Daily Archives: December 30, 2008

Phoenix Sky Harbor ‘healthiest’ airport says magazine

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Phoenix Sky Harbor pet park

[Source: FoxNews.com] — …But it was Phoenix’s airport that really made an impression on the judges.  The building has two pet parks and recently added adult changing stations in bathrooms after a family with a disabled son made the suggestion.  According to Health Magazine, Sky Harbor’s bathrooms are “widely known as some of the nation’s cleanest.”  Sky Harbor also has several low-fat dining options: Take your pick of veggie burgers, vegetable burritos, or avocado cucumber sushi.

To develop the rankings, the magazine’s editors compared data about the nation’s leading airports from government reports, rating agencies, and other sources.  Here are the top 5 healthiest airports, according to Health Magazine:

  1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (Arizona)
  2. BWI Thurgood Marshall (Maryland)
  3. O’Hare International (Chicago, Illinois)
  4. Detroit Metropolitan (Michigan)
  5. Denver International (Colorado)

Phoenix leads U.S. home price decline as lenders unload houses

[Source: Kathleen M. Howley, Bloomberg] — Phoenix, the desert city that three years ago led the U.S. in home price growth, had the nation’s worst housing market during October as sales of foreclosed properties depressed prices.  The cost of a single-family home plunged 33% from a year earlier, according to an S&P/Case Shiller index.  The decline was worse than Las Vegas, where prices fell 32%, and San Francisco, where they dropped 31%.  U.S. house prices fell 18% in October, a record in eight years of data.

Arizona had 11,000 notices in October of so-called trustee sales, or foreclosure auctions, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate data firm in Irvine, California.  Foreclosure sales reduce the value of similar properties in the same area as sellers who aren’t in distress are forced to drop their prices to compete.  “This was a case of the higher they climb, the faster and harder they fell,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P.  Phoenix home prices at their 2006 peak had almost tripled within nine years, he said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix neighborhood coalition urges City support of existing special planning districts

[Source: Paul Barnes, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix] — Maintaining a favorable quality of life in established neighborhoods is challenging.  Citizen developed and approved area plans are one of the tools used in the struggle to preserve established neighborhoods and define their desired character.  The City of Phoenix Special Planning District Plan (“SPD”) originally known as a Special Conservation District (“SCD”) is one form of such an area plan.  At present, there are 12 SPDs:

  • Roosevelt SPD – Central City Village
  • Story SPD – Central City Village
  • Coronado SPD – Encanto Village
  • Encanto Vista SPD – Encanto Village
  • Willo SPD – Encanto Village
  • Arcadia Camelback SPD – Camelback East Village
  • North Central Avenue SPD – Camelback East Village
  • Squaw Peak Heights SPD – Camelback East Village
  • Windsor Square SPD – Camelback East Village
  • Royal Palm SPD – Alhambra Village
  • Saguaro SPD – Paradise Valley Village
  • Mountain Park SPD – South Mountain Village

Shortly after the Squaw Peak Heights SPD had been approved (July of 2006), a dissident property owner subject to the terms of the plan, filed a suit in Superior Court challenging the way the final votes for the SPD were tabulated.  In August of 2008, the court issued a Minute Entry favoring the claimant.  If the City of Phoenix fails to appeal the Squaw Peak Heights SPD Court decision within 30 days after the formal decision is handed down (could be sometime soon after the first of the year), it will cause this particular SPD to be voided.  A replacement SPD is estopped from being a possibility because of the passage in the fall of 2006 of Proposition 207.  A failure to appeal could jeopardize the validity of all of the other SPDs because they tabulated their final votes according to the same procedures as were followed in the case of the Squaw Peak Heights SPD.

The Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix believes that the loss of the existing SPDs under such circumstances will be detrimental to all neighborhoods whether or not they fall under an SPD.  This is due to the fact that an unwillingness on the part of the City of Phoenix to at least appeal the Superior Court’s decision in this instance will be interpreted by developers as a softness on the City’s part to support other existing citizen authorized/passed area plans such as the existing Specific Planning District Plans.  Such an interpretation will embolden developers to propose projects that will not be in keeping with these plans.  The same holds true for adhering to rezoning for sites throughout the city that was passed subject to approved site plans and stipulations.

Individuals and organizations in agreement with the Coalition’s position on this matter are encouraged to send a letter or e-mail by the middle of January 2009 urging Mayor Phil Gordon and Members of Council to oppose the Superior Court decision in the matter of Madison Positive Alliance of Neighbors v. Phoenix City (case on Squaw Peak Heights SPD).  The cost of such an appeal does not come from the City’s operating funds.   It is an insurance matter.   All such letters should be addressed to the party intended at 200 W. Washington Street, 11th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003-1611.

For more information, contact Paul Barnes, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix, at 602-840-1579 or e-mail.

New state archives in downtown Phoenix to be dedicated, Jan. 15

https://i0.wp.com/www.faza.net/images/PRpers.jpgThe Friends of Arizona Archives invite you to attend the dedication of the Polly Rosenbaum State Archives and History Building.

  • Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009
  • Time: Remarks and Ribbon Cutting 9 a.m. (Honorable Ken Bennett, Master of Ceremonies); tours 10 a.m. to Noon
  • Place: 1901 West Madison Street at 19th Avenue (parking available at the State Capitol, Records Building, Wesley Bolin Plaza, and on adjoining side streets where permitted)

Refreshments will be served, including cake from Polly Rosenbaum’s 100th birthday cake’s recipe.  RSVP by January 7 if you plan to attend.  Specify whether you would like to take a tour of the facility after the ceremony.   RSVP via e-mail or by phone to 602-770-5057.  For more information, visit the FAzA website.  This event is presented by Mortenson Construction and Gila County.