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An alarming precedent of sorts (because some similar things have occurred before) is about to be considered by our Planning and Zoning Commission. If accepted, the amendment for Aura Flagstaff to be built along High Country Trail off of Lake Mary Road would mean that effectively high density apartment housing could be allowed in a residential suburban (not urban and not an activity center) neighborhood without respect for either “buffer zones,” neighborhood character compatibility with surrounding developments, quality of life, inconvenient and increased traffic in an inopportune place for the only collector street, or the residents’ objections already polled.

The deal that the city would agree to in exchange for the above “growth” would be the preservation of about seven acres on the north side of High Country Trail that could never be developed in perpetuity.

However, here’s why this is not a good deal for our city. Only two entities really benefit. The seller of the property because he receives extra remuneration for agreeing to the above easement but still gets to use and own that seven acres, and the developer because he does not need to purchase the seven acres but still gets to build an increased number of units as if he did own all the property.

And at what price? The neighboring residents who do not desire such a densely built development, the degradation of our community character, and equally important, the setting of a precedent so that the city could “transfer development rights” (TDR) in excess of our MR or HR zoning rather than from a rural to an urban area where higher densities are more appropriate and where traditionally the use of TDR may be warranted.

This price is way too high to pay. And this precedent would then allow future application. So if you care about your community and your city, please ensure this is prevented by making your views heard at the upcoming P&Z public hearing on May 22 at 4 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

PHIL GOLDBLATT

Flagstaff

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