The City Council heard public comments on May 21, 2019 regarding the proposed rezoning of 83 of 263 acres in the Canyon del Rio development project, which is in the forested area off Butler from Harold Ranch Road to Fourth Street.
Rezoning 30 acres from medium to high-density residential will allow construction of 682 apartments; and rezoning 25 acres from light industrial/research park to commercial will allow construction of a large grocery store on Fourth Street south of Butler. These are both bad ideas, and the council should not fall prey to “bait and switch” disingenuous promises that will be flipped as soon as the ink is dry on the approval.
Flagstaff families need single-family homes, townhomes or duplexes, not a 682-unit housing project. While the developer’s representative “agreed in principle” to restrict the height of the buildings to three stories, high-density zoning allows 60 to 65-foot high construction; and really, how gullible are we? Nor can we prevent construction of what could be as base as a "rent-a-room" student housing project. Since the current zoning designation allows three-story construction, which the contractor has now agreed to honor, there is no reason to change the zoning.
The developer has made so many disingenuous statements about construction plans for the Fourth and Butler area, including a “small grocery store,” a church, or a coffee shop, that it’s difficult to know what to believe. What is certain is that changing the zoning to commercial will allow construction of a large grocery store, with the loading docks for that store likely facing Sinagua Heights, whose residents will have a front-row seat to the noise and exhaust of delivery trucks and high traffic from 3 a.m. until closing.
We should all beware when developers wax poetically that rezoning a residential area to allow high-density or commercial development will improve our community. We have seen the results around town, and they are awful. Please lend your voice to oppose to the rezoning.