Only three years ago in May of 2014 we as a city overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Flagstaff Regional Plan and then the City Council adopted it. The regional plan is used to help direct residential and commercial growth in the city while preserving natural resources. 75% of Flagstaff residents voted in support of dense walkable spaces and urban infill in our Downtown and Southside areas in lieu of sprawl and suburbs. The plan essentially recognized that growth will continue to occur and we as a city would prefer to grow up rather than out. The idea of new urbanism with mixed use projects consisting of high quality well thought out buildings creating the ability to live, work and play in the downtown area was as appealing then as it is now. We treasure our open spaces and lush forests and our current regional plan works to protect them.
Once this plan was passed into ordinance many people planned accordingly and purchased properties with the intent to redevelop. Now the City Council is looking at potentially changing the zoning that the people of Flagstaff voted for. This would adversely affect private property rights and may end up costing the City in the form of lawsuits. We have an affordable housing issue in Flagstaff as we continue to grow and creating additional barriers will only exacerbate the situation. If Council decides to limit the width and depth of buildings Downtown and on the Southside it would end up taking value and potential use away from those property owners. The depth and width of buildings are directly proportionate to their future potential and efficiency. This potential zoning change would not allow iconic buildings like the Weatherford Hotel or even the Library to be built. This would effectively kill future smart development in the areas mentioned.
The City of Flagstaff is taking public comments and it is important that they hear from you. There are a couple of ways to do that. One is to register a comment at the link below prior to 5pm August 7th.
Another way to ensure your voice is heard is to attend a community meeting on Tuesday, August 8th at 6pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 224 S Kendrick Street Flagstaff, AZ 86001
For more information on Transect-Based Planning follow the below link.