Parking issues surface with Wright House designation

Wright House

Wright House(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Arcadia neighbor, Peter Sperling, in his fight to protect the historically residential Arcadia neighborhood.)

David and Gladys Wright House developers say they have a lease with the Camelback Church of Christ at 52nd Street and Camelback Road for between 50-130 parking spaces. The church lot also provides an east side entrance to the property.

The developers, however, have not made the lease document available.

The Wright House has been the center of debate, most recently including the Historic Preservation Commission, which voted to recommend the six acres surrounding the house be listed as a historic landmark.

The developer and house owner Zach Rawlings in July laid out plans in the pre application submittal to the City Of Phoenix that include a bar, restaurant, 40-foot outdoor amphitheater, a 26,766 square feet meeting center, overnight stays and the ability to have 500-people parties on an unlimited basis.

Under City of Phoenix parking requirements, there must be one space per 50 square feet of public assembly for entertainment purposes, meaning and depending on what ultimately is proposed at the residential property,  the Wright House plans could require upwards of 500 parking spaces.

Great Hearts Arizona, which is 1.6 miles from the Wright property, entered into an agreement with Wright to provide 200 parking spaces at its Veritas School.  Several executive board members, however, sent public emails to the city council indicating they were not in favor of the lease. Great Hearts hosted a neighborhood meeting at the Veritas school to hear from its school community and where parents expressed worry about busloads of people being driven through their residential Arcadia neighborhoods, letting off people who possibly had been drinking in the school parking lot.

Some parents of Veritas children who also live in the Arcadia neighborhood wrote letters, one stating, “This is a serious matter. Veritas neighbors, neighborhood associations, parents, grandparents and contributors are furious with Great Hearts decision.”

According to an e-mail from Veritas Headmaster Mary Frances Jeffries, the Boards of Archway Veritas and Veritas Prep mutually expressed they were not interested in entering into any parking agreements that would permit the Wright House to use the school parking lot to meet parking requirements, despite the recorded agreement.

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November 2015