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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.

No project as large in scope as this one is simple or easy to create. This project is wide-ranging and complex reflected by the fact that it has taken over a year to put all of the pieces in place. There are 5 different agreements:

  • Development Agreement with ECL Glendale, LLC. (approved by city council on Sept. 8)
  • Government Property Improvement Leases with ECL Glendale, LLC. (approved by city council on Sept. 8)
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement with ERD Glendale, LLC. to purchase approximately .2942 acres of city-owned land (scheduled to come before city council on Sept. 22)
  • Option Agreement to purchase real estate with ERD Glendale, LLC to purchase approximately 4.154 acres of city-owned land (scheduled to come before city council on Sept. 22)
  • Parking Agreement(s) (scheduled to come before city council on Sept. 22)

The Development Agreement acknowledges that this project qualified as a business expansion economic development project. The term of this agreement is 25 years. The agreement spells out the terms of a 25 year “partial” Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET). Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S. 42-6208) a GPLET may be applied only to amusements and their related retail and restaurant concessions. It allows for a 25 year partial exemption of lease excise tax for recreation and entertainment uses. Once the project has completed all construction (October, 2022) the company sells the project to the city for a token amount. The city becomes the lessor (owner and landlord) exempting ECL from paying property tax.  ECL becomes the prime lessee (renter) paying the city a token annual rental payment and pays annual lease excise tax instead of property tax. After 25 years the GPLET terminates and cannot be renewed. At that time the project reverts back to ECL, becomes private property and pays property tax rather than a lease tax.

The Government Property Improvement Lease further refines the terms of the 25 year partial GPLET. The terms remain as represented above but they are spelled out in excruciating legal detail. It’s a 50 page document (yes, I read it all) that only an attorney would love. It even covers what happens if there is “an act of God” that destroys the project.  It’s a very detailed, boring, yet important document.

The company is obligated to operate and maintain the project for at least 25 years continuously. The company agrees to completion of construction of the entire project on or before October 31, 2022. The city recognizes the right of the company to develop, construct and use the property under its current Planned Area Development (PAD) zoning. The city will provide expedited plan review. The city will provide a Fee Waiver in the amount of $1M in permit, plan review and inspection fees but this waiver does not include Development Impact Fees (DIF) which is estimated to be a one time payment of $4.4M.

Purchase Sale Agreement for 0.29 acres allows ECL to purchase for $10 a square foot, totaling $126,000. This small sliver of city-owned land is situated on the southwest corner of Montebello Avenue and 95th Avenue. It enhances access to the project site.

Option for Purchase Sale Agreement for 4.15 acres allows ECL to purchase for $10 a square foot, totaling $1.8 M. This land would be used for water retention, employee parking and maintenance operations for the project.

Parking Agreement(s) provide for the project’s overflow parking needs at the city-owned Black lot on all days but football game days and mega events at the stadium (attendance must be 40,000 minimum). ECL will maintain the black lot and pay for all associated utilities. This agreement will also be approved by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) and the Cardinals. Additional agreements between the Bidwill family and ECL may provide alternate parking should the city decide to develop the Black Parking lot. Obviously, with this project and others within Westgate and Zanjero, at some point the Black Lot parking land becomes so valuable for development that its use as a parking lot no longer makes financial sense.

The Return on Our Investment (ROI) is substantial. Keep in mind the city always uses conservative figures and I think it is fair to assume the numbers provided could be higher. Over 25 years the county earns $60.4M or $2.4M a year; the schools earn $90.6M or $3.6M a year; and the state receives $309.3M or $12.3M a year. What does the city earn? Over 25 years $240.5M or $9.6M a year. During construction of the project the city earns construction sales tax of $5.9M; $1.8M for the sale of remnant land parcels; and DIF fees of $4.4M. I personally think the annual revenues will be higher, especially during and after the Super Bowl in 2023. This resort project is sure to be heavily promoted during the Super Bowl generating a ton of viewer interest and a spike in tourist visits to Glendale.

All of these revenues are generated because the city, in order to attract this project, was willing to forego $1M in fee waivers, agree to accept excise lease tax rather than property tax and already had an abundance of available overflow parking constructed. In return for which, the city will generate almost $10M a year in new revenue. The city did not have to pay a dime to entice the project. The city does not write a check as an incentive to the developer for anything. I think that it is a win-win for Glendale and ECL. That’s why it won my immediate and enthusiastic support from the time I first learned of the project.

There are cities across this country that will never have this kind of opportunity but Glendale has spent the past several years positioning itself to attract just such a project.  As I said in my last blog there are intangible benefits as well. This experiential retail, entertainment concept is a brand new concept and will be the very first anywhere in the world. It will claim the attention of both the retail and entertainment industries and provides a blueprint for marrying the two concepts together. Glendale was on the map as a host city for the Super Bowl and the Final Four but this project moves Glendale to a new level of prominence.

