What Should Papago-North Tempe Area Look Like In Future?

Published: Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 2:49pm

Tempe is gathering input on design and planning preferences for the Papago-north Tempe area. The Character Area Plan will guide future city and private developments.

Nearly 10,000 people live in the Papago-north Tempe area. It covers almost 3.5 square miles from Scottsdale Road to Scovel Street and Curry Road to Loop 202.

The area includes well-established neighborhoods and subdivisions built in the 1960s and '70s and popular bike paths and parks.

Much of the public input so far has focused on preserving open spaces and historic and cultural resources, and promoting water conservation and sustainability in planning, design and construction.

An online survey is available on Tempe’s website and the city will hold two virtual meetings for the public on Monday, Sept. 13. from noon to 1 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Registration for Zoom meetings can be found here.

Tempe defines a character area plan as "policy-level, non-regulatory document that does not change the legal rights of property owners, codes, and ordinances applicable to any property."

The draft plan includes public input city staff has gathered through public meetings, presentations, phone calls and email. It was noted that the feedback was provided in no particular order.

  • Preserve the Sonoran desert environment
  • Preserve open spaces, parks, and multi-use trails
  • Preserve historic and cultural resources
  • Maintain and improve the canal-side environment
  • Improve connectivity, transit use and mobility
  • Enhance affordable housing, and provide an opportunity to “age in place”
  • Promote sustainability in planning, design, and construction
  • Plan to mitigate climate change, and extreme heat environments
  • Promote water conservation, on-site water harvesting and solar energy use
  • Promote green infrastructure, construction, and passive systems
  • Promote high quality design, providing durable and varied materials
  • Utilize indigenous, adapted and water-conserving plants
  • Enhance shade, trees, and tree canopies
  • Promote walkability, bike-routes, and transit amenities
  • Promote public art, gateway features and improved public realm design

 Residents also shared specific comments related to the plan development, including:

  •  Implement programs to reduce homelessness
  • Institute crime prevention and safety enhancement programs
  •  Provide a gateway feature when entering Tempe from Scottsdale
  •  Provide a roundabout at McKellips Road and College Avenue
  • Provide dog parks
  • Preference for low and mid-rise buildings
  • Need noise abatement programs
  • Shift flight paths from above the area
  • Create a new arboretum at the end of the Indian Bend Wash near the Town Lake
  • Have more recreational and business opportunity near the Town Lake