INDEPENDENT NEWS MEDIA
A dispute between Phoenix and Tempe over a proposed entertainment district and its potential repercussions at Sky Harbor Airport has intensified ahead of several public meetings, including a neighborhood meeting scheduled for Saturday.
The entertainment district, proposed for land at Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway, would include an arena for the Arizona Coyotes along with residential units, retail and office space and other developments.
A neighborhood meeting about the project, hosted by the developer, Bluebird Development, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at Canopy by Hilton, 108 E. University Drive, Tempe.
Sky Harbor officials have said they are not opposed to the professional hockey arena, but Phoenix rejects the concept of having homes “directly under a flight path that was designed to spare Tempe residents from the effects of airplane noise “.
Phoenix leaders also said including residential units as part of the project violates a longstanding intergovernmental agreement between the cities.
They reiterated their opposition last week, sending thousands of mailings to Tempe residents and others expressing opposition to the airport and the potential effects of a project that included housing in the area.
Tempe Mayor Corey Woods called the mail a “scare tactic.”
“This is not a game and Tempe residents should not be used as pawns,” he said in a statement. “No one should attempt to tamper with our community’s basic feelings of safety and security.
“As mayor, I am calling out this outrageous tactic in the hope that it will not be repeated and that all stakeholders can consider this important matter calmly and responsibly.”
Woods said Sky Harbor’s claim that multifamily housing in the proposed development would violate a 1994 agreement between the cities is “significantly inaccurate.
“People interested in living at the proposed site would be well informed before making decisions, just like the thousands of other residents adjacent to Tempe Town Lake who have already chosen to live in an area with aircraft noise. Moreover, they in developments that saw no opposition from the airport when they were proposed and built.”
In addition to Saturday’s meeting, the Tempe Development Review Commission will discuss the project at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in chambers at Tempe City Hall, 31 E. Fifth St.
The rooms will also host two public hearings of the Tempe City Council, on Tuesday, November 22 and 29 at 6 p.m.