I thank ECL for choosing Glendale as its partner and for hanging in there for over a year to execute tedious, legal, governmental documents that can be frustrating at times. It’s a challenge for all concerned to bring a project such as this to reality. Kudos to Glendale and ECL for making it happen. I am very proud to welcome them as the newest member of our Glendale family and the Yucca district.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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 a blog I have been dying to write for the past year. I simply couldn’t wait to announce this project until tomorrow. So, I will write for a couple of hours and post it in the wee hours of tonight. In this first blog I will give you the big picture regarding the project and in my next blog I will go into detail for those of you who may be nerdy like me.

A year ago our City Manager shared with me that there was a possibility that a Crystal Lagoon project could be coming to Glendale and specifically to my district, the Yucca district at the southwest corner of Cardinals Way and 95th Avenue. I had no idea what the concept was so the first order of business for me was to do my research. What I learned made me anxiously hopeful that Glendale could land such a project. I was excited about the prospect and periodically asked our City Manager Kevin Phelps about the success of the negotiations always ending with, “Can I announce it yet?” For months the response was always, “Not yet.”

The concept was born with Fernando Fischmann, a trained biochemist and a real estate developer. His first project was in San Alfonso del Mar, Chile. The obstacles in the creation of a large lagoon as an amenity to his real estate development project were immense and frankly, solutions were non-existent.  At the time there was no cost effective technology available that could be utilized to maintain a large body of water.

He did what any other genius entrepreneur would do. He did the research himself by setting up his own laboratory to invent the technology needed for his project. He successfully patented his newly created technology allowing him to build major residential/lagoon projects worldwide. Today there are at least a 100 Crystal Lagoons throughout the world — in every South American country; southern European countries like Spain and Greece; the Middle East from Egypt to Jordan; Canada and dozens of lagoons in the United States. The list of projects is extensive.

But it was time to apply the concept to not just residential projects but to a commercial/retail/office/hotel concept.

One of the first such projects will be in Glendale. The developer is ECL Glendale, LLC.  The project site is 48+ acres and will host 9 complimentary components:

  • an 11 acre lagoon style water park planned to include scuba diving, windsurfing and water jet packs
  • 175,000 square feet of retail space
  • 130,000 square feet of office space
  • 3 hotels offering a total of 630 hotel rooms
  • amusement rides
  • family entertainment center
  • fly and 4D theaters
  • restaurants and bars
  • a performing arts and film venue space

There will also be the first ever “aero bar,” a 135 foot elevated bar in the middle of the lagoon with a 360-degree view. It also will include the world’s largest helium balloon. The balloon will be on a tether with a gondola that raises riders 400 feet in the air offering a bird’s eye view of the entire Valley. Some of the newest elements have yet to be announced and you will learn of them in the coming months.

ECL Glendale, LLC. plans to begin construction this year, probably late Fall with a target completion date of October of 2022. That gives them a few months of operation to work all the bugs out before the Super Bowl comes back to Glendale in 2023. It’s an ambitious schedule but as all elements will be constructed simultaneously, it is doable.

So, how much will this plethora of entertainment cost the visitor? I understand that an All Day Pass will be $20 per person. That seems to be a competitive price compared to other water venues in the Valley.

Why am I so excited about the project? It’s a one-of-a-kind attraction for not just the State of Arizona but for the entire Southwestern United States. But even more importantly, it forever ensures that Glendale is the premier sports and entertainment destination in all of Arizona. Now, all we need is basketball and soccer to capture the entire sports market. Maybe if the Coyotes Hockey team actually leaves Glendale as they have threatened to do for several years we could repurpose the arena for basketball? Or perhaps the property owners of the “Vision 4” properties on the west side of the Loop 101 might try to lure additional sports venues such as basketball and soccer to their site? Who knows?

This soon-to-be resort site compliments and adds to all of the existing and soon-to-be constructed development in the Westgate and Zanjero areas. It causes Glendale to become a year round tourist destination, similar to Disneyland or Disneyworld. It also increases Glendale’s viability as a host city for mega events such as the Final Four. Lastly, it will generate slightly less than $10 million a year in new revenue for the city and will create an estimated 1,800 jobs.

This was a difficult and complex project to bring to reality. It has a lot of moving parts and I will get into those moving parts in my next blog.

I don’t believe anyone else, other than our City Manager, Kevin Phelps, could have successfully concluded this project. He is a master at development and exactly what Glendale needs to become eminently successful in a highly competitive market as cities out bid and jostle one another to land mega projects. Mr. Phelps has also put together an outstanding team of senior management responsible for the success of this project. It includes Brian Friedman, Director of Economic Development; Lisa Collins, Planning Administrator; Vicki Rios and Jack Friedline, Assistant City Managers; and Craig Johnson, Director of Utilities. If I omitted anyone please accept my apology. Michael Bidwill, representing the Bidwill family, also contributed to the project’s success by working with ECL Glendale, LLC. to craft a parking agreement.

