By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer
(STATE CAPITOL) — The House Government Committee on Thursday advanced a measure (7-3-1) designed to further protect private property owners from zoning changes that could affect the value of their property.
The bill amends current law that stipulates 20 percent of property owners within an area sought to be rezoned may bring about a formal protest, usually to prevent developments that might affect homes in the area. It also prevents one large property from holding smaller property owners “hostage.”
The amended bill would include property within 150 feet of the proposed zone change and could bump the requirement to 75 percent of the property owners and increase the number to 75 percent of city council members needed to approve a zoning change.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Kavanagh (R-23), said the legislation heightens the hurdle for developers and protects homeowners.
“It protects me . . . my life investment,” Kavanagh said.
There was discussion but no agreement as to who has the advantage in rezoning matters—“the little guy” (property owners) or developers, with their highly paid lobbyists and ability to withstand the “long arduous process” of zoning changes.
Jordan Rose: “This bill certainly restricts private property rights and gives unrelated property owners more control over what you can do on your own land. Surprising that this is moving forward in Arizona”