By Cecilia Chan
City Council will decide June 27 whether to allow a developer to build more homes on smaller lots at the northeast corner of 91st Avenue and Camelback Road.
The council a year ago gave landowner John F. Long Properties the go-ahead to build StoneHaven, a master-planned community of 1,161 homes. Developer Pulte Homes now wants to up the number to 1,365 homes.
Planning Commissioners voted 4-1 last month to recommend the council deny the application. About 100 residents attended the commission meeting, many voicing objections to the smaller lot sizes, citing concerns with more traffic, lower property values and other impacts if the request is granted.
Councilwoman Joyce Clark has come out in opposition to the request for 204 more homes in the 385-acre development located in her Yucca District.
Glendale Chamber of Commerce, on the other hand, supports the increase.
A representative from LVA Urban Design Studio, which represents the landowner, said Pulte Homes wants more flexibility in the types of homes it can build in order to attract a wider selection of buyers.
Otherwise, the developer could not justify the $450 million investment, the representative said.
Copies of all applications, exhibits, and documents are available for public review on the second floor at the Development Services Department, 5850 W. Glendale Ave., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or available online at https://glendale-az.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx by 5 p.m. Monday prior to the public meeting.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. June 27 in Glendale Council Chambers, also at 5850 W. Glendale Ave.
Contact Diana Figueroa at 623-930-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least three working days before the meeting if special accommodations is needed due to a disability. Hearing-impaired people should call 623-930-2197.
For further information, call senior planner Paul Whalen at 623-930-2800.
Posted by The Glendale Star
Glendale is on a path to economic recovery and financial stability. StoneHaven is proof of that.
The Glendale Chamber of Commerce, representing nearly 1,200 businesses, supports the proposed development of StoneHaven.
It will bring new residents to businesses at Westgate and beyond. It will also bring additional revenues to the City of Glendale, $49 million, according to an independent study.
Arizona’s largest home builder, Pulte Homes, and iconic John F. Long Properties are proposing to invest $450 million in a project that will bring a new supermarket, new homes, and new retail to southern Glendale.
This project comes at a critical time for Glendale. As businesses such as Conair, Bechtel and others expand, their employees will need places to live and shop.
Glendale is a landlocked community, and opportunities to transform vacant land into a high quality development don’t come every day.
Glendale’s mayor and city council, working with the private sector, have done a fantastic job in putting our city on the path to recovery.
Approving StoneHaven will continue that positive momentum. That’s why the Glendale Chamber of Commerce asked the city council to approve it.
While Glendale has made great strides in the pursuit of economic development, the opportunity to partner with John F. Long and Pulte not only compliments existing strategies but can add greater economic stability to the proposed site and surrounding area.
We believe this project adds to the vibrancy of Glendale by offering both existing and potential new members of the community yet another choice in where to live, work and play.
An investment of this magnitude is a commitment by all parties involved. The potential of this project is positive and presents an opportunity to bring our recovery from good to great.
Glendale Chamber of Commerce
By the Watertown Daily Times
PHOENIX (AP) — In a story June 2 about Arizona's 2018 Senate race, The Associated Press reported erroneously that no Democrat has announced a bid to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. Community activist and first-time political candidate Deedra Abboud has announced for the race.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Arizona Sen. Flake walks tightrope as 2018 election looms
Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake returned to the state this week and has been constantly reminded of the tightrope he must walk as he gears up for a 2018 re-election bid
By BOB CHRISTIE
PHOENIX (AP) — As Republican Sen. Jeff Flake returned to Arizona this week during a congressional break, he was constantly reminded of the tightrope he must walk as he gears up for his 2018 re-election bid.
Protesters on the left followed him around with a giant inflatable chicken whose hair style was patterned after President Donald Trump. Their message: Don't be a chicken and stand up to the president on issues like health care. On the right, a former tea party activist ripped him on a daily basis over his moderate stances.
Flake faces a tough test next year that is emblematic of the challenges many Republicans will encounter in the first midterm election of the Trump presidency. The left is energized on issues like health care, and the right is targeting politicians like Flake who have been outspoken in their criticism of the president.
The junior Arizona senator was a frequent critic of Trump during the 2016 campaign and has said he didn't vote for him. In his visit to Arizona week, he touted his support of the North American Free Trade Agreement — a deal Trump took the first steps to renegotiate or dismantle last month. But Flake also points out his support of Trump's Supreme Court and cabinet picks.
"I think people appreciate independence," Flake said during a wide-ranging interview this week.
