News/ Events

What’s going on in the community?

Wondering about the latest updates in the 32nd Street Revitalization project?

Check here for updates.

 

What should Phoenix do with its $2.9 million budget surplus?

A year ago, Phoenix faced a grim financial future: The budget office predicted the city would face a $40-60 million budget shortfall.

But Tuesday, when Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher presented his proposed budget for the fiscal year that will begin in July, he painted a much cheerier picture.

Because of increases in tax revenue, department efficiencies and a controversial decision to increase the term of Phoenix’s pension debt, the city was able to get its budget back to into balance — and even managed to make out with a small surplus.

The city’s total budget will be about $4 billion. It anticipates the general fund budget — the part of the city’s budget that funds things like public safety, parks and libraries — will reach $1.3 billion.

That’s about $2.9 million more than the city needs to keep city programs operating at their current pace.

In his draft budget, Zuercher proposed that the additional money be used to fund new positions in the police and fire departments, homelessness programs, a sober-living home licensing process and a few other modest additions. 

But the city is hosting 15 public meetings to hear from the public about what they’d like to see in the budget.

Here are Zuercher’s recommendations:

Fire Department: $342,000

  • Reallocating five vacant captain positions and one vacant battalion chief position into six firefighter positions. 
  • Two new fire protection engineers, three fire prevention supervisors and three fire prevention specialists. 
  • Partially fund new Fire Station 55, located at Interstate 17 and Jomax Road.

Police Department: $510,000

  • Five civilian employees to assist with the department’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center.
  • 13 new employees to assist with public records requests (these positions will be funded through reallocation of existing department resources).

Homelessness: $728,000

Chris Spahle of Downtown Phoenix Inc. talks about working with the homeless in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 6, 2017. Mark Henle/azcentral.com

Sober Living Home licensing: $235,000

  • Two business license clerk positions to assist with licensing of sober living homes and owners (the city expects to recover these costs through the fees charged to sober living homes).
  • Two citywide inspection teams to investigate complaints and violations by sober living homes.

Trees and shade: $450,000

  • Installation and maintenance of 750 more trees per year. 

Arts and culture: $189,000

  • New project management position to oversee development of the proposed Latino Cultural Center.
  • $30,000 in additional funding for the Arts Grant Program.

Library: $295,000

  • After Burton Barr Library closed in summer of 2017 because of massive flooding, the Yucca, Century, Harmon and Ocotillo branches of the library added four additional hours on Sundays. The city manager’s budget suggested those hours remain even after Burton Barr re-opens.

Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher talks about restoring the water-damaged Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix, which won’t reopen until June 2018. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral

Census 2020: $151,000

  • Temporary staff to help with census counting. 

Public budget meetings

The Phoenix City Council will make final decisions about the budget in May. But before then, Phoenix residents are invited to share their thoughts on the proposed budget at one of 15 community meetings.

  • 6 p.m. on April 2, North Mountain Visitor Center, 12950 N. 7th St.
  • 8:30 a.m. on  April 3, Helen Drake Senior Center, 7600 N. 27th Ave.
  • 6 p.m. on April 3, Paradise Valley Community Center Multi-Purpose Room, 17402 N. 40th St.
  • 6 p.m. on April 3, Pendergast Community Center, 10550 W. Mariposa St.
  • 6 p.m. on April 3, Arizona School for the Arts Band Room, 1410 N. 3rd St.
  • 8 a.m. on April 4, Shadow Mountain Senior Center, 3546 E. Sweetwater Ave.
  • 6 p.m. on April 5, Sunnyslope Community Center Multi-Purpose Room, 802 E. Vogel Ave.
  • 6 p.m. on April 9, Steele Indian School Park Memorial Hall, 300 E. Indian School Road.
  • 8:30 a.m. on April 11, Senior Opportunities West Senior Center, 1220 S. 7th Ave.
  • 6 p.m. on April 11, (Spanish/ English) Maryvale Community Center Auditorium, 4420 N. 51st Ave.
  • 8:30 a.m. on April 16, Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.
  • 10:30 a.m. on April 16, Devonshire Community Center Auditorium, 2802 E Devonshire Ave.
  • 6 p.m. on April 17, Goelet A. C. Beuf Community Center Multi Purpose Room, 3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Road.
  • 6 p.m. on April 17, Cesar Chavez High School Cafeteria, 3921 W. Baseline Road.
  • 6 p.m. on April 17, Citywide Youth Metro Tech High School Banquet Hall, 1900 W. Thomas Road.

 

 

Boehm, Jessica. “Trees? Police? Extra library hours? Phoenix debates what to do with extra $2.9 million” The Republic, March 21, 2018. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2018/03/21/phoenix-debates-2-9-million-budget-surplus-trees-police-library-homeless/442832002/

HB 2333 Home-Based Business Fairness Act

The HB 2333 bill is very specific:

https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/2R/bills/HB2333H.htm

The article above expressly addresses the traffic and noise issues raised by the city in very specific terms that give the City total control to regulate regarding those issues.

