Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans: “I Am Disappointed Right Now In Our Community”

At the July 7th, Special Flagstaff City Council Meeting, Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans told the crowd that she was “disappointed right now in our community” because the community showed up to oppose development of City owned affordable housing on the iconic Schultz Meadow. You can watch the entire statement here:

Varela Withdraws From Council Race

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 22th, 2016

“Varela Withdraws from council race”

After acknowledging a lack of required valid signatures, Mr. Varela submitted paperwork to the Flagstaff City Clerk withdrawing from the City Council race. We wish him the best.

A citizens group of volunteers verified all of the candidates’ signatures and found that Mr. Varela did not have the required 771 valid signatures for inclusion on the ballot.   A lawsuit was filed by Stuart McDaniel in Superior Court challenging the 283 questionable signatures.

We would like to thank the citizen group of volunteers who worked so hard to ensure election integrity.

Mr. Varela’s voluntary withdrawal from the City Council race reduced the number of candidates to six which eliminates the need for the city primary election in August.

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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Vice Mayor Barotz: City of Flagstaff Should Fight Pro Gun Bills

At the November 3rd Flagstaff City Council meeting, Council discussed areas where the City should weigh in on legislation at the State level. Listen as Vice Mayor Celia Barotz asks Council to make it a priority to fight pro Second Amendment bills:

More Living Wage Hypocrisy In Flagstaff

The battle to bring living wage legislation to Flagstaff has been brewing for quite some time and two of the key players advocating for a mandatory living wage have been Friends Of Flagstaff’s Future and Flagstaff City Councilperson Coral Evans.

So you can imagine my surprise when I came across a post by Coral Evans on the Friends Of Flagstaff’s Future facebook page advertising a part time minimum wage job without benefits for a local business that Evans is involved with.

Working on legislation to force a mandatory $15 to $25 an hour starting wage, while at the same time only paying your own employees $8.05 an hour, is inconsistent and speaks volumes about the do as I say, not as I do mentality.

Leading by example gives credibility to any argument and if you can’t do that then stop telling other people how to run their businesses. Bottom line, put your money where your mouth is.

friends closed group

Coral Evans has fought hard for a living wage in Flagstaff but you wouldn’t know it by the job offer in the screen shot posted above (click photo).

New Pushback Against Flagstaff’s Unlawful Assembly Ordinance

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Turns out Flagstaff Liberty Alliance and Councilman Jeff Oravits are not the only ones concerned about the City of Flagstaff’s recently passed “Unlawful Assembly” Ordinance. Students at NAU have started circulating a “Move On” petition calling for the repeal of Ordinance No.2015-08. In the petition they say:

“Ladies and gentlemen, this ordinance cannot stand.

For one, this ordinance was passed May 20th, after most students had departed the city for Summer vacation, which in itself shows the intent of the Flagstaff City Council to pass this ordinance as a sly way of cultivating more income through broad policy making.

Second, this ordinance would endanger the “peace and tranquility” of families and group living situations of 5 or more, including generational homes, which leaves room for harassment and discrimination against the underprivileged who may not have the funds necessary to “spread out”.

Finally, this ordinance effectively violates students and citizens’ 1st Amendment Right to Assemble by punishing them for gathering for or even being in proximity to a “nuisance party” to which a police officer(s) respond.

The Flagstaff City Council is victimizing and threatening citizens and students in an unconstitutional, but highly profitable, manner. We have already failed at allowing this ordinance to pass. We can correct our mistake by petitioning the Flagstaff City Council in order to counteract the gross discrimination against students and families, and the violation of a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”

You can read the entire petition HERE. As of this post it has 481 signatures.

Flagstaff City Council Set To Raise Property Taxes

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Rumors of a possible Flagstaff property tax increase of anywhere from 2-8% have been circulating around Flagstaff for quite some time. Now it sounds like the Flagstaff City Council is getting ready to act and they just might have the votes to move it forward.

The most recent push for an increase is a very real threat and was confirmed moments ago when Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits posted the following on his facebook page:

“PROPERTY TAX INCREASE?
For 3 years I’ve led the charge to keep the city portion of your property tax bill flat. That’s at risk at tomorrow’s City Council budget hearing.

Want to keep your property taxes from increasing?
Email council@flagstaffaz.gov

Thanks for your support!
Councilman Jeff Oravits”

If you have an opinion on this, you can contact the entire Flagstaff City Council at council@flagstaffaz.gov