Arizona senator tries to salvage bill to override local zoning rules

By Bob Christie | Arizona Capitol Media

PHOENIX — A legislator is attempting to salvage at least part of his controversial plan to override local zoning rules in the name of affordable housing after it was overwhelmingly rejected because of opposition from cities and towns.

The move come after a bipartisan vote in the Senate last week to quash the plan by Sen. Steve Kaiser, a Phoenix Republican, to require cities to allow everything from higher density housing and taller multi-family complexes to eliminating requirements for off-street parking. City lobbyists said these were decisions best left to locally elected city councils.

Also helping to doom the measure was the lack of any guarantee the radical revamp of state laws that give cities the right to control zoning would actually lead to more affordable homes or apartments.
Kaiser said in an interview that some of the wide-ranging measure’s provisions are clearly dead, including one that said builders had the absolute right to convert existing commercial, mixed-use or multi-family property to much taller and larger apartment units, and another that would allow developers to cram as many as six homes onto one lot.


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