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Flagstaff zoning issues cause conflict in the community

Zoning issues can become a flashpoint of community frustration, and must be handled carefully, especially when dealing in residential areas. Just such a community conflict is playing out in Flagstaff now, as city council members consider whether to allow development of affordable housing on a plot of land that many people think should be left alone.

The conflict demonstrates two equally reasonable viewpoints and sheds a great deal of light on just how complicated it can be for the people making zoning decisions as well as the developers who depend on them.

The parcels of land in question make up an area that is both scenic and, to many residents of Flagstaff, symbolic of the city itself, currently featuring unobstructed views of the San Francisco Peaks. However, the piece of land itself is not registered as a protected place.

After meeting with many community members and hearing a number of objections, the council has tentatively chosen to move forward with the development to allow for more affordable housing options in the city, which are greatly needed.

One speaker put a fine point on the issue from the city's perspective noting that, "If everyone is so concerned about open spaces, why didn't anyone work to get the area designated as open space? Really, sunflowers are not more important than people's ability to live."

If you have questions about the zoning laws in your area, or if you hope to work around some zoning ordinance, you will benefit from the guidance of an experienced attorney who understands how to work within the system to achieve your goals and protect your rights.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun, "Flagstaff Council majority stays with Schultz Pass housing, despite strong opposition," Corina Vanek, June 28, 2017

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