Rezoning Request | Residential Office | SR-51 & Glendale Ave.

Thank you for visiting this site to learn more about our client’s request for “Residential Office” zoning for three parcels located on the northeast corner of SR-51 and Glendale Avenue.  We hope this page provides you with additional information and answers to questions you may have.

If you have any other questions after reviewing this page, please do not hesitate to contact the property owner/applicant, Shane Alexander, at 480.513.6144 or zoning counsel, Taylor Earl, at 602.265.0094.

Where is the site located?

  • The site, consisting of three parcels, is located on the northeast corner of SR-51 and Glendale Avenue.  An aerial photograph of the site is shown below.


Aerial with Red Line

What are you proposing?

  • We are seeking “Residential Office” zoning to develop a small, one-story professional office building. The site will reposition existing landscaping on the property to create a beautifully landscaped site that features a low-profile building with enhanced architectural design.  Our site plan and landscape plan are shown below. Conceptual renderings can be seen here.

Site Plan on Aerial

For the full and detailed versions of our site plan click here and landscape plan click here.

What is the current zoning on the site?

  • The current zoning on the site is R1-10, a residential district that would allow three homes on the site.  When the City purchased these properties in the early 1990s, they removed the existing home and this site has remained vacant ever since.  Given the traffic on Glendale Avenue, proximity to the freeway, and other factors, putting homes back here would not be practical; nor would it be safe.  We believe this small office use, developed under Residential Office zoning, is the least intense, and lowest profile alternative for this site that is safe and sustainable.

What recommendations and public hearings have already occurred on this case?

  • The City’s professional planning staff has recommended approval (the staff’s report can be read here).
  • Following a public hearing, the Camelback East Village Planning Committee recommended approval.
  • Following a subsequent public hearing, the Phoenix Planning Commission recommended approval by a unanimous vote.
  •   The list of stipulations (i.e. requirements) on this case can be read here.

What is the “Residential Office” zoning district you are seeking?

  • “Residential Office” (or “R-O”) is a zoning district that allows small offices at a residential scale.  It was created by the City to balance the need for sustainable development along busy roads with the need to buffer and protect adjacent neighborhoods. As such, R-O would allow for a small office along Glendale Avenue but it also imposes strict regulations to ensure the height, size, and uses of the site are appropriate next to existing residential.
  • This is what the City’s zoning ordinance says about “Residential Office”: “This district is intended to control developments on the edges of residential areas which, because of their location on arterial streets or other environmental conditions, are susceptible to pressures for nonresidential uses.”

What uses are allowed in residential office?

  • Residential Office allows uses already permitted in residential districts and only adds small professional offices as a permitted use. It does not permit commercial uses like restaurants, retail, banks, or any other uses of that nature.

Is this Residential Office (“R-O”) zoning the same that is used for big office developments around the City?

  • No. Those big offices typically utilize “Commercial Office” (“C-O”), “C-1” or “C-2” zoning districts. Residential Office zoning is used for small office developments like this one that act as a transition between busy roads and residential neighborhoods.

Could a Starbucks, retail shop, or commercial shopping center be built here under Residential Office zoning?

  • Absolutely not.  Such retail uses would be completely prohibited under the Residential Office district being requested here.  Retail uses require at least C-1 zoning, which is a completely different zoning district than what we are seeking.

If this is approved, will it create a pattern for other properties along Glendale Avenue?

  • No. Each rezoning request is site specific, and the City must evaluate the request on its own merits and circumstances.  That evaluation entails a thorough and rigorous process that includes a professional analysis by the City’s planning staff, a public hearing before the Village Planning Committee, a public hearing before the Planning Commission, and a public hearing before the City Council.
  • Additionally, even if that weren’t the case, this particular site is unique.  It has challenges that don’t exist with any other properties along this portion of Glendale Avenue.  For example, this is the only remnant, undeveloped parcel along this portion of Glendale Avenue; it’s closer to, and therefore more impacted by the freeway traffic and noise; and it is more impacted by the traffic on Glendale Avenue because it has no frontage road, is shallower than other lots along Glendale Avenue, and has no access to a local road.

How tall will the building be?