"I'll support the president when he's right and I'll oppose him when he's wrong."
Flake faces at least one Republican challenger next year, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, and others are waiting in the wings, considering whether to jump in. They include state treasurer Jeff DeWit, an early Trump backer who ran the president's campaign finances and would surely get big backing from him. Just one Democratic opponent, community activist and political newcomer Deedra Abboud, has entered the race.
Ward has taken aim at Flake for bucking his party's right wing and backing immigration reform, dubbing him "sanctuary senator." She also criticized him for the backing he gets from former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, another Trump critic who is set to appear at a Flake fundraiser on Friday. Former President George W. Bush also came to Arizona for a recent Flake fundraiser, and he can count on the loyal backing of fellow Arizona Sen. John McCain.
"In my last election I had somebody spend about $9 million, mostly painting me as out of touch with Arizonans on immigration," Flake said. "That person got 20 percent of the vote after spending $9 million. We beat 'em by 49 points."
Flake points to McCain's easy 2016 re-election win, where he too abandoned Trump after a 2005 tape emerged of Trump making lewd remarks about women. Arizona remains a solidly red state, but independents now outnumber Democrats and Republicans.
"(McCain) garnered I think, 250,000 more votes than the president did. Won the state by 14 against his opponent - the president won by 3½ points," Flake said. "So I think Arizonans are more independent."
But it's the vulnerability from the left that is likely more problematic for Flake. He's a target of opponents of the Affordable Care Act repeal, who drag out the inflatable chicken at many of his events.
"I think he's absolutely vulnerable if he votes to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act," said U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, a rising Democratic star from Phoenix who has been critical of the House-passed repeal and replace plan. "Health care is a very personal thing, we've learned it as Democrats. Republicans are going to learn the same thing if they pull this system out from underneath people."
Flake has had a full schedule this week, appearing at businesses and events across metropolitan Phoenix, launching a push to defend NAFTA against a possible Trump pullout, making an appearance at a nuclear plant, speaking to business leaders and working to boost
his campaign coffers. As of March 31, records show he had about $1.8 million on hand.
Flake avoided town hall meetings that have stirred up liberal voters and protesters like the one he faced earlier this year. At events before friendly crowds this week, like a Glendale Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday, he still got questions critical of repealing health care law.
Flake acknowledges the House-passed bill, under which congressional analysts estimate 23 million people will lose coverage, has no chance in the Senate. The Senate is now working on its own plan, but Flake won't commit to backing it until he's reviewed it.
Retired property manager Bill Morris was at the Glendale event and said he is worried about the effects of the repeal on his Medicare and on friends with other types of insurance. He said he wants Flake to stand up to Republicans who are pushing a repeal.
"I would tell him to vote his conscious and not his party," Morris said. "This is the United States, he's responsible to all of us, especially here in Arizona since he's one of our two senators."
Flake cites insurers fleeing the private marketplace as evidence that Congress has to act.
"For those who say let's just keep the ACA as it is, that's not possible. It's not going to survive as it is, we know that," Flake said. "In Iowa, already, the only insurer there has indicated an intent to pull out. We're going to have a lot of people with no choice at all.
At the same time, he's aware of the big boost that an expanded Medicaid program under Obama provided in Arizona.
Arizona has seen more than 400,000 people get insurance, plus another 20,000 children under a plan known as KidsCare, under Medicaid expansion. Nearly all would lose coverage under the House plan unless the state embraces a massive tax increase, which is virtually impossible in the Legislature. About 200,000 people buy private insurance on the federal marketplace, and many would see dramatic changes there too and likely lose affordable coverage.
"With (Medicaid), particularly in those states that expanded, they've come to rely on that pretty quickly," he said. "And it would be a big jolt to the budget and big problem for those who have coverage if it were to end immediately."
A new public-private partnership in Glendale aims to help the city get reacquainted with its downtown in the short-term, and give merchants a common voice in the long-term.
City officials and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce have agreed to a contract worth a maximum of about $611,000. Now the chamber will hire a manager to develop the city’s historic downtown.
Glendale already has several downtown organizations, said Robert Heidt, the chamber’s president and CEO.
“But none really working cohesively together,” Heidt said. “So I think the overarching message is we want to unite the downtown businesses we have here today. Begin to get them working together from the same platform.”
The new merchant manager should be in place by September, Heidt said. Their job will be to focus on the needs of all downtown businesses, not just chamber members. He or she will spend the first year getting the lay of the land, and learning people’s concerns to identify a path forward.
