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Scottsdale City Council Urges Housing Bill Veto Comments Off on Scottsdale City Council Urges Housing Bill Veto

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pressuring a reluctant Gov. Katie Hobbs to sign legislation they believe will lead to more affordable housing in Arizona.

But Scottsdale City Council isn’t buying it.

Rep. Analise Ortiz, D-Phoenix,, said Tuesday she believes HB 2570, sent Monday to the governor, is the only viable legislation that actually would provide some price relief to those who want to have a starter home. And that, she said, includes her.”I have been a renter my entire adult life,” she said. And Ortiz said that, despite working full-time her entire adult life, she doesn’t have enough for a down payment on what developers are building.

“In my community, people like me are tired of being told the only way we can have an affordable place to live is if we rent it — and rents are no longer affordable — or if we have government subsidized housing,” she said. “We deserve that same opportunity to own a home. And the governor needs to recognize that.”

House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, said there’s nothing in the legislation overriding certain local regulations that’s terribly radical.

“Should the city tell you you can’t have a carport (instead of a garage) if you want a carport?” he said. “Should the city tell you that you can’t have a certain type of roof, that it has to be shingle instead of tile?”

All that, Biasiucci said, should be decisions left to homeowners.

“This is when the price goes up,” he said. “This is when regulation gets in the way.”

In a letter signed by all City Council members, including the mayor, Scottsdale slammed the legislation and urged Gov. Katie Hobbs to veto it, calling it “This bill is a total affront to local zoning authority and if enacted will guarantee detrimental effects to Scottsdale’s neighborhoods and economic vitality.”

The letter cited “Scottsdale-specific issues” that “include lack of consideration for our city’s airport noise contour zones and environmentally sensitive land overlays. Reckless development near these sites would surely damage our quality of life and beautiful desert surroundings.

“This bill also prohibits cities from requiring homeowners’ associations (HOAs) which provide needed services, amenities, and regulations for new developments, with associated costs being borne by the users. Eliminating HOA requirements will pass unreasonable financial burden on to others. Lastly, this bill contains no affordability requirements. New development would surely be at market rate and do nothing to assist those in low or moderate income brackets.”

It ended by telling the governor, “Allowing indiscriminate development will certainly detract from cities like ours. We are always thankful for your support and implore you veto this atrocious bill.”

Sen. Anna Hernanzez, D-Phoenix, said there would be another benefit to the bill: getting rid of the cookie-cutter homes and creating more neighborhoods where each house is individual.

But the real heart of the measure is not about amenities and design. It’s about zoning.

It would spell out that, for new developments of more than five acres, cities cannot require a minimum lot size of more than 1,500 square feet in any area zoned for single-family homes.

Also gone would be minimum square footage or dimensions for any single-family home as well as requirements to set back a house more than 10 feet from the front or back lot line or more than 5 feet on either side.

Now the future of the entire package rests with the governor.

She has until this coming Monday to sign or veto the measure. And if she does neither, it becomes law without her signature.

Gubernatorial press aide Christian Slater was noncommittal, saying his boss is still studying the measure. But the governor herself, speaking with reporters last week, provided a laundry list of concerns.

“What I have been very clear about is that, when it comes to housing, I want to see a package that is negotiated and has bipartisan support and is a compromise with local jurisdictions,” Hobbs said.

It was pointed out to her that the bill does have bipartisan support.

A total of 15 of the 29 House Democrats voted for the measure. So did half the Senate Democrats.

What that leaves is the opposition of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns which represents the 91 incorporated communities in the state.

Tom Belshe, the organization’s executive director, said his organization is willing to negotiate on “process things” that would shorten the time frames that cities have to review plans and provide the necessary approvals. And he said there already are places in many cities where builders can construct duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes.

And changes in zoning and density?

“This is not what our constituents are telling us, people that live in those neighborhoods,” Belshe said.

And that becomes the heart of the divide: people who are renters who want affordable homes and those who already have homes.

Original article can be found here.

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