  • We designed the building to be low profile. The proposed building height will be only15 ft., with a minor entry feature up to 17 ft.  As a point of comparison, the site’s current R1-10 zoning would allow three buildings up to 30 ft. in height. As a result, this request will result in a lowering of otherwise allowable building height. Our proposed building is shown below.  Our full building elevations are available here.  This building design, as shown below and in the full elevations, will become a part of any zoning approval via “stipulation” (i.e. a condition of approval).

East Building Elevation

How large will the building be?

  • Due to neighborhood feedback, the property owner has agreed to cap the size of the building at 6,000 sq. ft.  That cap will become part of any zoning approval via a “stipulation.”

Why are you including 30 parking spaces?

  • 30 spaces have been designed into the site plan to ensure compliance with the City’s parking requirements.

How will this proposal affect the already heavy traffic on Glendale Avenue?

  • This portion of Glendale Avenue carries approximately 41,500 trips per day. An independent traffic study conducted for this site concluded the proposed small office would generate only approximately half of one percent of the existing traffic on Glendale Avenue.

How will visitors enter the site if traveling east on Glendale?

  • Because of the median, our site’s access is right-in/right-out only.  Visitors traveling eastbound on Glendale Avenue will access the site by u-turning at either 20th Street or 22nd Street. Most of our inbound trips will occur during the day when the traffic is not at its peak, making 20th St. a safe option.  Office uses typically don’t have many inbound trips during PM rush hour.  But for those trips that do occur during the rush hours of the day, any inbound visitors traveling east on Glendale Avenue will use the green left-turn arrow at 22nd St., which allows for a safe and legal u-turn.  We have had an independent traffic engineer analyze this issue, and he has determined this traffic routing is safe and not uncommon in the City of Phoenix.

How will cars exit the site?

  • During all times of the day, cars exiting the site will be restricted to right-turn only.  We have positioned the driveway far enough west on our site to ensure the median on Glendale Avenue will prevents left-out movements. We have also added a “pork chop” in our exit lane to force exiting cars to turn right (see site plan here).  As with the building, this site plan design will become part of any rezoning approval as a “stipulation.”

What will happen to existing trees on the site?

  • We will be salvaging the existing mature trees on the site to re-use them in our perimeter landscaping.  This will provide screening and buffering to our residential neighbors.  Where necessary, we will also install additional trees to complete our perimeter landscaping.  (See full landscape plan here).  Like the building and site plan design, this landscape plan will become part of any rezoning approval via a “stipulation.”

What led you to pursue this project at this location?  

  • From the owner/developer: “I was born and raised in Phoenix and have been a part of many great projects in the City.  I want to create something here that will be aesthetically pleasing, have minimal impact on the existing traffic, and protect the neighborhood from degradation of vacant or blighted property.  I understand and appreciate concerns raised by some of the neighbors about traffic and related issues, and I have engaged consultants to help me assess and address those concerns.  Based on this due diligence, and positive feedback from neighbors, I sincerely believe this development will be a plus for the neighborhood and for Phoenix.”

Will a detached sidewalk (i.e. a sidewalk separated from the street by a landscape strip) be installed on the site along Glendale Avenue as recommended by the Village Planning Committee?

  • Yes it will.  This will add to the safety of pedestrians in the area.    Although this requirement was removed at the Planning Commission, the owner has since agreed to have this stipulation put back into the case.

Was this property designated to be restricted as a buffer to the freeway?

  • This question was asked of the City’s Planning staff at the Village Planning Committee meeting and staff confirmed that this site was never restricted to a green space/buffer.

Do you have a lessee confirmed for the building?

  • We have not yet actively pursued a lessee at this stage, but our market research indicates the site will be very desirable for certain types of office users, including those that have minimal visitors per day but would benefit from being in a central location and being seen by thousands of motorists as they pass the site each day.  A few examples include offices for insurance, architecture, and real estate.

Was this land put up for auction?

  • No.  In 2015, the City Council authorized this property to be sold through a broker.  The property was thereafter publicly listed for sale and posted with a sign on the property for over a year before being purchased by the current owner/applicant, Shane Alexander.

If you have any other questions after reviewing this page, please do not hesitate to contact the property owner/applicant, Shane Alexander, at 480.513.6144 or zoning counsel, Taylor Earl, at 602.265.0094.