The idea is for the merchants to own the strategy, said Kevin Phelps, Glendale city manager.
“We don’t have a way, currently, to talk about parking strategies for downtown or marketing strategies for downtown,” Phelps said.
The needs and expectations of the city-chamber partnership will be readdressed every year of the contract, Phelps said.
The deal is good for at least three years, up to a maximum of five.
By The Arizona Republic
Glendale just took a step toward revitalizing its historic downtown district.
The City Council approved a $331,000, three-year contract with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce for a downtown manager starting July 1. The manager will attract new businesses and act as a liaison between downtown business owners and the city's economic developers.
The city's quaint downtown is home to numerous local restaurants and shops along brick-lined sidewalks on Glendale Avenue, but it's been in search of an identity to pull it all together and attract more visitors.
City officials have discussed different revitalization efforts before — such as creating an entertainment district to attract microbreweries last September. Robert Heidt the chamber's president and CEO, supported the idea at the time.
But the chamber has its work cut out for them if business owners have anything to say.FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInA look at some downtown Glendale businesses Fullscreen[Cuff, a New American bar in downtown Glendale, also]Cuff, a New American bar in downtown Glendale, also acts as a venue for stand-up comedy Perry Vandell/The Republic.
Fill in the gaps
Sonny and Jan Strunk, who have owned and operated Evening Shade Antiques for 28 years, said Glendale doesn’t care about its downtown. Sonny Strunk points to several vacant buildings on 58th Avenue south of Glendale Avenue that the city bought nearly a decade ago.
“They buy them up and then they just sit,” he said. “And they don’t make the town look very good.”
Andrea Shobe, owner of the '50s-style Hop Stop Diner, also said the city needs to fill the empty buildings it owns.
“Why are they empty? They need to put something in there. I don’t care what it is — they need to put something in there," Shobe said.
But she recognizes that revitalizing the area isn’t that simple. One building used to house a dry cleaner and would require an expensive chemical cleanup before the property could attract prospective businesses, she said. If Glendale doesn't think the cleanup is worth the cost, the city could at least add an attractive facade, she said.
“If you can’t put something in there, make it look like it’s cute,” Shobe said.
Vision for mom-and-pop shops
Whether or not the city fills the vacant properties, Shobe said a downtown manager is integral to the area’s revitalization because most businesses lack the resources to promote their interests.
“It’s going to take somebody who has the time to work on the big picture,” she said. “A lot of us are small mom-and-pop stores here, so we don’t have the time or we don’t have the affordability of hiring extra help.”
Shobe said she hopes the manager will research how other cities improved their downtown areas and discover what types of businesses Glendale’s downtown is missing.
Business owners agree change is needed, but differ on what the final product should be.
The Strunks recall when people would flock to downtown Glendale for its antique stores before the 2008 recession struck. They acknowledge they can't do anything about a fading interest in antiques but hope the city doesn't try to become something it isn’t.
“It used to be a thriving downtown,” Jan Strunk said. “We had over 40 stores, and now they want to make it a Scottsdale.”
Ken Brown, co-owner of Drawn to Comics, said he’s concerned Glendale will try to transform downtown into another Westgate. The Bcity should expand upon the area’s “quirkiness” to cultivate an experience that attracts families rather than party-goers, he said.
“If you make (downtown Glendale) into an entertainment district, it’ll just change the vibe down here completely,” Brown said. “And then once the next new hot spot comes, then downtown Glendale will be migrated, just like Westgate was migrated.”
Bring back the festivals
James Quintana, co-owner of tea and cookie shop Coyote Oatie, said he is OK with more bars and entertainment venues as long as they don't take over the area.
While plenty of business owners have new ideas for the city, most suggest bringing back what was lost — downtown festivals.
Glendale still hosts popular downtown festivals, such as the Glendale Chocolate Affaire and the Glitter & Glow Block Party, in the winter. But business owners complain about the loss of other events, such as the jazz festival, that attracted visitors during the quieter summer months.
Chris Chang, co-general manager at Cuff restaurant, said the city needs to have a more consistent special events schedule — such as downtown Phoenix’s First Fridays — instead of hosting most events during the winter.
“The summer is where we struggle,” Chang said. “And a lot of businesses ... either close for the summer or they ... accept that they’re in the red for the summer, and I think those are things that maybe the city could focus on more.”
Brown said part of the work has to come from the downtown businesses, many of which close their doors at sunset.
