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$300M residential development challenged by neighbors

A $300 million proposed development for multifamily housing may face a challenge brought by neighboring residential projects. The 9.5-acre parcel was formerly a furniture store but requests rezoning in order to begin a residential development.

The City Council is considering a rezoning of the previously business-oriented region but the project faces opposition from nearby residential developments. Opponents fear the new development's three 12-story buildings and single 10-story hotel structure will create a negative impact on the surrounding area. Additionally, adversaries are concerned that the 600+ condominium development could turn into apartments instead. Opponents push to reduce the size and impact of the proposed development as well as prevent the additional traffic they fear will accompany the project.

Developers contend that the buildings will include plant-based aesthetic pieces and that ample parking will be included. They also believe a rezoning of the region would reduce traffic congestion from its current state.

Zoning is a government's form of regulation on the use of portions of land. In urban planning, it helps regulate an area's growth to advance the health, morals, safety, and welfare of the community. Generally, to accomplish a region's rezoning, a challenger must show that there has been a change in the character of the area. Zoning ordinances are not easily challenged, but it can be done with a solid understanding of the community's needs in that particular region.

Zoning regulations can often be confusing and frustrating. Consulting an experienced real estate attorney can help open various options and pathways to accomplishing the real estate goal at hand.

Source: Phoenix Business Journal, "$300M Kierland development could face lawsuit, ballot challenges," Mike Sunnucks, Aug. 29, 2014

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