I don’t think I can express the momentous effect this project will have not just for Glendale and the Metro Valley but for the entire state. This project is in the forefront of a new type of retail. As was expressed today, people no longer just want to buy things. We are entering a new age where people want experiences…memories that are invaluable. That is the promise of this new concept for Crystal Lagoon and the new buzz words are ‘experiential retail.’

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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 the Phoenix Fire Union paid a company to drop door hangers throughout our community for Robertson and Alexander. They were, of course, printed and paid for by the Phoenix Firefighters Local 493 Fire PAC.

The canned messages on both door hangers are eerily similar and frankly, ironically sad. Both candidates’ door hangers have the theme of Public Safety. Here’s what they say:

Robertson: “Glendale’s Police and Fire Department budgets have been underfunded…”

Alexander: “Our city council has underfunded Glendale’s Police and Fire Department budgets.”

Robertson: “…make improving public safety...”

Alexander: “…will fully fund public safety…”

Fact: Here are the real funding numbers for each department for the past 5 years:

Fire Department

  • Fiscal Year 2017 actual budget                      $43,637,282.00
  • Fiscal Year 2018 actual budget                      $46,472,394.00
  • Fiscal Year 2019 actual budget                      $49,866.189.00
  • Fiscal Year 2020 budget estimate                 $52,127,595.00
  • Fiscal Year 2021 budget request                   $53, 501,963.00

In 5 years the Fire Department budget increased by nearly $10 million dollars or about 20% a year, far above any annual inflation rate.

Police Department

  • Fiscal Year 2017 actual budget                      $87,206,875.00
  • Fiscal Year 2018 actual budget                      $91,831,365.00
  • Fiscal Year 2019 actual budget                      $98,529,310.00
  • Fiscal Year 2020 budget estimate                $102,471,164.00
  • Fiscal Year 2021 budget request                  $104,742,510.00

In 5 years the Police Department budget increased by $17 million dollars or about 5% a year, again greater than the yearly inflation rate.

In addition, the Fire Department, in this year’s budget alone, received additional, one-time, supplemental funding of $411,000 and the Police Department received $100,000 in supplemental funding.

One final fact to consider is that both Glendale firefighters and police officers rank among the top three paid agencies in the Valley. And oh, by the way Glendale firefighters work 52 hours compared to every other agency in the Valley that works 56 hours.

Here’s something else to think about. Fire and Police are the largest consumers of the city’s General Fund operating budget coming in between 65% and 70% annually. This council can always give them more money but when is enough, enough?

More money to Public Safety means less money for every other city department funded by the General Fund. What are you willing to cut to increase Public Safety’s insatiable appetite for funding? Parks, Libraries, City Court, Community Development Services to the underserved and Transportation, including our streets repair program, all compete for the same funding as Public Safety. Each year’s budget is a balancing act through prioritization to fund as many departmental needs as possible. Clearly this council has been generous to both departments over the past 5 years.

Each door hanger for Robertson and Alexander use the theme of (pick your choice) accountability, transparency, or ethics.

Robertson: “No-bid contracts, political perks like foreign travel and hotels…”

Alexander: “…no-bid contracts, taken international trips with taxpayer dollars…”

Fact:  Have you noticed that these phrases are very generic? What no bid-contracts? They haven’t been specific because they can’t name one with facts and figures. I have voted ‘no’ on more city contracts than any councilmember, ever. I am opposed to 5 year long contracts, especially when they are for usual and ordinary goods and services. I have always been in favor of issuing contracts for no more than 2 or 3 years. Times change and markets change often offering an opportunity to get those goods and services at a more competitive price.

Exactly what international trip have I ever taken, much less at taxpayer expense? That was our former disgraced Councilmember Chavira. I travel the least of any current councilmember. I think I attended two state League conventions in four years but only because they were sited locally and I could commute every day.

Shame on the use of catch-all, fuzzy accusations designed to try to make something nefarious out of nothing. The Phoenix Fire Union has tried desperately to make two undistinguished candidates into something that neither is and have failed miserably. Poor Phoenix Fire Union, they didn’t have a lot to work with this time.

I noted that they have changed the wording on poor Bryce’s campaign material from “a successful business owner within the community and creating jobs” to a “local business owner.” What a hoot. Could it be because Alexander’s downtown art gallery went bust after a year, bleeding red ink and he certainly couldn’t afford to hire anyone for a job?

You’d think with all of the tens of thousands of dollars the Phoenix Fire Union is pouring into backing Robertson and Alexander they could have done a better job in portraying these people or at least have refrained from making them appear to be identical twins.

However, it’s not all their fault. After all, Robertson and Alexander were not exactly household names recognized for their outstanding service to Glendale. If the Phoenix Fire Union hadn’t printed and planted all of those campaign signs for both you wouldn’t have a clue as to who either is…neither is a remarkable political figure.

Lastly, what the heck is the Phoenix Fire Union doing using its muscle and money, inserting itself into a local Glendale election? I call it blatant interference in the affairs of Glendale.

