term side effects…but…if you do get Covid, maybe Glendale AZ will get a new council member that actually serves the community.” (You hope I don’t get it, but if I do, are you wishing for my death?)
  • #3 “Joyce Clark should resign! Her spreading of misinformation , bigotry and white supremacy views are unacceptable!”   (Complete lack of creativity. I wish writer could have been more original rather than using buzz words that have lost all meaning)
  •  #4 “Joyce, Please retire!!  800,000 US COVID DEATHS! 800,000 Families CRYING!  12,000 Deaths in Maricopa County,+ More deaths again! – at schools!!   (Aw, come on now. I’m not powerful enough to have caused all of this, am I?)  Stop spreading misinformation! Stop the white supremacy, bigotry, stop watching social media + DO YOUR JOB!!”  (Alert everyone. If you watch social media you become too paralyzed to work)
  • #5 “How low can Karen Joyce Clark go??  (Excuse me, but aren’t Karens are usually Democrats?)   It’s ok for Republican David Gowan to make money off a fireworks bill and ruin  our peace!   (I advocated for a fireworks hours limitation bill in the legislature that passed this year)  Its ok for John Fillmore to introduce legislation to limit AZ voting rights. (In recent national polls, 78% want voter reform) God  forbid if there (sic) housing developments for low income families and families that have been displaced  because of high rents. (Not sure I get this sentiment. Glendale has disbursed over $7M in rental subsidies to keep people in their homes)  Come on Joyce. Stop the disinformation and resign or retire!  We don’t care about your opinion. DO YOUR JOB!” (For someone who claims to not care about my opinion, he or she obviously spends a lot of time seeking my opinion…)
  •  #6 “Jobs, jobs, jobs in Greedy corporate warehouses,  (More jobs for our residents are wonderful!) In high rent greedy corporate housing, in a polluted, brown sky city, expanding its landfill with more and more plastics and toxic waste. (I love our landfill and so do thousands of our residents who use it each month, even you do)   ZIP IT, CLARK!!”
  •  #7 “Dear Joyce,  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! You are getting to be known in Glendale as ‘NVJ’ (Nazi Vagina Joyce). (At least this insult showed a bit more creativity than the others, but still not very original) Do your job or move to Russia with your buddies at Fox.”   (I’m not sure I want to learn the language)

You may be asking, just what am I reading? My office receives at least one of these anonymous ‘love letters’ each month. It’s always the same style of postcard and in the same handwriting. To tell you the truth, my council assistant and I are starting to look forward to them. I just wish this person were more creative or brave enough to sign a name to them. Instead, this person uses vitriolic language with no examples or evidence to back up vague statements. In all seriousness, this person is obsessed and needs help. Can you imagine your life being so barren that the highlight of your month is to send a hate-filled postcard to your local, elected official. So sad.

© 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.

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