Posts Tagged ‘Land Use Code’

4th August
2009
written by Arizona Kid

From AZ Star 7/13/08 – Fix the LAND USE CODE -

Mike Hammond of Picor Commercial Real Estate said he had a client who was tripped up by a rule saying that if the flush handle on a toilet is not on the side away from the wall, you have to replace the toilet. Cost: Six toilets times $500, plus labor. Reason: Unclear.

This is absurd and bad for business.It must be fixed. Thankfully, various elected officials, city workers and citizens like Hammond and Warne are working to get that done.

Hammond says Tucson’s land-use code has become so byzantine that “quality developers that we want in our city can spend $15,000 on a project and then discover they can’t do what they want to.”

Because of such hassles, many of them borne of confusion among city workers about what the code means, commercial developers like Warne and Hammond warn that Tucson is losing new businesses, and thus jobs, to competitors like Marana, Mesa and Chandler.

As for revitalizing the central city in the face of such bureaucratic hassles? “That’s just a myth,” Hammond said.

Then from Feb 17th 2009 – after much work, many meetings with planners, development services, neighborhoods and business the vote finally gets to council to once and for all FIX THE TROUBLESOME land use code….but only for 1 year:

The land-use code requires owners to meet standards on parking, loading zones, trash collection and landscaping if they want to increase the size of their buildings, parking areas or property by 25 percent or more, according to a story by the Star’s Adam Curtis.

Trasoff’s plan would suspend those sections of the land-use code for one year. It would allow owners to expand their properties by 40 percent or 50 percent before having to meet the standards. Encouraging property owners to invest in their properties could spur construction jobs, which could have a ripple effect throughout the economy.

While we advocate revamping and updating the entire land-use code, this one-year suspension could be an economic boon.Trasoff told the Star that, depending on the size of the property and project, the move could save small businesses possibly tens of thousands of dollars — an incentive to do work now, rather than later.

The trick will be to balance the reasons for the code, to protect neighborhoods from overflow parking linked to businesses, with the need to make it easier for small businesses to expand.

 

If the LUC is a known problem why fix it for only 1 year or 18 months? Why not take care of the problem for good?  Could it be that our elected council is more concerned about the neighborhood voting block that put them in office than the business community that ultimately pays the bills?

Time to move to Marana folks – then maybe, just maybe the council will start to get the point.

 

 

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