By voting ‘no’ on Robertson and Alexander and ‘yes’ on Weiers and Clark you will be sending outstanding leaders back to city council and sending the Phoenix Fire Union a strong message and that is…BUTT OUT!

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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 you are deciding for whom to vote to represent the Yucca district I want to share my core principles and values. They are deeply held, personal beliefs that I have decided to share so that you have a better understanding of who I am.

 I believe in faith, family and service.

We all may embrace different faiths but nearly all of us hold a belief in a Supreme Being. For me, as a Roman Catholic, it is best stated in the Nicene Creed. It is the rock upon which my faith is anchored.

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

While faith is at the core of my spiritual life, family is at the core of my temporal life. I believe in the nuclear family. The raising of our children is one of the most important gifts of my life. For those who cannot have children or do not wish to have children, I do not judge and I respect the path that you have had to bear or have chosen.

For me, children are a joy. I love the direct and often innocent way in which they respond to new concepts and events.  I believe in teaching them love and loyalty to family and to country; respect and kindness for others; duty to others; to “love others as one loves oneself;” and that they have the inherent capacity to succeed. When there were obstacles in their lives, my husband and I taught them to overcome. We taught them that occasional failures will make them stronger. We stressed the importance of education knowing that it would provide them the opportunity for a life better than ours. We taught them to be good and decent people, to the best of our abilities.

I believe in service. Service is the third element of a full life. I learned that the return to oneself is far greater than that which is given. It can take many forms – military, religious, community, to name a few. It is a core belief in our family that has been exemplified by our children, for one was in law enforcement, retired; one is a firefighter and one is a registered nurse.

While in college I spent several years volunteering at a mental facility for children. It had a profound effect on me then and still does now. Many do not volunteer because they believe they don’t have the time to do so. Make the time and you will learn, as did I, that there is always time to give when you work at it.

These last 4 years have been in service to my community as your Yucca district councilmember on the Glendale City Council.  My service has never been for pay or self pride. My compass has always been to be your voice and as a means of sharing everything related to Glendale. I have always considered it a privilege and honor to serve you.

 August 4th is Glendale’s Election Day. Early ballots were mailed out on July 8th. If you have not received yours yet, you will shortly or there will be those who brave the COVID pandemic and vote in person. No matter which method you choose, I ask for your vote. I humbly ask for the privilege of continuing to serve you.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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 May 7, 2020, the Planning Commission will hear and will either approve or reject an applicant’s proposal to put a Love’s travel stop at the intersection of the Loop 303 and Bethany Home Road. I posted a blog on March 7, 2020, entitled A look at the Love’s site location. This blog is a follow up based upon additional information provided by the applicant.

Some people asked, why couldn’t the Love’s be sited on the east side of the Loop 303 and Bethany Home Road rather than on the west side of the Loop 303? The city possesses no magic wand that can order a land owner on the east side of the Loop 303 to accept a Love’s. Property owners are free to sell their land if they so choose and a developer has the right to accept or reject possible development as it sees fit. The city cannot mandate that the property owner on the east side of the Loop 303 accept the development of a Love’s.

Many objections to the proposed Love’s centered on the charge that it would bring crime to residential development one quarter of a mile away from the proposed location.  I asked the applicant for crime statistics at a comparable Love’s. The applicant provided me crime statistics for the Love’s Travel Stop on 1610 S. Miller Road, Buckeye, Arizona. I will provide a summary of the data they provided below and where possible, include the exhibits they provided.

SUMMARY OF APPLICANT’S RESPONSE:

Five hundred and seventy-four (574) calls for service at Love’s were recorded by the Buckeye Police Department over a 5 year period. That averages approximately 115 calls per year or approximately one call for service every 3 days. 65 different categories were provided from 911 Hang Ups to Welfare Checks. I have listed below the top ten categories; total number of calls over the 5 year period; average number of calls per year and the percentage of the total call volume for each listed:

 

Type of Call       # Call Over 5 years           Average per year         Percentage of total 5 year call volume

Accident                     64                               13                                    11.5% 

Theft                           41                            8                                         7.4%

Traffic Stop                35                            7                                          6.10%

Welfare Check           33                           6.6                                       5.75%

Agency Assist             31                           6.2                                       5.40%

Citizen Assist              29                           5.8                                       5.05%

911 Hang Up              23                           4.6                                       4.01%

Trespassing                23                           4.6                                       4.01%

Business Check          22                           4.4                                      3.83%

Suspicious Activity    20                           4                                          3.48%

Unwanted Guest       20                           4                                          3.48%

Suspicious Veh.          16                        3.2                                          2.79%    

 

Of the 574 total calls for service over the 5 year period, less than 25 calls were violent in nature. Of these, 9 were assaults (1.8 calls per year) and 8 were drug related (1.6 calls per year). Below is the complete listing of all crime categories (65) statistics covering a 5 year period provided by the Buckeye Police Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The applicant stated the following, “Love’s takes crime prevention and detection seriously. Accordingly, each employee receives training on how to identify and report illegal activity. Additionally, each employee is trained on how to detect and help victims of human trafficking. Love’s sees itself as a partner to local enforcement and therefore takes necessary steps to eliminate criminal activity.”

