Coral Evans Holding Hub Meeting Friday

Flagstaff Councilwoman and Mayoral candidate Coral Evans will be holding a meeting to discuss the Hub on Friday, April 1st at White Dove at 2:00 PM. According to an invite sent out by Evans, there are issues with City staff that she would like to discuss. The text of her invite is as follows:

“I invite you to attend a meeting that I am hosting at the White Dove Coffee this Friday at 2pm to discuss the HUB issue. I think that there is a lot of information that has been provided to the public by other elected officials that is NOT correct, I also think that many people think that the picture that was shown (HUB 2.0) is something that can be built (that is not correct as it does not meet the city’s development and design standards) also there is an issue with the staff interpretation of the transcet code that is at the heart of the entire issue. I will be discussing all of this this Friday at 2pm at White Dove on 7th Ave. Thank you.”

Opinion: Coral Evans Should Lead By Example

Flagstaff Mayoral candidate Coral Evans is running a progressive campaign based on being “responsive and respective of what Flagstaff residents want.” Unfortunately, rhetoric and reality are not always the same. As issues are highlighted on the campaign trail we find that Evans has an alarming double standard of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite.

Here are just a few examples:

A strong advocate for Arizona’s proposed $12 living wage, Evans only pays her employees $8.05 an hour.

As a driving force behind Flagstaff’s new party ordinance, Evans attends huge block parties without a permit and gets upset when the cops show up.

While condemning gentrification in older neighborhoods, Evans has pushed a property maintenance ordinance intended to bring property values up and force low income neighborhoods to meet her standards of clean.

Often complaining about the State and other government entities telling Flagstaff how to run its business, Evans has voted on resolutions telling other cities how she wants them to run their business.

A good leader practices what they preach. Evans has shown that she will champion one thing and do another. While what she says may be right on target, she has provided us with example after example of concerning actions. These actions lead to a lack of trust and confidence.

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Flagstaff Mayoral Candidate Coral Evans

Book Review: The Flower Workshop

Most flower arranging “how to” books tend to focus on the very basics when it comes to species and flower selection. The standard bouquet has been done a million times with slight variations and quite frankly has become boring and cliche. It is time for a change.

The Flower Workshop by Ariella Chezar brings foraging seasonal local plants into the equation making this a much more interesting and comprehensive read. Berries, ferns, evergreens, some weeping willow. Be creative and think outside the box. A walk around the park can be very productive for your next flower arranging project.

Regardless of if you are just getting started in flower arranging or have been doing it for years and are looking for fresh new ideas, you will find this book useful. Chezar is an artist and expert at her craft and flower arrangers will be referencing this book for years to come.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Core Releases Hub Design With And Without Rezone

On Friday, March 18th the Flagstaff City Council received a letter from a representative of Core Campus outlining additional compromises to their development. These changes are in anticipation of next week’s upcoming second read on a proposed rezone for the Hub student housing project.

A petition by surrounding neighbors requires the second read on the rezone to pass with a super majority of at least six votes in support. The first read was approved by a 4-3 vote. If the rezone fails, the company will move ahead with plans to build their project under existing zoning.

The letter from Core Campus included photos of what the project will look like with and without the rezone. The letter and photos are below:

“Mayor and Council,

On behalf of Core Campus, I am writing to provide additional information before our second reading for the Hub on Tuesday the 22nd

In order to re-affirm our commitment to the community we would like to offer one last compromise, which we believe is quite significant since the community continues to state that three (3) stories is in line with what they envision for this project.  Core Campus is willing to drop the building height on all three (3) frontages to three (3) stories with the two additional stories stepping back behind.  I have attached an exhibit to demonstrate the change.  This change will not only reduce the perceived scale and mass of the building but it will also reduce our bed count from the proposed 667 beds to 635 beds.  The parking will remain the same at 231 parking spots. 

Before the last City Council meeting, Core Campus said that, if its current rezoning application is not approved, it will develop the project accordance with the existing entitlements.   There have been many comments, questions and a newspaper article regarding the uncertainty about what that might look like.   