Some of the talking points from the City are very misleading, please consider this: https://indefenseofliberty.blog/2018/01/30/home-based-businesses-are-good-for-entrepreneurs-and-local-economies/

The below fact sheet also addresses some of the errors int the City’s argument. https://goldwaterinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HBB-Fact-Sheet-1-30-18.pdf

Please feel free to share this with your fellow community members.

ACTION MUST BE TAKEN! CITY OF PHOENIX LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT

ACTION MUST BE TAKEN! CITY OF PHOENIX LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT

 

Prevent a bill from passing the Arizona Legislature that could have a devastating impact on Phoenix neighborhoods.

House Bill 2333, sponsored by State Representative Jeff Weninger of Chandler, would allow residential homes to be used as a place of business, creating an increase in commercial/retail use in neighborhoods. The measure purports to give cities the right to regulate these home-based businesses, but it actually weakens the city’s ability to address complaints. With vague language and undefined rules, HB 2333 will create challenges for residents to preserve the integrity of their neighborhoods.

ACTION MUST BE TAKEN

HB 2333 threatens two of the City of Phoenix’s top priorities:

  • Preserving your neighborhood’s character
  • Preserving the property values of your neighborhood

What this could mean for your neighborhood:

  • Excess traffic
  • Increased noise levels
  • Work trucks and delivery vans in your streets

What can you do?

  • Directly call and email AZ State Senators to prevent HB 2333 from being passed.
  • Share your concerns and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 2333.
  • Use the links below:

 

Sen. Sylvia Allen: sallen@azleg.gov (602) 926-5409
Sen. Nancy Barto: nbarto@azleg.gov (602) 926-5766
Sen. Sonny Borrelli: sborrelli@azleg.gov (602) 926-5051
Sen. Sean Bowie: sbowie@azleg.gov (602) 926-3004
Sen. David Bradley: dbradley@azleg.gov (602) 926-5262
Sen. Kate Brophy McGee kbrophymcgee@azleg.gov (602) 926-4486
Sen. Judy Burges jburges@azleg.gov (602) 926-5186
Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford ocajerobedford@azleg.gov (602) 926-5835
Sen. Lupe Contreras lcontreras@azleg.gov (602) 926-5284
Sen. Andrea Dalessandro adalessandro@azleg.gov (602) 926-5342
Sen. Karen Fann kfann@azleg.gov (602) 926-5874
Sen. Steve Farley sfarley@azleg.gov (602) 926-3022
Sen. David Farnsworth dfarnsworth@azleg.gov (602) 926-3020
Sen. Rick Gray rgray@azleg.gov (602) 926-5413
Sen. Gail Griffin ggriffin@azleg.gov (602) 926-5895
Sen. Katie Hobbs khobbs@azleg.gov (602) 926-5325
Sen. John Kavanagh jkavanagh@azleg.gov (602) 926-5170
Sen. Sine Kerr skerr@azleg.gov (602) 926-5955
Sen. Juan Mendez jmendez@azleg.gov (602) 926-4124
Sen. Robert Meza rmeza@azleg.gov (602) 926-3425
Sen. Catherine Miranda cmiranda@azleg.gov (602) 926-4893
Sen. Lisa Otondo lotondo@azleg.gov (602) 926-3002
Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai jpeshlakai@azleg.gov (602) 926-5160
Sen. Warren Peterson wpeterson@azleg.gov (602) 926-4136
Sen. Frank Pratt fpratt@azleg.gov (602) 926-5761
Sen. Martin Quezada mquezada@azleg.gov (602) 926-5911
Sen. Steve Smith ssmith@azleg.gov (602) 926-5685
Sen. Bob Worsley bworsley@azleg.gov (602) 926-5760
Sen. Steve Yarbrough syarbrough@azleg.gov (602) 926-5863
Sen. Kimberly Yee kyee@azleg.gov (602) 926-3024

Please feel free to share with your fellow community members.

Many people are asking about this “brown stuff” on the light poles on 32nd St.

New Public Artwork is Coming to North 32nd Street

We Call This Home, a public art project by Arizona artist Ann Morton, is being installed along North 32nd Street over the next few weeks. Fabricated from aluminum and self-sealing Corten steel, the artwork will be mounted on 30 light poles along the east side of the street, between Shea Boulevard and Bell Road. The nstallation is expected to be finished by mid-February.

“Public art is an investment in the creative life of our city, bringing artists and the community together to beautify our neighborhoods and add to the many reasons why Phoenix is a great place to live,” said city of Phoenix District 3 Councilwoman Debra Stark. “We Call This Home is a great example of how art can be both a way to build community, by letting residents take part directly in making art, and a means to help a neighborhood express its distinctive character. As the North 32 Street corridor has grown and developed over the last several years, business owners and community advocates have worked to make 32nd Street a go-to destination for shopping, dining and fun. This art builds on that energy and excitement, and it’s a wonderful addition to the neighborhood!”