The applicant also submitted visual graphics depicting the Love’s proximity to the proposed location as well as comparing its proximity to residential at its Buckeye location. In case you cannot read the graphic, it is 1,355.2 feet from the nearest residences at the Buckeye location compared to 1,334.1 feet from residences at the proposed at the Loop 303/Bethany Home Road location.  The Buckeye and Glendale locations are virtually identical with both being approximately one quarter mile away from the nearest residences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The applicant also notes that at the Buckeye location there is also a Quik Trip Travel Stop immediately south of the Love’s location on S. Miller Road. The Quik Trip is 765 feet from the nearest residences.

Another factor for consideration is that there will be industrial/ warehousing/manufacturing buildings between the Love’s and the closest residences. The mass of those buildings may be 40 feet tall or taller and will act as a visual and noise buffer for the closest homes.

It appears that there are several facts that may make Love’s suitable for the proposed location. It is a quarter mile away from the nearest home. There is adequate buffering in terms of industrial buildings that will provide visual and noise buffering for residents. The Buckeye Love’s location seems to show that it does not produce greater crime for nearby residents. I would expect similar results to occur at the Glendale location.

I recognize that there are those who simply hate Love’s. It’s an emotional reaction. I cannot decide on the basis of emotion. Facts, in this case, are important. If any of the opponents have more factual information that has not been presented as of this date, then now is the time to present it.

I have provided all of the factual information that I have received. I will use it along with any other factual information provided to me to make my final decision. Part of that information will be to look at the Planning Commission’s decision and what factual information they used to arrive at their decision.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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 week I met with city personnel to get an update on the progress regarding Heroes Park Lake. My goal as the Yucca district councilmember is to secure funding for the completion of all elements in Heroes Park. One of the most visual elements of the park is the lake feature. So where are we on the lake? We know that to date, in Fiscal Year 2021, $4.2 million is available to construct the lake.

Currently, the lake is in the preliminary design stage. There have been ongoing discussions with Salt River Project to determine whether canal water or irrigation water would be used. The Mayor and I were keenly interested in using canal water but there are problems with doing so. SRP canal water has a lot of “stuff” in it including solids, garbage and yes, even fish. Pushing that water through mechanical equipment before it reaches the lake is a recipe for expensive costs in continually repairing the equipment. Obviously a wiser decision is to use irrigation water which is available to the site.

Heroes Park lake

Now that that issue is settled the city is working on the preliminary design. I have included a conceptual design staff provided to me. The lake will be sited on the east side of 83rd Avenue.  Its size is determinant upon how far $4.2 million dollars will go. It could be anywhere from 3.5 acres to 5 acres in size. I am also including a conceptual design of the entire park. In it you will see that the water goes further eastward. The additional water will be a future expansion.

It will take nearly a year to create the final design that includes all engineering for the plan. The goal is to have all design and engineering completed by May/June of 2021 so that the RFP for construction can be put out for bid immediately. I anticipate that the lake can be completed by approximately December of 2021. Don’t take that date to the bank just yet for something could happen to delay my assumption on the date of completion.

Heroes Park design

The point is that the lake will be the next element to be constructed in the park. It will be a fishing lake. Other good news is that library expansion or community meeting space, a recreation & aquatics center and the sports fields are back in the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). This is first step toward getting funding allocated by the city council for the remaining elements. Rest assured I am working on my pledge to see the  park completed.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Sometimes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I thought a photo of the proposed site of the Love’s Travel Center would be helpful. So I went out to the site the other day and took this photo. I was sitting in my car immediately west of Cotton Lane at Rose Lane.

In the background you can see the Loop 303. The proposed Love’s site is at the Bethany Home Road exit of the Loop 303. The approximate distance between the proposed Love’s site and the nearest home is1,600 feet, about a quarter of a mile.

NOT TO SCALE

Conceptual Courtesy of Lincoln Property

Now, imagine an industrial building on the east side of Cotton Lane (with appropriate front setbacks). The industrial building will not be sited right along the western boundary of the property. It will be set back from Cotton Lane. I don’t know the distance but I would guess about 50 feet. That 30 to 40 foot tall building will act as a noise and visual buffer between the proposed Love’s and the nearest resident.

Please note that the property owner will be required to improve that portion of Cotton Lane that is adjacent to their property. That means Cotton Lane will be improved from Bethany Home Road to Glendale Avenue.

I hope this visual provides some perspective of context as we continue to discuss this issue.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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 the stadium and arena were announced back in the early 2000’s, residents who live in the adjacent areas were very concerned and many were upset. The farm fields that they had gazed upon from their windows was about to disappear. Many were saddened and angry that their way of life was about to change…forever.

