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MJLO

Phoenix and Tucsons differing styles of planning

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So I wanted to get different opinions on this. I'm sure Colin has my back on this one because he's pretty in the know. Reading the EVT today there is a story about Pima County tightening up it's water usage policies Pima county has a tighter water supply than the Phoenix area. So it would make sense that they work harder to conserve water. Does Maricopa county have standards on water usage? From my perspective on what little I know about Pima county and metro Tucson, it seems they are much more stringent on development in general. I get the feeling that most people from Tucson have kind of a resentment, or dislike for the Phoenix area. What are the differences in planning, and just socially in general? Why the rift?

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So I wanted to get different opinions on this. I'm sure Colin has my back on this one because he's pretty in the know. Reading the EVT today there is a story about Pima County tightening up it's water usage policies Pima county has a tighter water supply than the Phoenix area. So it would make sense that they work harder to conserve water. Does Maricopa county have standards on water usage? From my perspective on what little I know about Pima county and metro Tucson, it seems they are much more stringent on development in general. I get the feeling that most people from Tucson have kind of a resentment, or dislike for the Phoenix area. What are the differences in planning, and just socially in general? Why the rift?

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You know I've noticed that about the politics. Why is it that Tucson is more Liberal than Phoenix? Normally the smaller cities take the conservative role. It is confirmed though, that with the waves of people moving into the valley, as the population increases the more moderate to liberal Phoenix is becoming. So goeth Arizona. I think I see Phoenix much the same way that you described above. Although I'd replace the word wealthy with... "strung out on credit". The Phoenix area is full of $30,000 a year millionares if you know what I mean. And while I agree with being environmentally forward, and a water conservationist. I am a strong critic of people who stand in the way of progress. It is one thing to be for responsible development ( As you look across the valley and I'd assume Tucson as well, it's full of very well kept and organized looking comercial developments). It's quite another to being opposed to building absolutely anything anywhere at anytime. As I have stated in other threads, the people in Arizona are not NIMBY's. They are simply height anemic. Anything with more than four floors gets proposed and you'd think that a giant asteriod was careening towards earth. But those same people could give a rats behind if someone wants to build a quaint box store on 300 acres. What you end up with is organized well kept sprawl. What makes cities sustainable, and helps conserve resources is density. You can't acheive density without some measurable form of height. What we have created are not core cities, but rather core suburbs. The city of Mesa, is the most dense city in the valley, not Phoenix. Unless people around here start facing up to reality, It may remain that way for a long time. Does the same ring true in Tucson?

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You know I've noticed that about the politics. Why is it that Tucson is more Liberal than Phoenix? Normally the smaller cities take the conservative role. It is confirmed though, that with the waves of people moving into the valley, as the population increases the more moderate to liberal Phoenix is becoming. So goeth Arizona. I think I see Phoenix much the same way that you described above. Although I'd replace the word wealthy with... "strung out on credit". The Phoenix area is full of $30,000 a year millionares if you know what I mean. And while I agree with being environmentally forward, and a water conservationist. I am a strong critic of people who stand in the way of progress. It is one thing to be for responsible development ( As you loof very well kept and organized looking comercial developmentsk across the valley and I'd assume Tucson as well, it's full of very well kept and organized looking comercial developments). It's quite another to being opposed to building absolutely anything anywhere at anytime. As I have stated in other threads, the people in Arizona are not NIMBY's. They are simply height anemic. Anything with more than four floors gets proposed and you'd think that a giant asteriod was careening towards earth. But those same people could give a rats behind if someone wants to build a quaint box store on 300 acres. What you end up with is organized well kept sprawl. What makes cities sustainable, and helps conserve resources is density. You can't acheive density without some measurable form of height. What we have created are not core cities, but rather core suburbs. The city of Mesa, is the most dense city in the valley, not Phoenix. Unless people around here start facing up to reality, It may remain that way for a long time. Does the same ring true in Tucson?

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1) Tucson's Phoenix envy ( Just kidding I dont really care for Phx. either ). There is a definate anti-Phoenix/Scottsdale sentiment in Tucson. The stereotype in Tucson of Phoenix is that it is oversized, sprawling, hot, polluted, plastic, homogenized, cultureless, enviromentally insensitive and wealthy. There is no doubt that Tucson is also sprawling, hot, plastic, and homogenized, but there is a definate "funky/bohemian" side to Tucson as well. Compare say 4th avenue (Tucson) to Mill Avenue (Tempe), I doubt either city would trade. There is a general feeling in Southern Arizona that Maricopa county dominates the state legislature ( True ) and takes a disproportionate share of benefits ( ??? ). Tucson is also more liberal and that increases the tension in the legislature.