Based on those comments and questions from Council as well as members of the community Core Campus made a site plan submittal with the planning staff using the existing entitlements on the site.  We can now outline the alternatives with specificity.  The elevations from the two projects are attached to the this e-mail.

“Option A” is a project that is developed in accordance with the rezoning that is pending before to the Council.  Option A has commercial uses along Mikes Pike and residential along Phoenix.  It has uniform building heights on all frontages and pedestrian access is close to the NAU campus.  Option A also entails a contribution of $500,000 towards south side parking solutions. 

“Option B” is development under the current zoning, under a site plan is currently under review by City staff.  Because residential uses (unlike commercial uses) must be elevated above the floodplain, the Mikes Pike street frontage under Option B is a six-foot brick wall.  Moreover, Option B involves uneven building heights and pedestrian access is furthest from campus.  The building height along Mikes Pike is eight feet more under Option B—50 feet versus 42 feet under Option A, with the reduction to three (3) stories. 

For many reasons, we believe that Option A consists of better planning and is better for the neighborhood and better for the City—that is why we have worked so hard towards this option.  Other people may have different opinions.    My current point is simply that Option B is an actual, non-hypothetical reality that is currently in review. 

Of course, I want to continue dialogue with everyone from the City.  If you have questions or comments before the hearing please feel free to contact me. 

Thank you for your time and have a great rest of your day. 

Lindsay C. Schube”

With and without rezoning:

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Reduced height on street:

 

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Book Review: The Water Saving Garden

People often forget that Flagstaff, Arizona is not just a mountain community, it is a high desert with limited water. Driving around town you will find lawns and gardens that were planted without realizing how precious and finite this critical resource is. Living in a desert, along with the unknowns that go along with a changing climate, it is time to seriously consider other options that use a lot less water.

The Water Saving Garden by Pam Penick is the perfect volume to flip through while preparing for this spring’s planting season. What plants use the least water? What soil is best for water conservation? How can you create the illusion of water in a garden? All of these questions are addressed with the focus being on both flower and vegetable gardening.

Dozens of photos illustrating garden ideas and plant selection are included. No matter how big or small your yard or gardening plans, you will find a wealth of information in this book. Each chapter will help you create a landscape that is both productive and environmentally friendly.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Nabours Issues Statement On Hub Student Housing Vote

Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours issued a statement tonight explaining his vote supporting the Hub rezone at yesterday’s council meeting. That statement is as follows:

“I had promised to post current issues and explain my point of view and votes. I want to share my insights into the background of last night’s Hub Vote:

Yesterday’s city council meeting ended with a vote that may have been confusing to anyone who may not have the full background.

I want to give some background: At the council meeting last night the city council was faced with two options:

(A) Option A would be for The Hub to build a 65 foot high apartment complex. They already have the zoning for that. They do not need city council approval;

(B) Option B would be for the Hub to get a partial zoning change that would allow them to build a much more attractive project. Option B was developed after months of meetings between Core and Flagstaff residents and city staff.

When the council met last evening to address the zoning request, there were only those two choices. We listened carefully to the hours of public comment and it became clear that the most of the public wanted council to deny ANY project. Not building anything was not a council option. This was explained several times by the city staff and the city attorney.

There was some argument that Core did not have the required zoning. The city attorney said they do. Bottom line is, Core can build on that property with or without a zoning change.

The regional plan was approved by the voters of Flagstaff in 2013. That plan specifically identifies this location as an urban activity center with high density housing and walk-able shopping and restaurants. The planning and Zoning commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval to the city council.

A zoning change would allow them to make the project more appealing (by everyone’s standards). It has allowed the city staff to sit down with them and ask for concessions . The project with the zone change will be less tall, have a bottom floor of retail shops and have more attractive facing and windows. Plus, the city is getting over $1 million in utility repairs and parking contributions from Core.

The vote of the four (Nabours, Oravits, Overton and Brewster) was a vote for the city to get the best possible product, given the circumstance that the city cannot outright disallow the project.

Evans, Barotz and Putzova’s vote was not a vote to stop the project, it was a vote to allow a less desirable project. Their “no” vote (to deny the rezoning) is to tell Core to go ahead and build the project under their current zoning, without any concessions.”

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