Phoenix Residents 'Not Happy' With Housing Density In Laveen Area

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 10:58pm
Updated: Friday, December 7, 2018 - 11:18am
Christina Estes/KJZZ
During a Phoenix City Council meeting on Dec. 5, 2018, Jon Kimoto expressed concern about the lack of diversity in lot sizes among new housing subdivisions in Laveen.

Some residents who live southwest of downtown Phoenix don’t like the way their community is changing.

The Phoenix City Council recently approved plans by Meritage Homes for 180 single-family homes in Laveen. During a council meeting, Resident Jon Kimoto told city leaders lots that are 45-feet wide are too small.

“At my last accounting, throughout our entire community, we have at least 65 percent in the smaller 45-foot lots,” he said. “What we’re looking for is a diversity and we expect you all to uphold that diversity.”

The project at the southwest corner of 55th Avenue and Elliot Road calls for a mix of 45- and 50-foot-wide lots on land that had been zoned for ranches and farms.

Phil Hertel, member of the the Laveen Village Planning Committee, told council members the latest project not only has lots that are too small, but driveways that are too short. He said many vehicles in Laveen spill onto the sidewalks.

“If you’re a handicapped person, if you’re in a wheelchair, if you’re using a walker or you’re riding a bicycle and you come upon these cars hanging out over the sidewalk, there’s a big problem,” he said. “And we don’t want that problem. We want to resolve that problem.”

The developer agreed to install driveways that are 22 feet long at half the homes. The Committee wanted 22-foot-long driveways at all 180 homes.

“We’re not happy with this because this density is not really what the people want in Laveen,” said Robert Branscomb, chair of the Laveen Village Planning Committee. “But we have to realize the city’s growing and we have to make some concessions. Not everyone’s going to be happy, but that’s the way it is.”

Branscomb said he and other members on the committee support the project after Councilwoman Felicita Mendoza coordinated meetings between residents and the developer.

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