Over the years we (including myself) have adjusted to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the Westgate and Zanjero areas. Humans are highly adaptable. Consequently, we now take alternate routes on football game days and when there are major events in the area. We cope with the tremendous traffic increases we experience on every major arterial in this area. Those residents who couldn’t adapt moved elsewhere but most of us stayed. Many of us now shop at the Tanger Outlets or enjoy a movie at the AMC Theater or go for lunch or dinner at the abundance of restaurants in the area. We enjoy and use the variety of entertainment while living on the periphery of it all.

Change is coming to another part of Glendale and the nearby county residents are unhappy about it. Several years ago city council made a policy decision to reserve the land beyond 115th Avenue to our westernmost boundary, especially around the Loop 303, for job creation. We call it the “New Frontier.” It has succeeded far beyond our expectations. For example, every parcel within the Glendale Airpark is in escrow, sold, in plan review or under construction. By the Loop 303 industrial and commercial development took off with the announcement of Red Bull, Rausch and Ball choosing the Woolf Logistics Center as their location of choice. It was followed quickly by White Claw who expects to be open for business by June of this year. There are 15 projects worth over $600 million dollars in various development stages that will offer over 1,500 good paying jobs to our residents.

Now Cotton Properties is about to develop on the west side of the Loop 303 from Bethany Home Road to Glendale Avenue. Located at the intersection of the Loop 303 and Bethany Home Road is a proposed Love’s Travel Center. The rest of the Cotton Properties parcel will have several industrial/commercial buildings on it and they will act as a visual/noise buffer between the Love’s and the county residents to the west. There is a concentrated swath of county residents who have expressed their opposition to any kind of development of Cotton Properties. It really doesn’t matter what is developed there. The residents are opposed to change of any kind. The farm fields that they had enjoyed for years is about to disappear.

They have decided to concentrate their opposition on the Love’s Travel Center and I and other Glendale personnel have received a lot of email in opposition to the proposed project. That is their right and I encourage their commentary. However, one would think Love’s was a creation of the Devil himself. There was one email that stood out from the pack and it was from a family of truck drivers who live in the county where the opposition is the strongest. I asked them for permission to use it and they graciously granted it. Here’s the “other side of the story:”

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

First of all I would like to introduce myself to you. My husband and I, Joe and Kathy Papineau are both long haul truck drivers. We bought a beautiful home in the Russell Ranch subdivision. We have been in the trucking industry for over 20 years. We would welcome a Loves Truck Stop with open arms. In this letter I wish to offer an accurate rebuttal to all of the surrounding areas’ concerns and arguments on why they think a Loves Truck Stop is going to ruin their quality of life.

 

First of all, with all the warehouses and businesses going up in the area providing safe and designated parking for truckers’ transportation needs is a great idea. If there isn’t sufficient parking provided, they will be parking on the side of the roads. Due to Elogs (Federal regulations), they are not permitted to drive after loading and unloading. Even law enforcement may not ask them to move. Truck drivers must obey the federal laws. They will have no other choice but to leave debris and human waste on the side of our roads. That would be a disgrace to put truckers in that position. My neighbors will argue there are enough truck stops off of I-10. However, on the contrary, there is not enough parking. Throughout this country, there is a shortage of safe parking for truckers.

 

Secondly, my neighbors will argue about the crime a truck stop will bring. That is false. Now back in the 70’s and 80’s that may have been true. Nowadays all trucks have armed security. As a woman truck driver, I have never felt unsafe at a truck stop. It does not bring drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, or serial killers. This is fear mongering at its worst and is dangerous. Truck drivers deserve more respect. Everything that we all have or consume is delivered by a truck. Our food, lumber to build our homes, furniture and decor that we all love to use, eat or display is delivered by long haul truckers. The lack of knowledge about the trucking industry is not their fault. They have been misinformed by fear mongering. Statistically, 40% of all truckers are now women. Truckers are hard working and they deserve a safe place to park, sleep, shower, and eat. We owe it to them for all that they do in providing goods throughout this country. 

 

Also, my neighbors will use the argument of increased air and noise pollution. Today, most trucks have DPF systems to ensure that truck pollution is minimal. I find it to be very hypocritical, that my neighbors love Luke Air Force Base yet will not accommodate the trucking industry. The jets continually release fumes and jet fuel over our heads. The noise from jets breaking sound barriers is more harmful than a 100 trucks.

 

My neighbors argue about the traffic of the big trucks being solely caused because of the truck stop alone. With all of the warehouses and distribution centers, we already have more traffic than ever before. It has not caused any grief to residents except for making them go the actual speed limit. The truckers will not be detouring through neighborhoods or by the schools. Truckers are smarter than that. They like and appreciate the quick on and off access to highways.

 

We have a state prison right down the street. Residents seem to be more comfortable with incarcerated prisoners than truck drivers. The prison had two escapees a few months ago. Neighbors didn’t seem to mind a few escaped prisoners and appeared to think of it as of no concern.

 

So, on behalf of our family and for all of my brothers and sisters in the trucking industry, please approve this Love’s truck stop. We appreciate a clean and safe place to lay over as I am sure you also appreciate the delivery of food and consumer products we haul and you use.

