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.”