“The hard thing down here is, we’re 110 degrees from May to August or September,” Brown said. “And so this park here is awesome, but it’s hard to get people to come out during the day. So if it is a nighttime type of thing, it’s like, ‘What can you do to convince the rest of the businesses to be open for nighttime things?' ”
Quintana echoed the desire for more festivals, which encourage local businesses to cross-promote each other, but also wants the city to better advertise the events it already holds.
The city should simplify the process for businesses to host downtown festivals, Shobe said.
“When we put on festivals down here, there are so many (city) departments that you have to go through just to get one little festival done,” she said.
Several business owners also complain about homeless people wandering through the downtown area.
The police department and courthouse are downtown, bringing homeless people to the area, Chang said. When they leave either building, they have to walk through downtown Glendale to reach the nearest bus station.
Shobe said she wants the city to help its homeless, though she didn't know how it could do so.
She also worries that the light-rail station expected to open in 2026 near downtown Glendale will shuttle in more homeless people than paying customers.
By The Glendale Star
With a unanimous vote of its board of directors May 25, the Glendale Chamber of Commerce has issued a formal statement of support for the development of StoneHaven by John F. Long Properties and Pulte Homes. The letter was sent to the mayor and council, as well as the city manager and economic development department.
“This project will further build on the economic momentum surrounding Westgate, Glendale and the West Valley,” the statement read in part. “We believe this project adds to the vibrancy of Glendale by offering both existing and potential new members of the community yet another choice of where to live, work and play.”[Glendale Momentum]
While the original development was unanimously approved by Glendale City Council more than a year ago, LVA Urban Design Studios, representing John F. Long Properties, is seeking a general plan amendment and zoning request approval to reduce the lot size and square footage of a limited number of homes within the master-planned community situated between Bethany Home and Camelback Roads and 83rd and 91st avenues in the Yucca District.
According to a city planning department report, the developer proposes amending the general plan to medium-high residential for 64 acres of medium-density residential. In addition, the developer is requesting rezoning of 363.4 acres of residential parcels to allow for an additional 231 lots. The change would increase the proposed number of homes to 1,392 from 1,161.
While the city planning department has recommended approval of the general plan amendment and rezoning request, a majority of the planning commission voted to deny both measures in a May 18 decision. The modifications of this planned area development will now go before city council June 27 for a final decision.
Yucca Councilmember Joyce Clark is opposed to the proposed changes and represents more than 1,000 local residents who have signed and submitted petitions of opposition.
“An investment of this magnitude is a commitment by all parties involved; we strongly encourage you to work in partnership to produce an outcome benefiting our community,” the endorsement continued. “The potential of this project seems overwhelmingly positive!”
The Glendale Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of nearly 1,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. Its mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for its members.
By The Glendale Star
After years of economic distress in the downtown Glendale area, local business owners will soon have a new manager to represent the best interest of the entire area.
City council voted unanimously to approve a five-year contract for $610,510 for the creation of a new downtown manager that will fall under the supervision of Glendale Chamber of Commerce in a public-private partnership.
“Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into our city center,” City Manager Kevin Phelps said. “This exciting partnership provides the opportunity for the downtown business community to collectively identify and advance their shared priorities to meet the unique needs of downtown Glendale.”
Robert Heidt, president and CEO of the chamber, said the goal is to improve the theme and draw shoppers to the downtown area.
“The goal of this new position will be to give the businesses a voice to every department within the city government,” Heidt said. “We are looking forward to improving the communication between the business and the city.”
The chamber will lead the downtown merchant efforts in the presentation and revitalization of historic downtown Glendale. Strategies and plans will be developed to create a more diverse, livable and sustainable downtown, while encouraging new economic development.
According to city officials, the new public-private partnership will strengthen downtown Glendale and encourage an environment of activity, energy and vitality. Moreover, the partnership is intended to unite historic downtown Glendale partners and stakeholders in a common goal to increase the economic prosperity of business, and grow residential opportunities for the City of Glendale.
“Revitalization of downtown Glendale remains a top priority for our economic development team,” said Economic Development Director Brian Friedman. “In order to re-energize our downtown in a meaningful and sustainable way, specific strategic actions should be taken to diversify and grow our local economy. The downtown manager will facilitate, promote, and advance the efforts to revitalize our downtown core by building on the strong social fabric and superb physical characteristics of our historic downtown.”
Economic Development Officer Jessi Pederson said it is key for the downtown area to improve.
