Blog Archives

Planning Commission to Discuss Phoenix General Plan Update on Mar 9

On  Wednesday, March 9th, the City of Phoenix Planning Commission is holding a regularly scheduled public hearing.  This meeting will be of interest to DVC readers as the first substantive item on the agenda is “Presentation, discussion and possible recommendation on the General Plan Update- Public Hearing Draft.”

The general plan contains the city’s policies on character and design, land use, open spaces, the environment, economics, community services, neighborhood vitality, transportation and growth issues.

The Arizona Legislature has amended the general plan update requirements so that updates for municipalities do not have to be taken to the voters until 2015. However,the City of Phoenix is pushing to fast-track our general plan and wants to send it to voters during the municipal election on August 30, 2011.

Whether you support or oppose the contents of the General Plan, or the fast tracking of its passage, your voice is important. please come at let the Planning Commission know how you feel.


When: P.C. hearing on 3/9/11 at 6:00 pm

Where: City Council Chambers at 200 W. Jefferson.  This is the round building behind the old City Hall

Parking: Surface parking or parking in the garage on 4th Ave.  Turn south off of Washington Street and then take first left into garage.

You should try to get to the Council Chambers close to 5:30 pm to check in and fill out a yellow speaker’s card if you wish to speak or make your position known.


For further information, please call Alan Stephenson at 602-262-4870.

For reasonable accommodations, call Nici Davidson at Voice (602) 495-0256 or the City TTY Relay (602) 534-5500 as early as possible to coordinate needed arrangements.

For more information on the General Plan and the Update process click HERE.  A draft of the plan is available in English and Spanish.

City of Phoenix seeks public comments on General Plan Update

[Sourc: City of Phoenix/PlanPHX]

The city of Phoenix has released the public hearing draft for the General Plan Update. This General Plan includes results of the community visioning process, and outlines a transition to a more comprehensive update which incorporates sustainability principles.  It also readopts the existing General Plan elements and the associated goals and policies in their entirety.

The Plan

The document may be viewed at the link below or by clicking on the image:

This General Plan is unique from previous plans in that it serves as a transition plan to a more sustainable future.  It establishes a community vision, assesses the current state, presents scenarios for alternative futures if no action is taken, and establishes a structure for transition strategies.

Due to the number of new concepts that are being introduced, this General Plan does not change existing goals and policies.  Rather, it demonstrates how the existing goals and policies support the community vision and identifies areas where new goals and policies need to be developed.

The existing goals and policies will be readopted as part of this General Plan, and then work will continue to further define the community vision statements, and develop appropriate goals and strategies to achieve them.


Comments may be sent to Carol Johnson, Planning Manager at the following: or

Phoenix Planning & Development Services Department
200 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor
Phoenix, AZ  85003

You may also call Carol at 602-261-8289.

Phoenix General Plan “community dialogue” this Saturday, 3/6

The city’s Planning Department will hold a “Community Dialogue” on its General Plan update 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St.  Residents are invited to discuss a land-use vision for Phoenix by answering the question “Where do we want to go?”

This is the first of two workshops.  The second, to be held in May, will focus on answering “How do we get there?” by allowing participants to develop action items based on discussions from the first workshop.  The General Plan provides comprehensive direction for the growth, conservation, and redevelopment for all land-use aspects of the city.  The General Plan provides goals, policies, and recommendations for the next 10 years.

For more information on the General Plan Update, send an e-mail, call 602-261-8289, visit the website, and follow on Twitter.

Seating for these workshops is limited.   Contact Carol Johnson at 602-261-8289 to reserve your space.

Phoenix seeks public input on Downtown Code

[Source: City of Phoenix] — The city of Phoenix Planning Department is seeking input on the city’s proposed Downtown Code.  The Downtown Code, which is part of the Phoenix Zoning Ordinance, addresses design that impacts the public by establishing standards and guidelines that will allow projects to develop over time.  It does not dictate architectural style.  The code will be presented at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3 at Phoenix City Council Formal Meeting, Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St.

The remapping of the area to change the zoning to the proposed Character Areas will follow in March 2010.

The Downtown Code implements the vision, goals, and policies of the Downtown Phoenix Plan and establishes the physical environment to create a pedestrian-oriented center.  The code applies to all land uses, subdivisions, and development within the area generally bounded by McDowell Road, Seventh Street, Buckeye Road, and Seventh Avenue.  The code can be downloaded here.

Comments can be submitted by contacting Planning Manager Carol Johnson at 602-261-8289 or by sending an e-mail.

Planning Department asks: “Imagine Phoenix as the best it can be in 2050. What do you see?”

[Source: City of Phoenix Planning Department] — Phoenix is updating its General Plan — the comprehensive guide for all physical aspects of the city.  The city’s Planning Department asks you to participate in this process to help create the future.

What is a General Plan?  Why do we need to update it?  Why do we need a vision?  View this presentation to learn more.

Question #2: “Imagine Phoenix as the best it can be in 2050.  What do you see?” Provide your feedback by attending a Village Visioning Workshop or e-mailing your comments.

The results of asking Question #1, “What do you value most about Phoenix and why?” from the first set of Visioning Workshops (review/download PDF):

Visit the website.  Follow on Twitter.

