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Last night was a huge night for Flagstaff. Council passed an amendment to our zoning code that will simplify the process when it comes to rezoning properties in Flagstaff. Mayor Nabours led the charge on this issue and Council supported him with a 5-2 vote with Evans and Barotz opposed.
Council also voted to purchase Observatory Mesa which once purchased will increase the designated open space in Flagstaff by ten fold.
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The Regional Plan also continues to move along and Council will begin debating the plan November 19th from 8AM-5PM. As you may be aware, many people have voiced concerns about the direction this plan is taking Flagstaff. I will continue to try and balance this plan, we’ve got a long way to go though.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who continues to participate in Northern Arizona and Flagstaff issues. Keep it up. You are having a huge influence.
How I Voted November 5, 2013, City Council Meeting
Council appointed four people to the Transportation Commission.
Council recommended the State approve a liquor license for Modern Grove on Milton Ave.
Approve an increase of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program paymentstandards to exceed 110% of the Section 8 Fair Market Rents.
Approval of Cooperative Contract: Purchase of black cinders
utilizing a Coconino County bid with Miller Mining Inc., bid number 2014-01 for 10,000 tons in the amount of $129,250.
Adoption of Ordinance No. 2013-22: This creates a sign district and allows the Flagstaff Mall to put a sign on Country Club Blvd near Highway 89 and 66. This is the second read of this ordinance.
I voted NO on the acceptance of a grant for an $870,000 project to replace existing street signs in the City of Flagstaff. This is a perfect example of Federal Regulations gone too far. The main reason for the replacement of these signs is a Federal mandate requiring larger signs and higher reflectivity. I call it the 3M boondoggle. We should replace signs as they wear out, not because of a Federal mandate. Replacing perfectly good signs before their useful end of life is a monumental waste of time and money. Meanwhile our 17 trillion dollar debt grows every second.
I voted in favor of purchasing approximately 2,200 acres on Observatory Mesa, which will ultimately be designated as open space.
This Council has designated more open space than any Council in our Cities history. In fact, this Council, once the Observatory Mesa purchase is complete, will have increased the amount of designated open space by about a factor of 10 in the past year alone.
I am pleased to have voted in favor of amending our zoning code in order to simplify the rezoning process. I believe that this streamlined process not only makes Flagstaff more competitive, but will most likely positively impact future housing options and cost. Keeping upfront cost down and streamlining the process typically reduce cost. On the contrary a complex process typically raise costs. These costs are generally passed onto the end user, in this case the homeowner or renter. I argue that keeping costs low and processes simple is one tool this Council can use to address, even if it’s in a small way, some of Flagstaff’s affordability issue.
We discussed the Economic Development section of the Regional Plan. I asked for this section to address tourism and business attraction in a stronger manner. This section needs to be a lot stronger when it comes to business attraction and retention especially with regard to the private sector.