Proposed bill could limit public input on development projects

By Madelaine Braggs | Rose Law Group Reporter

The Arizona legislature is considering a bill that aims to streamline the zoning process, but some local officials worry that it could limit the community’s opportunity to weigh in on development projects.

House Bill 2734 proposes amendments to Arizona’s municipal planning statutes, specifically regarding affordable housing developments and the process for enacting zoning ordinance amendments. The bill introduces a new section that prohibits municipalities from imposing parking space requirements on affordable housing developments that exceed set limits based on the number of bedrooms per unit and proximity to public transit stops. It also provides exceptions for developments that incorporate shared parking with mixed-use developments and maintains requirements for accessible parking spaces as per the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Additionally, the bill modifies the existing law by limiting public hearings on zoning ordinances to two hearings and changing the voting threshold needed to enact a protested zoning ordinance amendment from three-fourths of all members of the governing body to a simple majority. It also extends the deadline for property owners to file a protest against a proposed amendment from one business day to three business days before the voting date. These changes aim to streamline the zoning amendment process and facilitate the development of affordable housing.

In an email to constituents, Phoenix Vice Mayor Debra Stark urged against the legislation, saying, “HB 2734 directly impacts the village models and limits cities to two public hearings for rezoning cases. It is worth noting that cities have already agreed to legislation that limits rezoning cases to 180 days. This measure won’t speed up the zoning process but will limit local input.” 

Read the full legislation below.

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February 2024