City of Flagstaff threatened with $23 million in claims for violating state property rights

By Brady Wheeler | Arizona Daily Sun

The Goldwater Institute, an Arizona-based conservative think tank, says it has filed more than $23 million in claims against the City of Flagstaff for violations against property owners, according to a statement released Tuesday.

In the statement, the institute demands that the city rethink recent land use regulations centered around the city’s “High Occupancy Housing Plan” that was adopted in 2018.

While the institute claims property owners’ rights were violated by the plan, it specifically references an amendment to the city’s zoning code approved in March under the plan’s guidance.

“Flagstaff adopted a High Occupancy Housing Plan supposedly designed to address an increase in student housing. In actuality, the plan imposes sweeping regulations that deprive a wide variety of property owners, including families and small businesses, of their right to decide what to do with their land,” the statement reads.

According to the city, the housing plan was developed to address the community’s concerns that large developments were impacting the “character of historical neighborhoods.”

The institute says regulations imposed by the recent zoning amendment, such as limiting density or restricting the maximum number of bedrooms, takes away an owner’s rights to make improvements to their property and thus diminishes its value.

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