“It is key, because, think about it, everyone has to come to the downtown area no matter where they may be opening a business,” Pederson said. “You come to city hall to get all your information, so if downtown is thriving, it will spread throughout the city.”
Led by Heidt, the chamber will work cooperatively with the city’s economic development office to deliver downtown management services throughout the life of the contract by providing enhanced, direct services targeting marketing and economic development.
“Through our redevelopment initiatives and strategies, downtown Glendale will get the focused attention necessary to create jobs, revitalize the business climate, attract new businesses, and introduce sustainable new development,” Heidt said. “We will also help the city build a framework to positively influence and impact the economic health and preservation of historic downtown Glendale.”
Freidman said the communication between economic development is important to continuing the downtown area.
“We already work closely with the chamber, so this is just an extension of that and will give us a better voice on any issues that are happening in the downtown are,” Friedman said. “This new position will work closely with every department in the city to help with any issues downtown businesses may have.”
Heidt said this is a natural progression in the growth of the relationship between the city and
“We couldn’t be more proud of the relationship we have built with the city and its economic development team,” Heidt said. “For us, it’s all about promises made and promises kept, and we appreciate the vote of confidence the city council has given us.”
The three-year downtown manager contract begins July 1, and includes a renewal option for two additional years.
Glendale, Ariz. –The Glendale City Council unanimously approved a contract awarding Downtown Manager services for the city to the Glendale Chamber of Commerce at Tuesday evening’s formal council meeting.
The Glendale Historic Downtown District has long been a priority focus for the city. The city’s Economic Development staff recommended using the services of an independent Downtown Manager under the umbrella of a private organization to develop a diverse, cohesive and unified perspective on strategic priorities for Glendale’s Historic Downtown District. The Downtown Manager will be working with all business interests to have a voice in shaping their future.
The first efforts of the Downtown Manager will be to connect with every member of the downtown business community and invite them to work collaboratively to identify their priorities and establish coordinated strategies to assist their businesses.
“Glendale’s Downtown is not only the heart of our community, it is the soul of our community,” said Mayor Jerry Weiers following the vote. “To achieve the council’s vision, we must support a vibrant city center that we are all proud of while facilitating the sustainability of our Downtown Glendale businesses. This priority requires targeted, consistent support and focus. Through our significant partnerships over the years, the Glendale Chamber of Commerce has consistently proven their commitment to our downtown and I am confident they will do a phenomenal job.”
The chamber will lead the downtown merchant efforts in the presentation and revitalization of historic downtown Glendale. Strategies and plans will be developed to create a more diverse, livable and sustainable downtown, while encouraging new economic development.
“Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into our city center,” said City Manager Kevin Phelps. “This exciting partnership provides the opportunity for the downtown business community to collectively identify and advance their shared priorities to meet the unique needs of downtown Glendale.”
According to city officials, the new public-private partnership will strengthen Downtown Glendale and encourage an environment of activity, energy and vitality. Moreover, the partnership is intended to unite Historic Downtown Glendale partners and stakeholders in a common goal to increase the economic prosperity of business, and grow residential opportunities for the City of Glendale.
“Revitalization of downtown Glendale remains a top priority for our Economic Development Team,” said Economic Development Director Brian Friedman. “In order to re-energize our downtown in a meaningful and sustainable way, specific strategic actions should be taken to diversify and grow our local economy. The Downtown Manager will facilitate, promote, and advance the efforts to revitalize our downtown core by building on the strong social fabric and superb physical characteristics of our historic downtown.”
Led by CEO Robert Heidt, the chamber will work cooperatively with the city’s Economic Development Office to deliver Downtown Management services throughout the life of the contract by providing enhanced direct services targeting marketing and economic development.
“Through our redevelopment initiatives and strategies, downtown Glendale will get the focused attention necessary to create jobs, revitalize the business climate, attract new businesses, and introduce sustainable new development,” said Heidt. “We will also help the city “build a framework to positively influence and impact the economic health and preservation of historic downtown Glendale.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of the relationship we have built with the city and its Economic Development team,” said Heidt. “For us it’s all about promises made and promises kept, and we appreciate the vote of confidence the city council has given us.”
The three-year Downtown Manager contract begins July 1, 2017 and includes a renewal option for two additional years.
By the Glendale Star
“The first to say thank you for your service in the United States Armed Forces.”
That was the theme of the evening and it was repeated over and over again as high school graduates from area schools stood, bowed their heads, listened intently to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and walked across the stage to receive a special certificate of appreciation and a challenge coin from Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.
