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Communication #18

Dear Friends of F3,

Tall buildings like those recently built for student housing along Milton Road and W. Route 66 are currently allowed in places that would surprise most of us. They are allowed anywhere north (N. End) and south of downtown (Southside), even next to the public library. Five and six story buildings are also allowed anywhere in the Sunnyside Neighborhood bordered by 4th Street, Cedar Avenue and McMillan Mesa. This is not the result of any recent comprehensive planning, but an historic artifact.
 
City staff is proposing to council on April 27th a new zone called the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC). This zoning contains all the rights that the current Community Commercial (CC) zone has except it reduces the height limit from 60 feet to 45 feet. If the City Council agrees with the new zone, then a future public process would allow the option to change the zoning in all or a portion of the three neighborhoods from an existing CC zone to NCC. The result would be a lower building height limit of three to four stories in identified areas within those neighborhoods.

To give you a sense of what this means, The Jack (formerly The Hub) is a six-story building, built in a neighborhood of one- and two-story buildings. The Drury Inn is six stories. By comparison, Hotel Monte Vista is four stories, the Marriott downtown is four stories, and The Weatherford is three. 

Council Action
 
The NCC zone amendment will be presented and discussed at the Council working meeting on Tuesday, April 27th. Council will indicate if they want to proceed with the creation of the NCC zone and if they have any recommended modifications to the zoning amendment.
 
If Council decides to proceed with the creation of the NCC zone, future Council meetings will be scheduled to review the specifics for the rezoning of each of the three neighborhoods. F3 will communicate to you if and when such action is scheduled.
 
F3 Support NCC Zoning & Density
F3 supports the proposed NCC zone amendment because it allows for a more compatible building height in these three historic neighborhoods, while also allowing for increased upward housing density as outlined in Flagstaff’s Regional Plan. F3 understands that these three neighborhoods are walkable and close to public transport and are therefore desirable locations for increased housing density. The proposed zoning represents a reasonable compromise at this time between maintaining neighborhood character in these three locations while also creating space for higher-density housing.
 
For more information about NCC zoning including maps and photos, please visit F3’s webpage.


If you’d like to comment to City Council about the proposed new NCC zone, you may do so by writing a letter or speaking during the public comment period for this specific agenda item on April 27th.  Written public comments should be submitted to publiccomment@flagstaffaz.gov. If you wish to submit comment by phone, you must email the above address with your first and last name, phone number, and agenda item you wish to speak on. Find the agenda item by clicking on the April 27 Council meeting here.


Michele James
Executive Director, Friends of Flagstaff’s Future

Local Efforts: Good Information to Have and to Share:

  • Youth Voices: An Earth Day Event on Climate Action. April 22nd, 4:00 pm. Flagstaff Sustainability Program. Online here.
  • Earth Day Virtual Tabling. Coconino County Democratic Party. April 22nd, 4:30-6:30 pm. Zoom link found here.
  • Indigenous Artists Roundtable. April 23rd, 6:00 pm. Open Doors: Art in Action. View exhibition and join online here.
  • Drop-Off Day. April 24th, 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Dispose of electronic waste, batteries, unused medication, etc. Details here.
  • Science Saturday at Willow Bend: Fire Ecology. May 1st, 10:30-11:30 am. Live interactive program on Facebook page.

Upcoming City Council Meetings: Topics of Interest

  • City Council Budget Retreat, April 22-23, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm each day. Schedule and other documents here. Join meeting virtually here.
  • Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) Zoning Amendment Discussion, April 27th, 3:00 pm onward. Join virtual meeting here.
  • Discussion of Carbon Offset and Sequestration, Biomass, and Accessory Dwelling Units (encroachment and setbacks). May 11th, 3:00 pm onward. Join virtual meeting here.
  • Carbon Neutrality Plan Adoption! May 18th, 3:00 pm onward. Join virtual meeting here.

In preparation for upcoming City staff and Council discussions this spring/summer about the use of reclaimed water for aquifer recharge and/or drinking, F3 encourages you to read Troubled Water: What's Wrong with What We Drink by Seth Siegel. Please contact F3 board member Marilyn Weissman about receiving a copy.


General Contact Information:
• To attend City Council meetings virtually: https://www.flagstaff.az.gov/1461/Streaming-City-Council-Meetings
• To attend Coconino County Board of Supervisor's meetings virtually:  https://www.coconino.az.gov or call 928-679-7144.
• To access City Commissions including Open Space, Sustainability, Planning and Zoning, and others: https://www.flagstaff.az.gov/994/Boards-Commissions

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