Paul Barnes, longtime Phoenix neighborhood advocate, retires

After 20 years of advocating for the preservation of established neighborhoods and responsible development, Paul Barnes of the Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix is retiring.  His goal: to spend more quality time with his wife and family… and maybe do a little fishing.

In his July 10, 2009 letter announcing his retirement, Barnes didn’t shy away from expressing his opinion on City of Phoenix personalities and policies.  Barnes wrote it was regrettable that “during recent years both some elected officials and the leadership of the Planning Department frequently have taken the position that any development is responsible development.”  He further noted that “planning for preservation of established neighborhoods has largely given way to supporting rezonings that can be harmful to them, while existing area plans are ignored and the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance are made more permissive through text amendments and special overlays.”

His advice to friends and associates: “Continue to step up to the plate to wage the good fight by encouraging your neighborhoods to stay organized and engaged.  Hold your elected officials’ feet to the fire.  Developers and other special interests may supply campaign funds but you supply the votes.  If you do these things, sometimes you will still lose, but if you don’t, you will never win.”

He closed his letter by stating the good times far outnumbered the bad and that he’s met a great many wonderful people inside and outside of City Hall.  While his retirement is effective immediately, Barnes will complete his remaining July commitments.  After that, it’s off for some well-deserved fishing.

Jackson Street Entertainment District hits a political nerve

[Source: Michele Laudig, Phoenix New Times] — This afternoon, the City of Phoenix Planning and Zoning Committee has a scheduled hearing on the establishment, through rezoning, of the controversial Jackson Street Entertainment District — ground zero for those five new Bernie Kantak restaurants I mentioned yesterday.  And it looks like a protest is in the works, too.  I found the link on Twitter [and Facebook].

It seems like there would be a lot of support for a mixed-use development like this, but as with CityScape a few years ago, there’s plenty of skepticism as well.  The fact that Jackson Street Entertainment District will be located in the Warehouse District — where there are a number of historically significant early 20th century buildings — makes it all the more sensitive.  (However, a staff report from the Planning Department notes that this project will preserve the historical character of the Warehouse District.) [Note: To read the full article and online comments, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix Urban Form Project topic of Sept. 30 RadiatePhx meeting

[Source: RadiatePhx] — Persons intersested in downtown Phoenix growth, development, and activity are invited to the special one year anniversary edition of RadiatePhx.  This month is a discussion of the Downtown Phoenix Urban Form Project as it enters the final stages of developing the Downtown Phoenix Form-Based Code.  Guest speakers are City of Phoenix Planning Department staff who have invested much time and energy into developing a plan that will affect development for years to come.

The Urban Form Project is a collaborative process to shape future growth and to help realize the Downtown Strategic vision for a livelier, more integrated, and sustainable downtown.  For more information, click here.  Event logistics below:

Downtown Phoenix parking debate grows along with ASU

[Source: Associated Press] — Some downtown Phoenix residents living in the Roosevelt Neighborhood are expressing concern about parking for Arizona State University students both now and in the future.  Some condo and office building developers waiting for the soft real estate market to rebound are instead turning their downtown land into parking lots for ASU students and others.  That has some members of nearby neighborhood associations worried.  “Ideally, we don’t want a parking lot there,” said Steve Brueckner, president of the Roosevelt Action Association.

Neighbors said they fear that parking, even if it’s temporary, could lead to more permanent downtown lots.  Besides relying on light rail to get students downtown, ASU will also need thousands of parking spaces, according to university figures.  This fall, ASU expects to have 4,500 students and as many as 900 staffers on campus, said university planner Richard Stanley.  The school currently has 1,100 parking spaces and agreements to lease 3,400 other spaces some for daytime use only from the city of Phoenix, near Chase Field; the Mercado complex; and the Phoenix Convention Center.  By 2020, ASU estimates it will have 15,000 downtown students and may need up to 6,000 spaces by then.

Hoping to calm neighborhood fears, the City of Phoenix says some landowners must seek a zoning change or special permit to create a parking lot, said Debra Stark, the city’s planning director.  “The city also has specific lighting and landscaping requirements,” Stark said.  ASU officials said they are still working on a long-term parking fix downtown.  Planning for parking does not include disrupting residential neighborhoods surrounding ASU, Stanley said.

Phoenix vintage warehouses slated for demolition as part of entertainment district

You call this sustainability?The Jackson Street Entertainment District LLC has filed a rezoning request (Z-07-78-08) and Minor General Plan Amendment (GPA-CC-1-08-8) for a 12-acre site at the southwest corner of 4th Street and Jackson in Phoenix’s historic Warehouse District.  The request would change the zoning from Warehouse Overlay, Downtown core, A-1 with two historic preservation properties to Planned Unit Development (PUD).  The requested Minor General Plan Amendment would change the designation from Industrial to Mixed-Use.  New construction heights in the district as part of the plan include 235′, 215′, and 160′ buildings.  It is believed that several vintage (historically-eligible) warehouses are slated for demolition.

To express your opinion:

  • Contact Susan Sargent with the City of Phoenix by e-mail or phone 602-262-4065.
  • Contact Larry Lazarus, the applicant’s representative, at 602-340-0900. 
  • Write to City of Phoenix Planning Department, 200 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ, 85003.
  • Attend a public meeting on Monday, September 8, 2008, 6 p.m., The Summit at Copper Square, Club 252, 23rd Floor, 310 S. 4th Street.