29 de diciembre de 2017

FLAGSTAFF : Aprueba juez construcción de mega-dormitorios de la U of A

Hub Update

Flagstaff, Az.- A 2-year fight over a 591-bedroom apartment complex being built in the Southside came to a close in April, when a visiting judge from Pima County ruled against an appeal of the Flagstaff Board of Adjustment’s decision to allow the building to be constructed. Judge James Marner ruled the city’s transect zoning code did allow The Hub, which spans two zoning designations, to be built in the T5 and T4 zones.

The main argument in the case, which was also the main argument to the Board of Adjustment, was whether a commercial block type building, like The Hub, is allowed under the parcel’s zoning. One list in the city’s zoning code that details allowable building types does not include commercial block as acceptable in the T4 zone. However, other areas in the zoning code list commercial block as allowable in that zone.

Marner ultimately ruled in favor of allowing The Hub and said ambiguities in the code must fall in favor of the property owner. Maury Herman, the owner of 120 Cottage Place, LLC, which appealed the Board of Adjustment’s decision, chose not to appeal Marner’s decision, and construction on the apartment complex began soon after the court’s ruling.

Farther west on Route 66, demolition began for another housing project geared toward students: The Standard, a 650-bed apartment complex. The project had been dormant for about a year before removal of the buildings on the property began in September.

Nearly 300 NAU students were unable to move into Fremont Station, an apartment complex geared toward students in August, when several of the buildings were not completed in time for move-in. Students were given the option to stay in hotels or find other arrangements until their rooms were completed. All students were able to move in by October 12.

In June, the city was introduced to plans for Mill Town, another proposed student housing development on Milton Road. The project is part of a public-private partnership between the city of Flagstaff, the Arizona Department of Transportation and developer Vintage Partners.

Early plans for the commercial and student housing project include 1,221 beds geared toward Northern Arizona University students, commercial use along Milton and a Milton Road pedestrian underpass. The project would be built where the ADOT facilities are, once the department is moved to the building that used to be the Harkins movie theater on University Avenue.

Development in one neighborhood left residents feeling like they were being pushed out. The construction of stacked triplexes near the university in the Southside left some residents frustrated as their single-story homes were dwarfed by larger structures, which will bring more people and more cars to streets that residents feel are already filled to their limit. Zoning in some of the neighborhoods in the Southside allows developers to build to 60 feet.

Nearly 50 families living in Arrowhead Village Mobile Home Park were notified in November the park would no longer be open for residential use after May 7 and all residents must vacate the park.

Around the city, housing prices continued to climb toward pre-Recession levels. Flagstaff-area housing prices in the third quarter of 2017 set a record high median sale price of $382,000, which is 8 percent higher than the same period a year ago. Many neighborhoods in the city exceeded home prices from 2006 and 2007, which was when prices hit their previous highest points.

Flagstaff employers grappled with two minimum wage increases when the state’s minimum wage increased to $10 in January and the city’s increased to $10.50 in July. The Flagstaff City Council voted in March to delay part of the city’s law that requires the city’s minimum wage to always be $2 above the state’s, but the amendment will eventually bring the city’s minimum to $15.50 by 2022.