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Councilwoman Pastor's Statement on the Phoenix Country Club Rezoning ProposalCouncilwoman Pastor's Statement on the Phoenix Country Club Rezoning Proposal<div class="ExternalClass941833F2E5FF43078A7A9526F0BD03FA"><p>"At yesterday's City Council meeting, my colleagues and I voted unanimously to deny the High-Rise zoning at the Phoenix Country Club and approve a temporary Mid-Rise zoning capped at 110 feet, with the expectation that a Planned Unit Development (PUD) be filed and completed by the applicant within 12 months. This was the result of much hard work over many weeks that included my staff, concerned residents throughout the area, Country Club members, and the developer of the proposed project.</p><p>Upon having lengthy and detailed discussions with the neighborhoods, members, and developers; one thing seemed clear going into yesterday's public hearing on the proposed project at the Phoenix Country Club: Everyone wants to see development not only at the proposed site but on all-four-corners of 7th Street and Thomas Road. By and large, the discussion was never about whether or not the project should happen, but instead what this project has the potential to become now and in the future - knowing that a project of this kind could be a catalyst for the development everyone wants to see at this integral intersection. Given this understanding, the compromise had to be in the shaping of the project.<br></p><p>After hours of dialogue with all interested parties, I came to the conclusion that we had three options when it came to this development: High-Rise, which I am totally opposed to; Mid-Rise; and/or possibly a PUD. After discussing these options with the neighbors, developers, and professional City Staff, it was determined that the Council cannot legally initiate this project by imposing a PUD without specifications. Since High-Rise designation was off the table for me and the neighbors, only one option appeared to be legal, wise, and appropriate: The temporary Mid-Rise designation with the anticipation that the PUD process begins immediately following its approval.<br></p><p>The next question was the height. I agree with the neighbors and could not support the 175-foot request. This height is wholly inappropriate for this area, and I was never going to support it. In the negotiations between the neighborhood representatives, Country Club members, and developer, many numbers were considered. Some neighbors were willing to go to a 75-foot maximum, others said 90 feet. During the discussions, the developer offered a minimum of 125 feet. That still seemed too high to me and I could not support that height either.<br></p><p>In an effort to find a middle ground with no clear compromise presenting itself in the discussions, and out of respect for the call from all parties concerned to push development in this area, I stipulated that this development be brought down a full 65 feet from its original proposal and only allow it to be built at a 110-foot maximum. Should this height be prohibitive to the developer, they may choose not to build, but I believe it is the highest the City can offer.<br></p><p>In addition to this, I also placed several other stipulations on my proposed motion that came directly from the discussions I had with the group. I truly believe that if this project is to go forward as intended, then certain concessions must be made that include area residents; provide protections to neighbors; encourage safety, walkability, and connectivity; and promote the conservation of a Historic jewel in Midtown Phoenix. It is my hope that the future PUD is the start of an all-encompassing plan that evolves over time with a project that works closely with the surrounding neighborhoods; and takes into account the unique history, character, and outdoor nature of the Country Club within an urban setting.<br></p><p>I want to thank the neighborhoods for their leadership, and the members and developer for their willingness to work with their neighborhood. We are better, and our projects are better when we look for common ground and work together."<br></p><p><br></p></div>3/21/2019 8:30:00 PMNick Valenzuela602-495-5405