Proposed Zoning Code Amendment Could Threaten Historic Neighborhoods


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Proposed amendments to the zoning code could negatively impact Flagstaff’s historic neighborhoods.

March 6, 2017

On Wednesday, March 8, the Planning and Zoning Commission will consider several proposed amendments to the zoning code.

One of these amendments is regarding reduced setback requirements in the “Community Commercial” zone. This change is concerning because it could incentivize commercial development within our historic neighborhoods. While commercial development is not negative in and of itself, the proposed changes to setback requirements would allow for larger buildings to be built closer to adjacent uses, which are predominantly residential in these neighborhoods. This could threaten the historic character of these areas – very few of which are left in our city.

This change would specifically benefit commercial development at the expense of creating uncertainty for residents. F3 does not support this change. We do not believe that any changes should be made that would benefit one type of use over another in these zones (in this case, the change benefits commercial use over residential use). Community Commercial zoning is set up to be symbiotic between businesses and homeowners. This change clearly benefits one use (commercial) while making the other (residential) feel uncertain about the future character of the neighborhood.

This is the second Planning & Zoning hearing on these amendments; the next step will be a discussion (March 14*) and vote (March 21 and April 4*) by the City Council.

Action Item: Please write to the Planning & Zoning Commission and let them know that you support preservation of our historic neighborhoods and do NOT support the proposed changes to the setback requirements under under Building Placement (Section 10-40.30.040.C Building Form Standards (Non-Transect Zones). Talking points include:

  • Changing setback requirements will allow for commercial buildings to be constructed much closer to residential uses, creating uncertainty for those residents about the future value of their properties.
  • Community Commercial zoning is designed to be symbiotic between businesses and homeowners. This change clearly benefits one use (commercial) while making the other (residential) feel uncertain about the future character of the neighborhood.
  • This change could threaten the historic character of these neighborhoods.

*All dates are tentative and subject to change.