To create the artwork, the artist collected more than 1,300 handprints from community residents. She worked with SmithCraft, a local sign and metal fabricator, to turn the handprints into metal silhouettes, which will be arranged in clusters and attached to the poles. Community members involved included students at Shea Middle School, Paradise Valley Community College, and families and seniors at the Shadow Mountain Senior Center.

“With the beginning of public art being woven into the fabric of our neighborhood, we are thrilled to see the continued evolution of our vibrant North 32nd neighborhood,” said Allison J Barnett, Managing Partner of North 32nd, Inc. “Ms. Morton beautifully crafted the design of this public art into something that is meaningful to the neighborhood for generations to come. Each hand represents an individual in our community, past and present. The hands were drawn at various community events demonstrating the engagement of our community in a collaborative setting. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with future artists!”

This project evolved from the North 32nd Street Corridor Community Visioning effort. It was commissioned by the Phoenix Office of Arts + Culture Public Art Program with percent-for-art funds from the Street Transportation Capital Improvement Program.

Photographs are available upon request.
About Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, established by the Phoenix City Council in 1985, works to foster a sense of cultural identity, celebrate diversity and ensure an outstanding quality of community life.
For more information on the Office of Arts and Culture, visit phoenix.gov/arts or call 602-262-4637.  Follow the Office on Facebook: www.facebook.com/phxofficeofartsandculture and Twitter @phxarts_culture.
About North 32nd, Inc.
North 32nd, Inc. brings together the North 32nd community to live, collaborate and experience this vibrant neighborhood in Phoenix and stimulate the local economy thru strategic partnerships with both the City of Phoenix as well as local businesses.  North 32nd, Inc. is a proud member of Local First AZ.   For more information, please visit http://north32nd.com/.
Heil, Matthew. “New Public Artwork is Coming to North 32nd Street” Phoenix.gov, 31 Jan, 2018. https://www.phoenix.gov/news/arts/1945

New State of Arizona House Bill HB 2333

Hello Neighbors:  I believe the majority of you appreciate the unique rural and tranquil feel of our Paradise Gardens neighborhood and the other Phoenix Mountain Preserve neighborhoods , even though we are surrounded by the City of Phoenix, and now considered “close-in” in comparison with newer suburbs.  There is a bill in front of the AZ legislature that could possibly have the effect of greatly changing our neighborhood. “HB 2333 – Home-Based Businesses; Local Regulation” To view the full bill text please click here: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/459031. For the full bill overview, status, etc. page please click here: https://apps.azleg.gov/billStatus/BillOverview/70124

Our City Councilwoman Debra Stark encourages you to read the bill and if you are opposed, please contact your Arizona state senators and let them know.
To find who yours are and contact information

this link: https://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

Per Councilwomen Stark’s office, “Unlike most suburbs and rural cities and towns, Phoenix has many diverse neighborhoods ranging from S-1 large lots to downtown high-rise apartments.  Adopting an uniform “reasonable regulation” on home business, which this bill wants to do, will be virtually impossible.  A type of home-based business may be compatible in S-1 neighborhood, but the same use may be inappropriate for more dense subdivisions.  

 

Second, this bill will make it impossible for City to legally regulate most of the sober living homes in the residential districts.   City may impose zoning regulation on sober living homes if the zoning regulation preserves the residential nature of the neighborhoods.  Allowing intrusion of business activities with unlimited employees (3 unrelated + unlimited related) will destroy the residential nature of the residential neighborhood.  It will be hard for the City to argue that a sober living home for 8 residents is a less compatible use in a residential neighborhood than home-based business.

 

Third, the bill seems to prohibit imposition of location-specific stipulations for home-based businesses.  Currently, city through its zoning process can impose site specific conditions such as delivery hours, additional parking requirements, and noise-reduction devices.  This bill takes away city’s ability to impose reasonable, case-by-case requirements.  

 

Based on our City of Phoenix District 3 analysis, the following uses are examples of what can be permitted in residential neighborhoods like ours if the bill passes:

 

  1. Dog boarding house/shelter/day care center.
  2. Warehouse.
  3. Microbrewery.
  4. Dental office.

 

Our City Councilwomen has heard neighbors complaining about these types of uses in or abutting a residential neighborhood.  Despite the well-intended attempts by the bill sponsor, the compromised language will leave the City with no authority to keep these business from residential areas.”

I’m sending this note to all of you as a courtesy to our Councilwomen and her knowledge.  Please read the bill and make your own decision based on what you believe is best. I realize we have a diverse neighborhood with differing opinions and am not telling anyone how to respond.  I didn’t know about this bill previously and thought that many of you may have an interest one way or another.  

With best intentions. Have a good day!  Bruce

Bruce Cutting

Paradise Gardens Neighborhood Association and Block Watch