'Cookie Cutter' Or 'Right Type'? Phoenix Council Approves Grand Canal Project
For months, residents of a historic Phoenix neighborhood have been fighting an out-of-state developer over an apartment project. On Wednesday, the City Council voted on the proposal along the Grand Canal in the central city.
Phoenix calls it the Grand Canalscape, a 12-mile system for people to safely walk, run and bike. It’s a source of pride for city leaders and neighbors like Ken Waters who called the proposed 218-unit apartment complex the anti-prototype for the area.
“You're setting the model, a cookie cutter precedent for the rest of Canalscape,” he said. “In its present form, it’s a traffic bomb. Twelve hundred cars per day on the inside of the neighborhood, no arterial streets, they’re all trapped.”
Waters lives in Pierson Place, a neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places. The boundaries are generally the Grand Canal to Camelback Road and Central to 7th avenues.
Texas-based Trinsic Residential wants to build on 3-acres on the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Coolidge Street. Jason Morris, the developer’s representative, said they already worked to appease residents by reducing density and height on the four-story buildings, removing some proposed balconies to ensure privacy for homeowners and creating publicly accessible green space along the canal.
“This case is an exceptional example of the right type of housing at the right location within the right portion of the city,” he said.
Local business owners who spoke in support of the project said more residents would boost their sales. Several residents said they support development but not this specific project.
Councilwoman Laura Pastor, who represents the district, proposed an extra 20 inches of space between the curb and building facade along Coolidge Street and 3rd Avenue so there would be a minimum of 21 feet, 8 inches. She also instructed the developer to work with residents over street parking concerns. The full council agreed and approved the zoning request.