Unenforced rule is driving Phoenix’s problem with Tempe’s Coyotes deal

(Photo rendering via Arizona Coyotes)

By Sam Kmack | Arizona Republic

Phoenix is pushing to stop Tempe’s nearly $2 billion development plans with the Arizona Coyotes, saying it violates an agreement between the two cities that has consistently been unenforced for other projects since 1999.

The agreement in question, called an intergovernmental agreement, or an IGA, dictates how close homes can be built to the airport. It’s meant to shield residents from constant airplane noise in certain no-build areas.

The Coyotes’ proposal — which includes more than 1,600 apartments in addition to a NHL hockey arena and an entertainment district — would be on 46 acres of Tempe-owned land that sits directly in that high-noise zone, a couple of miles from Sky Harbor International Airport, where hundreds of planes fly take off and land each day.

Hockey team officials said the apartments are needed to make the project financially doable, and if they’re cut from the plan, the whole deal may fall through.

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