 

Thank you very much for your time,

 

Joe and Kathy Papineau

18028 W. Medlock Dr.

Litchfield Park AZ 85340

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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 reported on residential, hotel and apartment development in our district. Now, it’s time to tackle the most difficult and complicated subject of all – retail, commercial and industrial development. I say it’s difficult and complicated because so much is going on in these areas. The Yucca district is simply exploding with these kinds of development.

To organize the material is some fashion, I’ve separated projects into Conditional Use Permits (CUP), in Design Review (DR), those requesting new zoning or a change in the existing zoning (ZON), and under construction. Some development projects require a CUP that has been approved by the citizen Planning Commission. The Planning Commission uses guidelines to determine if the granting of a CUP is appropriate. If you are ever interested in seeing the Planning Commission in action they are televised on Glendale’s Channel 11 and if you use the city website and go to the agenda of the Planning Commission, there is also an option to view the video of the meeting.

Some projects either already have their zoning approved or are in the process of getting their zoning and are now in the process of having all plans related to their project reviewed by the Planning Department. Everything is reviewed from electrical designs to the exterior elevations of the project. The design review process is complicated and takes months to gain approval.

The following projects have been granted a CUP:

Equipment Storage Rentals located at the southwest corner of 71st Avenue and Northern Ave. It is located in an industrial area of Glendale along Northern Avenue.

Bank of America drive thru located at 7448 W. Glendale Avenue will not have an accompanying bank branch building. This will strictly be a drive thru facility.

Camelback Shopping Center is located at 5070 N, 83rd Avenue. It will be just north of the Dignity Emergency Room facility. There will be an EOS Fitness Center and 3 pads for retail shops. The tenants of these 3 shops have not been announced.

The following projects are under design review. They will not begin construction until their design review process is completed and their designs (from electrical, plumbing, exterior, etc.) have been approved by the city’s planning department:

Commercial vehicle storage yard located at 7190 N. 110th Avenue near Glen Harbor Commercial Park and the landfill.

Glendale Avenue Storage located at 10911 W. Glenn Drive. It is in the same area as the storage project listed above.

Zanjero Retail is located at 9200 W. Glendale Avenue. This development is across the street from Cabela’s on the north side of Glendale Avenue. The only tenant that has been confirmed to me is Starbucks. There will be an apartment component (cited in a previous blog) to the north of the retail component of this project).

WalMart Electric Vehicle Charging Stations located at 5010 N. 95th Avenue. This is a new addition to the Super WalMart located on 95th Avenue north of Camelback Road.

 The next group of properties to be reviewed is the activity primarily (although not exclusively) surrounding the Loop 303. The city calls this area, “The New Frontier.” These involve properties abutting to or very close to the Loop 303.Two factors determine the type of development that will occur. One is city council policy directing that this area be used to create jobs for our residents. The other is the fact that some of these properties are within the Luke Air Force Base noise contour lines and Glendale, which is home to LAFB, has pledged to uphold those noise contours to preserve LAFB, its mission and its importance to the nation.

This is the most complicated update to compile. Some parcels have submitted for annexation and along with their requested annexation they could be asking for simultaneous rezoning. Others have been annexed and are in various stages in the city process.Below I have summarized each individually, identify its location and attempted to indicate where it is within city processes:

The Church of Christ is a one acre annexation located at 8305 W. Northern Avenue (southwest corner of 83rd Ave. and Northern Ave.) Construction is complete and the project is awaiting formal approval from the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Annexation 204 is called Northern 107. It consists of 10 acres. An application for annexation has been submitted and it is awaiting Planning Department and City Council approvals.

Annexation 206 is called Bethany/303. It is 76 acres and is located at Sarival and W. Claremont. It was just heard by the city council on February 11th and council consensus was given to move forward on the annexation.

The next 3 annexations are in the planning stages and have formally submitted applications to the city for: annexation, final plat, rezoning/general plan amendment, design review, OR required conditional use permits:

Annexation 207 located at the southwest corner of Loop 303 and Glendale Avenue.

Annexation 208 called 303 West Crossing located at the northeast corner of Sarival Farms Road and Maryland Avenue.

Annexation 209 called Copper Wiring Logistics Center located at 13402 W. Northern Avenue.

The project known as T-2 located at 10501 N. Reems Road is in the process of receiving its Final Plat approval from the city.

The project known as West 303 is located at the northeast corner of Sarival Farms Road and Maryland Avenues. It is in the process of seeking rezoning and/or a general plan amendment.

The Barclay Group project is located at the southwest corner of the Loop 303 and Glendale Avenue. It is in the process of seeking rezoning and/or a general plan amendment.

Park 303 located at the southwest corner of Sarival Avenue and Glendale Avenue is in the design review stage.

EOS Fitness located at 5070 N. 83rd Avenue is also in the design review stage as well at the rezoning and/or general plan amendment stage.