The 2017 Inaugural Induction Ceremony, presented by Weiers and Glendale Chamber of Commerce, was a solemn evening of thank you to local high school seniors who now are members of the United States military.
Weiers acknowledged Chris Kelly, a member of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Veteran and Military Affairs Committee. It was Kelly who planted the seed for the night of celebrating graduating high school seniors for their decision to enlist in the military.
Weiers told the graduates, “Whatever you wind up doing, wherever you end up going, Glendale has your back.”
He thanked the military veterans who attended, and the U.S. Marine Corps Old Breed Detachment from Glendale for volunteering their time to help at the celebration.
A video presentation featured retired Gen. Colin Powell, who was talking about what makes determines leadership. It was one word: trust.
“Create that spark that gets the mission done,” Powell said.
The senior military official for the evening was U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Clukey, commanding officer, U.S, Army Phoenix Recruiting Battalion.
Clukey told the recruits, “You should be proud. More than 70 percent of our youth do not meet the standards; 30 percent because of obesity. Less than 1 percent serves; less than 7 percent have served.”
Of significant concern to Clukey and other members of the military is that most people between 17 and 35 are unaware of the military.
“In this room, I see extraordinary opportunities to grow as a leader,” Clukey said.
He then joined emcee Jeff Turney, chairman of Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and Weiers, as they congratulated all of the Army recruits, then gave them their certificates and challenge coins.
U.S. Marines Corps Maj. Barret Bradstreet and U.S. Navy Commander Matthew Beare recruiting commanders for the Phoenix region, followed the same procedure, as well as Command Chief Randall Kwaitkowski of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, and Petty Officer First Class Martin Wygan, U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Office.
There were more than 160 recruits in attendance that night, and all were sworn into their respective military service organizations at the same time by ranking military officer in attendance, Lt. Col. David S. Clukey.
During the evening, the Sounds of the Southwest Singers Community Choir sang “America the Beautiful,” “Salute to the U.S. Armed Services,” and “God Bless America.”
Glendale wants to improve its climate to keep and grow the business community in the city.
City Council last week in study session agreed to move forward with the creation of a temporary subcommittee and to solicit feedback from the business community. Mayor Jerry Weiers was absent. The item is expected to come before Council at its next voting meeting.
“This sends a positive message to all business large and small in Glendalethat we are interested in them and what they do,” said Councilwoman Joyce Clark, who came up with the idea. “It sends a positive message to businesses thinking about moving here that we are serious about improving the business climate. I’m not saying it’s bad but it can be made better.”
The one-year subcommittee will be made up of three council members and representatives from the business community who will review the city’s codes and make recommendations to the Council.
Ms. Clark said during her time on the Council off and on since 1992, there has never been a review of the city’s policies, regulations or laws pertaining to businesses in Glendale.
The subcommittee will remove outdated, ineffective and redundant business regulations on the city’s books, she added.
The committee will look at everything the city does relating to business and see where it can become more business-friendly and enhance its reputation as the premier business community in the Valley, Ms. Clark said.
Development Services Director Sam McAllen said the subcommittee would take an average of two to three hours a week of staff time. For the duration of the committee, it is estimated to take 1,040 hours to 1,560 hours of staff time, he added.
Councilman Ray Malnar suggested increasing the seven- member committee to include a contractor or builder because that profession, which creates job opportunities in Glendale, is affected by city fees and policies.
Councilman Jamie Aldama suggested adding two representatives, one from the minority business community and one from a woman-owned business.
Councilman Bart Turner said the idea of a subcommittee is a worthy endeavor, however, it is a step too soon.
He cited the large use of staff hours, a city resource.
Instead, he suggested the city find out what the issues and/or frustrations are for businesses in Glendale by getting it from the members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, soliciting input at city hall’s second-floor service counter and establishing a hotline for merchants.
Try that for a year and then see if the committee is still needed, Councilman Turner said.
Councilman Aldama asked what the staff hours equated to in money.
Mr. Allen said staff only went as far as to identify which departments would be involved in the committee. Departments involved include Building Safety, Fire Marshal, Planning, Economic Development and City Attorney.
Councilman Aldama noted despite the cost of creating the committee, its recommendations would generate more revenue for Glendale.
Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff suggested the council move forward on both proposals.
“I have no problem doing both at the same time,” she said.
The council also agreed to expand the subcommittee to 11 to 13 members, taking in Councilmen Aldama’s and Maynar’s suggestions.
Staff estimated the new sub committee could be up and running within three to four months upon approval.