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.

For the past twenty years in my role as Yucca District councilmember a major goal has always been to preserve 83rd Avenue as a large lot corridor. Nearly every acre of land between Bethany Home Road and Camelback Road on either side of 83rd Avenue based upon Glendale’s General Plan is classified as Low Density Residential (1 to 2.5 dwelling units to an acre) and is zoned SR-17 (Suburban Residence, minimum lot size 17,000) and has been since the 1980s.

If you travel north on 83rd Avenue from Camelback Road to Bethany on the east there is Orange Drive (large lot properties); an area of custom-built homes on large lots centered around Georgia Avenue; Missouri Estates (circa 2006), a large lot gated community; and Montebello Drive (large lot properties). On the west side of 83rd Avenue traveling north, there is a series of 4 homesteads all on 4 acres or more; Oregon Avenue (large lot properties); then Missouri Ranch, a large lot subdivision; and even the dreaded Stonehaven residential development has its largest lots abutting 83rd Avenue.

About a month or so ago I was invited to meet with Jon Froke, representing the property owner at 5136 N. 83rd Avenue, and the daughter of the property owner. They indicated that her parents, owners of the property, had become older and were ready to sell their 4.58 acres. They asked what I thought would be appropriate for the site and I indicated that historically 83rd Avenue is a large lot corridor and had been so for at least 30 years.

This is something Jon Froke knows quite well. For years he worked in Glendale’s Planning Department ending his career in Glendale as its Planning Director. He had worked with me in the past to preserve 83rd Avenue as one of the very few large lot corridors in Glendale.

Now he works for clients that want to maximize the sale of their properties and assists them in getting zoning that ensures that goal. I understand the property owners’ desire to sell their property at the best possible price per acre. How is that achieved? By getting city permission (it is called ‘entitlement’) to place as many residential units per acre as possible. That is why the property owners are asking to change the zoning from SR-17 (Suburban Residence, 1 to 2.5 housing units to the acre) to R-2 (Mixed Residence, up to 12 housing units to the acre). As important as it is for the property owners to get as much as possible for their land, it is not appropriate to do so at the expenses of every large lot owner in this incredibly special 83rd Avenue corridor. It also sets an example for the 3 large lot property owners to the north of this parcel that they, too, will be able to succeed in getting the same zoning, R-2, for their land. It is a poor precedent for this area.

According to Glendale code, those on the Planning Department’s persons of interest list and property owners within 300 feet of the boundaries of this parcel can receive notification letters of changes or neighborhood meetings. This is the letter that was sent out:

June 4, 2021

Adam Froke

Jon M. Froke Urban Planning LLC

11225 North 28th Drive, Suite D 105

Phoenix, AZ 85029

(623) 256-9207

adam@frokeurbanplanning.co

Subject: Village 83

Dear Neighbor,

This letter is to inform you that I am applying for a General Plan Amendment and Rezoning Application with the City of Glendale. The property is located along 83rd Avenue about 1,000 feet north of Camelback Road and the street address is 5136 North 83rd Avenue. The property is in the Yucca District. The request is for a General Plan Amendment from LDR 2.5, Low Density Residential to MHDR 12, Medium High Density Residential and a rezoning from SR-17, Suburban Residence to R-2, Mixed Residence.

The project envisions redeveloping a single-family home into a multi-family development featuring attached townhomes. The entire lot is 4.58 acres, and the units are envisioned to be modern and high-quality, having a height of no more than 30 feet. (My editorial note: ‘high-quality’ is a very subjective term. The 30 feet height is what is required in the R-2 zoning district) The property will have a mix of two- and three- bedroom units. (My editorial note: For rent? Or for sale?) We will be working closely with the staff at the City of Glendale to ensure our project meets all development standards and is appropriate to the surrounding area.

I have included a conceptual site plan with this letter for your review. The site plan proposed 36 townhomes to be constructed on the site. However, the R-2 zoning district we are applying for would allow for up to 54 units. (My editorial note: If project is approved expect 54 units as opposed to 36 units) Note that the final design of the site will be developed at a later date. (My editorial note: It sounds as if the property has not been sold to a developer yet as they are waiting to successfully gain entitlement for an R-2 project).

A neighborhood meeting will be held at the property and the date, time and location are provided below. The meeting will be used to provide further details regarding our project and to receive comments and questions from attendees. Refreshments will be provided at the meeting. If you are unable to attend, please write, email or call me at the contact information above. You may also contact George Gehlert with the City of Glendale at (623) 930-2597. Please provide any comments by July 5, 2021.

                            Date:          6/21/2021

                            Time:          6:00 PM

                            Location:    5136 N. 83rd Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85303

Sincerely,

Adam M. Froke, AICP

Project Manager

Here is their site plan:

This site is most appropriate for about a dozen, large lot (10,000 SF) homes. While the lot sizes are slightly smaller than those that would surround them, they would fit in with the area.

You do not have to have received this letter to attend this neighborhood meeting. Anyone from the general public can attend, learn more and most certainly comment on the appropriateness of this project for this area.

I will be attending this meeting. I urge you to attend as well. Please don’t count on your neighbor doing your job for you. Plan to attend. I especially call on those residents of Orange Drive; Missouri Estates; Montebello Avenue; the Georgia Avenue area; Oregon Avenue; and Missouri Ranch to attend. This proposed project will directly affect you.

It is important that you work together to preserve your property values in this area and your quality of life. As more and more small lot (45 ft. wide) subdivisions are built in Glendale, our large lots become more and more coveted.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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