By Vincent Manfredi
As a councilmember, I am deeply concerned about the negative impacts HB 2536 (Kaiser) will have on our cities and towns. This legislation completely disregards the years of careful planning that we have put into developing our community, and it will have long-lasting adverse impacts that will affect our residents.
One of the main issues with this bill: It provides no obligation to make housing units affordable. It mandates approval of all housing projects without giving residents opportunity to discuss. This legislation circumvents standard public processes and general plans that we have developed, that have been approved by you, the voters. It rips the power from our residents, placing all the power in the hands of developers.
The bill would remove planning commissions from the process and strip local councils of their zoning authority. This means the public will have no opportunity to influence the decision-making or the ability to work with the developer to ensure proposed developments meet the community’s needs.
HB 2536 also would preempt design standards and parking requirements set by cities and towns, which are crucial in making our communities safe and functional. The bill would preempt requirements for open space, sidewalks, architectural elements, among others, which ensure new developments are functional, safe and contribute to the economic vitality of the community. This also ensures consideration of traffic flow, parking and pedestrian access.
Moreover, the bill’s preemption on housing regulation likely will mean cities and towns larger than 25,000 population would not be able to require any limitations on density or lot size, lot coverage and setbacks, size of buildings, flood-plain regulations or dedication of rights of way and easements for streets and utilities, among other conditions. This will cause a major disruption in the planning of communities and lead to incompatible residential uses adjacent to existing developments.
This also means very dense residential developments could be in areas with inadequate infrastructure. An example would be a developer buying lots in existing neighborhoods and then putting up multi family units.
HB2536 conflicts your voter-approved general plans, eliminates single-family zoning and abolishes the standard citizen-review process for residential and multifamily developments.
I urge everyone to contact their state senators on the Committee on Commerce to voice opposition to this bill. We must work together to protect our communities and ensure any legislation takes into account the needs and wishes of our residents.
Here is the contact information for the state senators on the committee:
- Frank P. Carroll (R) – Phone: 602-926-3249, email: email@example.com, Represents: Peoria, Phoenix, Surprise.
- Theresa Hatathlie (D) – Phone: 602-926-5160, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Represents: Eager, Flagstaff, Fredonia, Holbrook, Page, Springerville, St. Johns, Tusayan, Winslow.
- Anna Hernandez (D) – Phone: 602-926-3492, email: email@example.com, Represents: Glendale, Phoenix.
- Steve Kaiser (R) Committee Chair – Phone: 602-926-3314, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Represents: Phoenix.
- Anthony Kern (R) – Phone: 602 926-3497, email: email@example.com, Represents: Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix.
- J.D. Mesnard (R) – Phone: 602-926-4481, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Represents: Chandler, Gilbert.
- Catherine Miranda (D) Phone: 602-926-3413 email: email@example.com Represents: Guadalupe, Phoenix.
Vincent Manfredi is an owner of InMaricopa and a Maricopa City Council member.