By Philip Haldiman, Editor-in-Chief | Dealmaker
The residents of Glendale had their first opportunity to give input on the city’s General Plan update, Wednesday night.
It’s a road map that will guide future growth and include topics covered in the current General Plan, which range from land use and recreation to transportation.
Project manager Celeste Werner said it will also include new topics required by Arizona law and local needs, like energy and neighborhood preservation.
“We want to now know the good things and the challenges from residents,” Werner said.
She told a group of about 20 residents that a key focus will be growth areas, including Arrowhead Ranch, downtown, Loop 101/Westgate-area, Glendale Airpark, Loop 303 corridor, and unincorporated county areas.
Glendale is about 90 square-miles, with about 40 percent undeveloped, she said.
Future developments could include the extension of the light rail from Phoenix into Glendale’s city limits.
Werner said the city has a growing sustainable population with 1,800 new housing units projected by 2040, citing statistics from Maricopa Association of Governments.
Planning Director Jon Froke told Dealmaker that Glendale staff believes this figure to be low.
About 40 percent of the city is residential housing, with 3.2 percent of the land area being multi-family, Werner said.
“The General Plan provides a snapshot in time. Granted, some things will change, but it will give us a good baseline,” Werner said. “It will allow us to determine things like where you want your commercial and how much housing you want.”
The General Plan process includes two more public workshops and six council district neighborhood meetings, which are scheduled to start in May.
Froke said Glendale’s current general plan was approved by voters in 2002, with the update expected to be ratified by August 2016.
Residents were asked to provide at least three specific issues and three opportunities that should be addressed in Glendale’s General Plan. These were not made available, but city officials polled residents in attendance on a number of General Plan topics. Here are some results.
- About 60 percent said they’d use light rail if it came to the city.
- The majority wants to see future growth.
- Regarding the type of development residents want to see, there was no obvious choice. However, many preferred mixed-use projects and open space.
- Points of pride: their neighborhoods and downtown.
- Points of improvement: jobs and downtown.