The Cornerstone Camelback project located at 5205 N. 99th Avenue is in the rezoning process.

Centerpoint located at 9501 W. Cardinals Way (southwest corner of 95th Avenue and Cardinals Way is currently in the rezoning process.

The Lincoln Logistics 303 PAD located at 6600 N. Sarival Road is also currently in the rezoning process.

The project known as Zanjero Retail located at 9200 W. Glendale Avenue is under design review.

Sparrow located at the northwest corner of 91st Avenue and Zanjero Blvd. is also in the design review stage.

The Westgate Shell Shops located at 9405 W. Glendale Avenue are retail, spec buildings currently under construction.

Swire Coca-Cola located at 7845 N. 106th Avenue in the Glen Harbor Industrial Park is expanding its warehouse by 147,804 square feet and is under construction.

The Camelback Self Storage located at 5205 N. 99th Avenue is under construction.

Red Bull located at the Woolf Logistics Center in the area of Loop 303 at 10501 N. Reems Road is under construction.

White Claw, located at the same Woolf Logistics Center is also under a fast-track construction schedule and plans to be open in about 6 months.

Westgate Caramba restaurant located at 9455 W. Glendale Avenue is also under construction.

These 21 projects represent thousands of acres and thousands of square feet of development located from Westgate/Zanjero westward to the Loop 303. As a casual reader of this information you may not realize that this is an amazing time in Glendale’s history. The development under way as well as those projects yet to be announced will confirm that Glendale has become an economic power house within the Valley. These projects combined will provide jobs in the retail, office, and industrial/manufacturing/distribution sectors. A hundred jobs here and a hundred jobs there soon add up to thousands.

The only caveat I will provide is that I don’t think I missed any projects but in compiling all of the material I presented and summarized it is always possible that I missed something. If that is the case I do apologize. I am sure I will hear about it.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Let’s review hotel projects first. I have no further data at this time other than their locations. Generally, most of the hotels that have been built in our district have approximately 200 rooms:

Townplace Suites Hotel at 7271 N. Zanjero Blvd. has been approved and is in the design review stage.

The Aloft Hotel by Marriot @ Westgate located at 6920 N. 93rd Avenue is open.

Tru by Hilton is located at 6610 N. 95th Avenue and is under construction.

Marriot Towne Place Hotel in Zanjero is now under construction.

The Holiday Inn Hotel is located at 6151 N. 99th Avenue, adjacent to TopGolf, is under construction.

We now have 5 hotels in the Zanjero area. Three are already in business and two are under construction. There are another 6 hotels in Westgate. Five are already in business and one is under construction and 1 hotel under construction on the west side of the Loop 101. With 12 hotels that brings the total number of hotel rooms in the area to approximately 2,000 to 2,400 rooms.

When it comes to apartments we also are experiencing a lot of activity. My reputation over the years has been to oppose apartments but there is one exception to that caveat. I do believe apartments are appropriate in a few selected locations: west of 91st Avenue in the Westgate/Zanjero area and on the west side of the Loop 101 close to these two major economic centers. Population mass is needed to sustain the Westgate/Zanjero areas now and into the future.

We will see little, if any, residential development on the west side of the Loop 101. Council would like to see more commercial and retail on the immediate west side of the Loop 101 and industrial development along the Loop 303 corridor.

Again, I have only apartment locations to offer and no hard data on the density or the number of units:

Urban 95 Apartments will be located at 9600 W. Georgia Avenue. It is approved but has not submitted for design review.

The Zanjero Apartments is located at 7375 N. Zanjero Blvd. and is under construction.

95 Camelback at 5151 N. 95th Avenue and is under construction.

Zanjero Sante Assisted Living at 7410 N. Zanjero Blvd. is approved and is under design review.

There are 3 more apartment complex proposals but they have not come before city council yet and until they receive city council approval or denial I am not at liberty to discuss them. There are more development projects that are only in the conceptual stage and may or may not ever end up being submitted to the city.

There were a few apartment complexes (2?) such as Summerly at Zanjero that were approved by city council while I was not a councilmember. As such I have very little information or history on them.

To sum it up, the Yucca district has 5 new hotels bringing the total to 12, 3 new apartment complexes and 1 assisted living facility recently opened, approved and under design review or under construction with more of each kind of development to come.

Elliot Pollack, one of the best know economic gurus in the state, once said during a speech he gave in Glendale years ago that Glendale and especially the Westgate/Zanjero/Loop 101 was destined to become the geographic center of the Valley. His prognostication is now becoming reality as development marches westward in the state. We are not only destined to become the Valley’s geographic center but we are already the state’s mega center for sports and entertainment. The Yucca district has a baseball Spring Training Complex, a hockey arena, the new brand of golf entertainment and a football stadium. More mega entertainment opportunities will be coming, of that I am certain.

Next up, I’ll be reviewing commercial and industrial development and the tremendous opportunities for job creation for Glendale’s residents. It is extensive. It will take me several days to compile all of the information.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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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