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Another example of Pima County's stringency:

County to appeal Davidson mine deal

The mine site is just barely in Pima County on its far southeast side, but there has been so much pressure against this from local groups that I think Pima County felt obligated to act, even though they really have no say in the situation. It's really the USFS' fault as they agreed to the land exchange, although they're caught up in that whole "best use of the land" BS. The only hope now is the State Land department, which could actually stop the mine from being built as they have final say.

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Well if you wish to call it a river, to each his own. Love the linear park next to the river ( or wash ) though.

My memory is vague, but it seems to me that Glendale wanted to use TIF to build cardinal stadium, and they

needed votes from Pima county to get it, so Tucson managed to get Rio Nuevo TIF financed in exchange for their vote.

Yeah I know Tucson doesn't like the Hard CAP water. When I moved there in '90, they were getting ready

to deliver CAP water and everyone was claiming it was poison, it would kill your fish, farmers didn't think it was fit

for irrigation, etc.etc. Tucson Water really botched it when the delivery of CAP water dislodged rust in

some old mainlines in central tucson, giving people brown water and playin to their worst fears.

Pima county never seemed that stringent in terms of development, at least I can't explain crap like rita ranch

any other way. :) I am sure it is stricter that Maricopa though.

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I read in the newspaper today, that the city of Buckeye is 250 sq mi. That seems rediculous to me. What does a city of 30k need that much land area for? It covers more area than both Tucson and Mesa. Ultimately the city wants to cover 600sq mi. I believe in annexation, but this seems excessive. To me this seems like this will take sprawl in metropolitan Phoenix to a whole new level making it on par with Atlanta and Detroit. Do Tucson cities follow this same model?

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What does a city of 30k need that much land area for?

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At some point, you'd have to look at a city that was 600 sq mi, and pretty much consider it, it's own county.

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you know, I think that they so severely underplanned the growth of the last four decades, that they have done an about face and way way overplanned. A city of 30,000, is planning to gain 970,000 residents in the next 20 years. They are planning it by turning themselves into the entire far west valley. But after driving thru Buckeye on the 10, they are going to have to do a whole lot of cleaning and infrastructure improvements to make people want to live there. It's ugly.

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Infrastructure and iconography. I think that the Phoenix area is going to become much less attractive within the next 10 years and homebuilders and communities will actually have to work together (not just in obtaining and conversely distributing building permits) to give their projects more appeal.

But 970,000 is optimistic. There's still space in the North Valley for development, and Anthem has that huge new thing in Florence building out by that time. Pack 'em in! At least there won't be too many development holes.

BTW, since traffic was mentioned:

Being a roadgeek, I was interested to find this project: SR 801

The strain that all this West Valley growth will put on I-10 makes this absolutely essential, but I never like the idea of parallel freeways. Toll road maybe??

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Something I've been thinking about today, It's not so much a Phoenix/Tucson comparison so much as a "what if".

Arizona is the land of the MONSTER sized county. It misconstrues the actual size of our metropolitan areas. So it got me thinking, The census bureau, adds counties to metro populations, based on the amount of workers commuting into a core county. AZ's three most populous counties are geographically in succession with each other. Pima, Pinal, and Maricopa. Right now Pinal county is considered part of Metropolitan Phoenix, even though southern border of the county is minutes from Tucson. With the Rapid growth of both Tucson and Phoenix, and Pinal county getting the overflow from both. It's pheasable that in the near future, half of Pinals commuters could go to Phoenix, and the other half, to Tucson. That could create the Phoenix-TucsonCSMA. Which given the fact that they use county borders, would create a metro area the size of West Virginia, with only 4.8 million people in it. That's grossly inflated, (forgive me guys i'm going to resort to my Michigan examples as I am an expert on the population stats there.) That area would encompass all of Michigans Major population centers shore to shore and still leave extra room. Grand Rapids to Detroit, is equidistant as Phoenix to Tucson. But giving that same land area, the GR-DetroitCSMA would have 8.5 million people in it, But GR and Detroit are separated by a good seven counties, and Lansing in between.

I wish they would calculate Urban areas and not MSA's and CSMA's because they allow cities to appear much larger than they are. Here's a breakdown I did of the PIMA PINAL MARICOPA stats.

County .................. POP.....................Sq MI

Maricopa..............3,635,528................9,203

Pinal.......................229,549................5,369

Pima.......................924.786................9,186

Total....................4,789,863...............23,775

These three counties make up 80.25 percent of AZ's population, while accounting for 21% of it's land area.

That's still larger than approx 16 states, however only the same size as GINORMOUS Coconino county. If you take out PHX AZ pretty much turns into, New Mexico Jr.

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