Category Archives: Urban Planning

102-acre Coolidge development near Casa Grande Ruins put on hold

[Source: Sean Higgins, Casa Grande Dispatch] — Plans for an area development to have residential and commercial buildings near Casa Grande Ruins National Monument were unveiled for the Coolidge City Council, which postponed action on the matter pending decisions on the height of buildings. “This will be a nice addition to Coolidge,” Mayor Tom Shope said. If approved, the project would be off North Arizona Boulevard, encompassing about 102 acres. “It will really respond to the needs of the area,” Senior Project Manager Nick Labadie of Rose Law Group said Aug. 25. “It will be a great gateway for the city of Coolidge.” He said it would “respect the area and heritage of the Ruins.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Scottsdale Road makeover envisioned in plan

[Source: Brian Powell, Tribune] — Scottsdale’s signature street should undergo a makeover through downtown with a greater emphasis on pedestrians and bikers, according to the vision of the long-awaited downtown plan released this week. The draft plan gives examples of a future Scottsdale Road with wider sidewalks, trees and landscaping, and then goes a step further with a vision of a strolling covered walkway with columns and cafes. The report states that the primary function of Scottsdale Road should be “downtown-serving” and that there was consensus to make it a more pedestrian-friendly street. But to what extent — and cost — is still to be determined. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Future ‘Megapolitan’ area will take in tri-cities

[Source: Cindy Barks, Daily Courier] — As Arizona’s cities continue to grow and meld together into a massive
“Megapolitan,” preservation of Prescott’s unique features will become even more critical. That was one of the points that prominent Arizona attorney and land-use expert Grady Gammage Jr (pictured) made Monday night in his comments to about 75 people who turned out at the Yavapai College Performance Hall for the latest segment of the 2050 Visioning planning effort’s series of speakers.

Gammage, who helped to author the recently released Morrison Institute report, “Megapolitan – Arizona’s Sun Corridor,” focused on the study’s premise that Arizona’s major cities would continue to grow together in coming decades. By about 2035, Gammage predicted that the population corridor would form one major “Megapolitan” that would include six Arizona counties and would stretch northwest from Sierra Vista near the Mexican border, ultimately encompassing Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott, and Chino Valley. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Group eyes ways to capitalize on Naco’s history

[Source: Laura Ory, Bisbee Daily Review] — Naco may be the only community that can claim mammoth kill sites, historic military buildings and a golf course. Its history is what many are hoping to capitalize on for future development projects. About 30 “stakeholders,” including Naco residents, school board members, local and county government officials, college and university students and faculty, and many others met for a Camp Naco community planning meeting Saturday at Naco Elementary School. Though getting local residents involved in community projects has been an ongoing problem, said some Naco residents, none present were apathetic about Naco’s future at the meeting.

“Our goal is coming up with a sustainable development master plan for the Naco area that incorporates the historical, cultural and natural resources of the area,” said Brooks Jeffrey, a professor and associate dean of the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. By including the community and a diverse group of stakeholders, they hope to create a plan with broad support. “We want to avoid planning in isolation and instead plan holistically,” Jeffrey said. Among those brainstorming ideas at the meeting was JoAnn Armenta, a Clean Cities coordinator for the U.S. Department of Energy. She hopes the community will be able to incorporate alternative and sustainable energy practices. “So when we do develop, we develop green,” she said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Pictured: Historic Camp Naco.]

Voice your opinion about land use in Arizona

Follow-up meetings to the 91st Arizona Town Hall on “Land Use: Challenges and Choices for the 21st Century” are now underway at these locations. To attend, contact the Arizona Town Hall at 602-252-9600. Click here to review and download the final report.


  • Tuesday, January 29 @ Noon; Pima Community College; Lunch: $25; Host: Dr. Roy Flores, Chancellor, Pima Community College
  • Presenters: Tara Jackson, ATH President; Shannon Scutari, Policy Advisor, Growth & Infrastructure, Office of the Governor; Priscilla Storm, Vice President, Public Policy & Community Planning, Diamond Ventures, Inc.


  • Wednesday, January 30 @ Noon, Mesa Community College, Paul Elsner Library, Room 145, 1833 W. Southern Ave.; Host: Mesa Community College
  • Presenters: Roc Arnett, President/CEO, Easy Valley Partnership; Tara Jackson, ATH President; Alberto Olivas, Acting Director, Center for Civic Participation, Maricopa Community Colleges; Shannon Scutari, Policy Advisor, Growth & Infrastructure, Office of the Governor; Scott Somers, Mesa City Councilmember


  • Thursday, January 31 @ 7:15 a.m., University Club of Phoenix, 39 E. Monte Vista Rd., Breakfast: $20; Host: Jim Condo, Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. & ATH Board Chair
  • Presenters: Steve Betts, President/CEO, SunCor Development Co.; Tara Jackson, ATH President; Shannon Scutari, Policy Advisor, Growth & Infrastructure, Office of the Governor


  • Wednesday, February 6 @ 11:30 a.m., Mohave County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St., Host: Ron Walker, Mohave County Manager
  • Presenters: Tara Jackson, ATH President; Mark Nexsen, Mayor, Lake Havasu City


  • Friday, February 15 @ Noon; Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N. 7th St.; Lunch: $20; Host: Rotary 100
  • Presenters: Debbie Hill, Attorney, Osborn Maledon, P.A. & ATH Board Member; Tara Jackson, ATH President; Dennis Mitchem, Director, Corporate Relations, Northern Arizona University


  • Thursday, February 28 @ 8:00 a.m., Bagels and Coffee served beginning @ 7:30 a.m.; Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.; No Cost; Host: Mary Manross, Mayor
  • Presenters: Jamie Hogue, Deputy Land Commissioner, Arizona State Land Department; Yvonne Hunter, Senior Public Affairs Representative, Pinnacle West Capital Corp./APS; Tara Jackson, ATH President; Tom Largo, Councilmember, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Help envision where and how future Central AZ residents will live and work

AZ One, a Reality Check for Central Arizona, is a one-day exercise that will bring together more than 300 diverse stakeholders to discuss, analyze, and develop alternative growth scenarios for this rapidly growing region. On May 16, 2008 participants will work in groups to envision where and how the next 6 million people expected to move here will live and work. The group will allocate expected growth patterns using Legos® in a hands on approach that will visually depict challenges and opportunities facing the Central Arizona region which includes all of Maricopa County and the northern portion of Pinal County.

Who? Over 300 stakeholders will be selected from open nominations and invited to participate in the morning visioning process. The group will ultimately represent all sectors of the community, including government and elected officials, Tribal communities, large corporations and small businesses, non-profits, neighborhood activists, interfaith groups, environmentalists, educators, and others. The selection process has been developed to ensure diversity from across the region. To nominate yourself or others for the opportunity to participate in the morning visioning process, visit

Initiated by the Urban Land Institute, AZ One is a collaboration of the State of Arizona , the Governor’s Growth Cabinet and an additional 18 public, private and civic alliances. Among these alliances are: Arizona State University, Central Arizona Association of Governments, East Valley Partnership, Maricopa Association of Governments, The Nature Conservancy, Valley Forward Association, WESTMARC, and others.

About the Day. The day will include the morning visioning exercise followed by a luncheon and afternoon program. The morning exercise involves 10-person teams who will create guiding principles for future development based on their shared values. Using their guiding principles, each group will then gather around a large-scale map and begin allocating colored Legos® representing jobs and residential growth. All of the Lego® blocks signifying expected future growth in the Central Arizona Region must be placed on the map. The placement of the Legos® will result in different growth scenarios created by each team.

The luncheon and afternoon program are open to the public and will feature recognized keynote speakers on growth issues. The afternoon session will also include the results and an analysis of the different growth scenarios.

Get involved in Arizona’s "smart growth" initiatives

[Source: Jan Lesher, Director, Arizona Department of Commerce] — The Arizona Department of Commerce has launched a new Smart Growth website to provide a one-stop-shop for smart growth resources and to highlight the agency’s new Office of Smart Growth. This Office engages in planning and zoning technical assistance, boards and commissions training, public participation, military land use compatibility, and an expanded smart growth focus. The new website includes:

  • Information on the Governor’s Growth Cabinet, Growth Cabinet Advisory Board, and Smart Growth Interagency Committee.
  • The Arizona Smart Growth Scorecard.
  • Smart Growth resources (such as data, pilot projects, emerging trends, and educational materials).

The intent of the new website is to provide a comprehensive primary resource, or clearinghouse, for strategies and actions related to Smart Growth. The website is dynamic as new services, events, and technologies will be continually developed, monitored, and incorporated by the Office of Smart Growth. The website marks an exciting and powerful milestone for the Arizona Department of Commerce.

We encourage you to “surf” through our new Smart Growth website and hope you will find this resource useful. Please feel free to provide the Office of Smart Growth with your input by calling (602) 771-1191.